CQWW CW Contest 2021 – 991 QSO!

Fun to enter the CQWW CW Contest this weekend, active on all bands 160 – 10m.

Radio and antenna

Simple setup: Icom 7300 radio and the following antennas:

40m half wave end fed: for 40m and 20m
G7FEK (pair inverted L’s joined at the feed): 160m (with loading coil), 80, 40m ((but usually the half wave)
Fan dipole: 15, 10m

Raw score and comparison

… beats my first entry (2020) as M0ICR:

2020 final score

500% increase in and more than double the QSO. Also a increase in Zones worked (42 up to 57) and Countries (Cty) increase from 133 to a pleasing 212.


The highlight of 2021 was working 5 ZL’s (New Zealand stations) in the early hours of Saturday morning:

ZL3X (Quake Contesters – Drinkers with a Contesting Problem! …. according to QRZ.com)

The vast majority of QSO were made of a steady stream of cross-Atlantic QSO on 20 and 15m from noon through to early evening, switching to 40m in the evenings and sweeping up European stations (and the odd bit of DX) on 80m and 160m later at night / early hours.

It was a shame that conditions seemed so poor on 10m but working 30DXCC on 160m made up for that considering the sub-optimal antenna I am using on that band (G7FEK and loading coil). Details of the G7FEK can be found here: http://www.g7fek.co.uk/software/G7FEK%20antenna.pdf with the loading coil at page 11.

CQWW CW Conditions

Conditions good at the start of the contest (for a change!):

DARC Worked All Europe RTTY 2021



As at 14 November 2021 2200 GMT – SFI:78 SN:24 A:4 K:0

No geomagnetic storm reported.

Conditions on the higher bands were not great with 10m particularly poor. I did take a listen on 10m at regular intervals but only hear one station all contest (EA), even 20m was a bit of a slog. 80m productive although the majority were <1000 Km QSO into DL (perhaps unsurprising given that this was a DARC event). Other commitments precluded a full-duration entry this weekend so I’m happy with the 700 or so QSO.

Using QTC for the first time
This was my first time using QTC for receive and transmit and I found them fairly straightforward in Mixw (my RTTY contest software of choice) once I had a set of macros setup correctly although I could do with a bit more practice. I followed the guides here:

and http://www.gu0sup.com/wae.html

80m/40m – G7FEK did an OK job on 80m although I am not convinced by it on 40m, I think I need a better solution for 40m. With a bit of thought I may be able to rig up an inverted V for 40m on the same 10m fibreglass mast (DX Commander 10m telescopic) that is holding the fan dipole for 15m and 10m aloft.

For 20m I was using the DX Commander 1/4 wave vertical, this performs okay but I am considering adding a third element to the trapped dipole to give 20/15/10.

No half wave end-fed in this contest – I need to rework the balun.

Just the trusty Icom 7300 at about 90W.