I spent the CQ WPX SSB weekend of March 28-29 at the QTH of well known contester, Jim WX3B, located in Taneytown Maryland. Jim’s credentials as a contester are well established, as he is the former president of contest club PVRC and co-20m op at superstation W3LPL. When not busy with his many professional, family, and club commitments, Jim has taken to building an excellent multi-multi station of his own.
As can be seen in the link attached, Jim has monoband antennas covering 10-40 meters with wire antennas for 80 and 160. For receiving on 80 and 160, Jim has beverages that are switchable between the 2 operating positions.
The station’s equipment is comprised of FT1000’s on 10-80m with a TS940SX on 160m. There is also a multiplier operating position set up for 20m which locks out the main 20m position when keyed. Each operating position also utilizes either an AL-1200 or L4B amplifier.
The operators for this contest ranged from experienced to just starting out which is just the way WX3B likes it. Jim is a big fan of “elmering” and spent the majority of the contest off the radio making sure that everything was running smoothly and anyone who needed help had it.
The contest was a blast but was mainly a 20/40 meter affair. Band openings to EU were later than anticipated but with some exceptional signals on 20m and some still tough operating conditions on 40m as IARU Region 2 broadcast stati0ns still had not vacated the 7.125-7.200mhz band segment. Storms approaching from the south made 80/160m operating tedious with lots of QRN and static crashes of s9 +20db.
On Sunday, around 1900 UTC a major cold front moved through the area with hail, heavy rain, and lightning. A decision was made to disconnect antennas and shut down the operation. It proved to be a moment none to soon as shortly thereafter power was lost due to the storm. As the lightning exited the area, Jim was quick to get a generator online and we were able to get the 20m station back on the air. Later the power returned and a strong effort was mounted in closing out the contest.
As has been mentioned previously half the fun of operating in a multi-multi effort is the contest itself while the other half is the camraderie one enjoys. This contest proved to be no exception.
I had the great pleasure of operating with old friends and meeting some great new friends including:
N8IVN-Dennis, KB3RAE-Aaron(storm chaser extraordinaire), N3YIM-Joe, N3FX-Tony, Ka3ITJ-Eric, NS3T-Bryan, and N3VOP-Mike.
Additionally we were joined by guests including K4ZDH, Riley Hollingsworth who stopped in for a visit Friday night. As we all know Riley is our former FCC enforcement division Czar and a heck of a nice guy who is becoming interested in….CONTESTING! Also joining us was N3RH, Robert (Bob) Ham (how’s that for a great radio name?). Bob is a DXer who wanted to observe contesting in action.
In closing I can’t say enough about the hospitality displayed by our host, Jim-WX3B. From providing an excellent station to work from to cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the assembled group, Jim never missed a beat and everyone had a great time.
The final tally:
Operator(s): WX3B, K3WI, N8IVN, KA3ITJ, K3B3RAE,N3YIM, N3FX, N3ST, N3VOP
Class: M/M HP
Operating Time (hrs): 45
Total: 3626 Prefixes = 1093 Total Score = 8,337,404
Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club