ARRL International DX Contest CW - 2012

Another DX contest in the books!  I operated just over 24 hours in the ARRL DX Contest - conditions weren't bad, but they did worsen from day 1 to day 2.  They also weren't as good on 10m as the CQWW.  I was able to add 4 new countries to my QRP DX total, which was disappointing:  I'd hoped for at least 10.  Due to the different band distribution of this contest compared to CQWW, I was able to add 79 new band countries.  5BDXCC QRP definitely looks doable, but 80m will be the difficult band!  I did work 3 EU countries on 80 this weekend.  I'm pretty sure I'll need to improve my 80m antenna before 80 gets done.  I was happy to add a CQ zone to the total as well, bringing the total to 34.

No really memorable DX this time around, but I felt it was a decent effort considering my station.  I ran 5 watts out of a borrowed Elecraft K3 (thanks ND4V!) to an 80m doublet at 45' and the Par 10/20/40 sloper.  The K3 really is an excellent radio.  I'm trying to decide if I want to get one for myself or not, which is why Mike loaned me the rig.  Using it under actual contest conditions really helped me see how good the rig is.  I'm still not sure if I'll get a K3 or a KX3, but after this weekend, I'm leaning toward the K3.  I may decide to sell the FT817 to help finance the new rig, but maybe not.  If I do, I'll still have an ATS3B to use for portable stuff...once I get it built!

Here are the totals:

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  80:   23    20
  40:   75    41
  20:  125    59
  15:  108    48
  10:   43    31
Total:  374   199  Total Score = 223,278