Conditions, conditions, conditions!
Being located on the east coast, my strategy for WPX is fairly simple; work lots of EU, then work some more EU, and make sure you work ’em on the low bands to make the best of the higher points value.
Didn’t work out this year. Just before the contest the bands tanked. Last year I’d done well by starting on 20 m for an hour, then moving to 40. Tried the same again in 2013, but the first hour was very disappointing. With a slow start, everything seemed uphill after that.
40 was ok-ish for a while. 80 m did nicely too; the delta loop I have up is a good antenna for that band, and in another contest where per-band multipliers are important, I’d spend more time there. In WPX it’s not important to work mults on each band and so and when the rate started dropping off on 80 it was back to 40. With nothing much happening, sleep seemed a good option, hoping that by the following morning the bands might be coming back. Not so. Running up and down the bands to try and find openings kept a trickle of contacts coming, but not enough. Conditions finally picked up in the last couple of hours on Sunday, but too little, too late to pull out a really decent score.
Congrats to Paul, N4PN, who looks to have topped out the Tribander/Wires category in the US this year. Hope to give you a closer run for your money in 2014!