This past weekend was the All Asia contest. I'm not familiar with the details of the contest, other than the exchange is a signal report and your age. I'm sure some intrepid statistician had a hey day analyzing the age of contest participants. I was mildly surprised to hear several contestants who were, at least claimed to be, in their 30's and 40's. I guess I expected more in their 50's and 60's. Anyway activity was relatively high on the bands and conditions were good and there was a lot of nice DX on the air.
As I have written before there are several strategies for the QRP DX'er to employ, not the least of which is to call needed DX entities during a contest. The reason being that demand for any given station is diluted by the fact that there are so many stations on the air. Accordingly the pileups are smaller, generally speaking. As I look at my QRP needed list, many Asian countries are on the list simply because there is reduced activity from these entitites and the paths are tough. Normally, when openings occur, the pile-ups are huge and the operators are on for a limited time. I've learned to ignore spots for DX like HZ, JT, VU, etc.., at least from South Texas, as jumping into those pile-ups, with QRP power levels, on a normal day is not fruitful. Contests however are different.
Saturday afternoon I fired up my QRP log and logged into the cluster to look for needed countries. I switched my Log Periodic to be in-line with my KX3 and started looked for DX. The first to pop up was 7Z1HL. I had decent copy on him on 15 meteres with a little QSB. The pile-up was relatively small, but for 20 minutes or so, no joy. I had him in the open on several occasions and he wasn't hearing me well enough to answer. Then all of a sudden his signal went up a couple of S-units as the band improved very quickly. The second call after his signal built-up and I was in the log. Wow, I said to myself, 7Z on QRP.
I chased a couple of others after that, 9V and HS, but I couldn't get through the pile-up on 9V and I don't think the HS0 could hear me.
On Sunday morning, I fired up the KX3 again. There was a spot for JT5DX on 15m, honestly before I tuned to his frequency, I wasn't hopeful. When I tuned him in, wow, a solid 59. Maybe the best signal I 've ever heard from JT. First call, in the log. Wow!!
Again, I chased a few others, but suffice to say, I was happy with the weekend. Two relatively tough DXCC entities now safely in the QRP log. QRP IS!!