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CQ Highlights – November 2020


This is perhaps the most unusual fall contesting season ever, with many – if not most – of the contest DXpeditions we look forward to canceled for this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But that means a lot of top-flight contesters competing from their home stations, and while that will make the competition tougher for the rest of us, we can also learn just what can be done when you put a world-class contester in front of what's often a fairly average home station. We'll see how things go in this year's CQ World Wide DX Contest – with the SSB weekend on October 24-25 and the CW weekend November 28-29.


One thing we've been seeing all year is record numbers of entries in our contests due to more people being at home, and that trend continued in May's CW weekend of the CQ World Wide WPX Contest. The 2020 results are in our November issue, along with another example (the first one was in May) of what multi-op contesting may look like in the future. In this month's cover story, CQ Contest Hall of Famer K5RC introduces us to the hybrid contesting model that he and his team have developed for the W7RN contest superstation in Nevada.


Also on the contesting theme, Contributing Editor KL7AJ reminds us that the CQWW isn't the only contest worth operating in November … especially when poor propagation may make it difficult to work a lot of exotic DX. This issue also includes rules for the 2021 CQ DX Marathon and the 2021 CQ World Wide 160-Meter Contest. (Remember, while the bottom of the sunspot cycle is not always friendly to DXing on the higher HF bands, it's prime time for 160, especially in winter when weather-induced static is at seasonal lows.)


Speaking of winter-time propagation, K1YOW takes a close look at what may actually be behind the annual "minor peak" in E-layer propagation on 6 meters, and why it might not actually be Sporadic-E as we typically understand it./p>

Finally among our feature articles this month, our CQ Classics series presents a pair of articles from the late 1940s introducing a piece of test equipment that quickly became a standard item in the well-equipped ham shack of the latter 20th century, the grid-dip oscillator, or GDO, for measuring (and adjusting) an antenna system's resonant frequency./p>

November's columns resonate across a wide spectrum as well, from ultrasonic experimentation in "Math's Notes" to VHF/UHF foxhunting beams you can mount in your vehicle in "Homing In." In between, we've got news from the shortwave broadcast world in "Listening Post," a code-oscillator that's great for a group kit-build in K0NEB's Kit-Building column, an introduction to "The Propagation Whisperer" in Digital Communications, and a look at the people part of ham radio in "Learning Curve" and "Ham Notebook." Finally, Contesting Editor N3QE analyzes spectrum usage and code speeds during the CQWW DX CW Contest, and Propagation Editor NW7US predicts fair conditions during the CW weekend at the end of this month./p>

That's a brief look at some highlights of what's coming up in the November issue of CQ magazine. For information on subscribing click here.

Articles from the November, 2020 issue of CQ posted on our website include:

Zero Bias – "Thanksgiving Turkey Ham; and Fee, Fi, Fo … Fee"

November 2020 Contest Calendar

November 2020 Hamfests and Special Events


On the Cover: A few of the antennas at the Comstock Memorial Station, W7RN, in Virginia City, Nevada. Inset: KH2TJ anchors a recent hybrid multi-op contest effort at W7RN.


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