Big signals from ON5ZO. So they say. The East Coasters. At least on ten and eighty meters.

Last week I managed to get the station fully ready for SOAB / SO2R even with the RX loop hooked up. Apotheosis was cranking up the tower on Friday and make a few rapid contacts here and there to see if everything works. It did. Some W3 sent a note about me being loud on 28 MHz in the afternoon. In the evening the same thing on 3.5 MHz from a W1. Good! I was ready for the dress rehearsal called LZDX before The Big One CQ WW CW.

The elevated radials are in place. One is hung in a very temporary location. It looks dreadful and ruins the view. It hits you right in the eye and it’s within reach of people, even my kids. Strange that the XYL hasn’t enquired yet about whether this is a joke. I’m afraid that one will have to go after winter. The radial, not the XYL! It’s in a ‘no go zone’ for now because I just planted a row of small tress there so it’s very muddy. BTW I dug some holes half a meter deep (20”) to put the trees in, and when I returned from emptying the wheelbarrow there was about two centimetres (0.8”) of water in it. Then I used my ground drill to make a smaller deeper hole to put a support pole in and when I retracted the drill, the hole was full of water right away. That’s how wet it is. In contrast to this summer when the bottom was so hard and dry I couldn’t even get my shovel through it. It just bounced!

In our series ‘you might be a contester if…’. If you miss some ATNO (plural!) and just don’t care. The plan was to give K9W a shout now that the tower was up. Turns out they were QRT already. Oh well. T33 and XR0 new ones too but I just can’t stand the mess. I said it before and I’ll say it again: code of conduct my ass! The BIG PICTURE Of Expedition Operating And The Direct Relationship To Anti-Social Pileup Behavior is looking underexposed. Pun intended! More and more I find myself moving away from these disgusting LIDfests. This is a case of loving the game but hating the players. To hell with DXCC. I just move up or down and call CQ and be glad to work a bunch of K / JA / VK… My time is too precious for frustration in what should be fun. BTW: my guess is that these ‘bully lids’ as K6VVA calls ‘m just don’t read code of conduct manifests. Come to think of it, it’s one of the issues he points out in his presentation.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming. CQ Contest! LZDX once again proved big fun. You know I love these medium 24 hour everyone-works-everyone contests. Rates averaged +100 during the first hours but of course that changed after sunset. Too bad there wasn’t more competition on the Russian online score board. It was fun catching up with UC7A and being caught again. That ended around midnight when he seemed to have gone to bed and updates stopped coming in.

Technically SO2R worked and I have mastered the basic stuff by now. The short fixed report lends itself to this. Not that I’m actually a pro and sometimes it even blows up in my face when one of the stations on either radio does something that breaks the routine. Or me hitting the wrong button. But it’s fun and it keeps you busy. SO2R can boost the rate from slow to acceptable. I even had the guts to use duelling CQ. A new challenge. The second amp really helps. Those 400-500 Watts make a huge difference. And it always amazes me how well the elevated trapped vertical for 10/15/20 works. Even for DX.

I went to bed around 23.30 utc and was back on by 0800. The low bands were slow and I didn’t want to miss sleep. The counter showed 1000 contacts. Sunday morning was pretty slow. I ended the contest with 1400 QSO.

I don’t want to jinx CQ WW CW but so far, so good…

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