Not much to say really. I’ve got some work to do -most of it is done- and I’m recovering from a sudden but severe flu that hit me late on Sunday. Nasty feeling! Last weekend I played in the 9A CW Contest. I didn’t bother to put up the 80m and 160m antennas. It was too windy and too cold. I didn’t want to mess around in the blistering cold. I made about 560 QSO or so.

Half an hour before the contest started it seemed that 15m was opening up. I worked a dozen US stations there between 13.30 and 14.00 utc. Then at 14.00 when the contest started, either 15m closed in a split second or not many W’s were in the contest on 15m. So I only worked a few there and eventually ended up on 20m – again!

But it now seems the tide has turned because several sources state that Solar Cycle 24 has officially begun. It’ll probably still be a year or more from here before that’ll pay off on 15m and another 2 years before we may begin to blow the dust of those 10m antennas. But I’m glad that we can look forward to brighter days on HF. I came on the HF bands late 2000 right in the peak of cycle 23. With a simple wire antenna I could work USA day and night. Those days were over soon. 2006 was pretty lousy and 2007 was a complete disaster so I assume 2008 will be pretty lousy again and 2009… Oh well – you still work DX just not that much and openings don’t last long.

Speaking of DX: half an hour ago I was CQing on 20m. CW of course, you know I don’t do SSB outside contests. Then W8ERN called in. I worked Angelo as my QSO #93 late 2000 when I just started. Read the above paraghraph: you could still do that in 2000 with a wire. I was ON4CLN back then. Not really a CW / Contest call. And not that it mattered because I wasn’t intoxicated by the CW virus then.

There are some QSO’s you’ll never forget and I remember Angelo closing the 2000 QSO with "…this is Double You Eight Everything Running Normal in Brighton, Michigan". Very catchy and so it happens that I never forgot his name and QTH. It was a nice QSO this afternoon. Sometimes I really get bored with that 5NN stuff so I throw in my name and when I feel it’s an op who can copy more than his own call in CW I’d like to engage in a ragchew QSO. I’m not that good a ragchewer, but at 30WPM I can manage. And I like it. It turns out it’s mostly US ops who can do that. Could it be more of a language barrier than a CW barrier? So Angelo and I had a nice chitchat in CW and he told me some kind words about my signal. We always like to hear that don’t we?

All for now. The sun is going down here and maybe there are some nice goodies to be worked on 40m or 30m?

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