UBA DX CW 2008

Another one in the books, my 8th already. I’ve come a long way since getting my HF license late 2000. Flash back… My "contesting elmer" ON5YR pushed me to participate in 2001. I knew I wasn’t ready for that since I didn’t make much CW contacts in those 3 months on the air. But I didn’t want to disappoint him. Read: I wanted him to stop whining and I could only shut him up by entering the contest.   ;o)

That day I started CQing on 20m. You might wonder why I started running being wet behind the ears in CW and contesting. ON5YR convinced me to run because that way I called the shots. That is: set the the QRS speed. And if a QRQ hotshot called me I only needed to send ‘PSE QRS’. So much for the theory. I remember being called by HA and UA9 at what seemed like WARP 6 speeds. That is my cruise control CW speed today but it was way too fast back then. Asking to QRS only made them QSY. I quit after half an hour with 8 QSO in the log. I felt stupid and I didn’t want to give up CW so the disaster that day pushed me to become a good CW op. I’m not saying I’m "good" now but I can hold my own.

Fast forward to this weekend. Again stakes were high because I won 12h HP last year and I’d like to get the plaque this year too. I left the setup part for Saturday. I’ve had it now with cranking up towers, putting up low band verticals, lay out coax’es for 2nd antennas etc. I’m condemned to that but wouldn’t it be nice to enter the shack right before the contest, flip the switch and start running? I am very happy to have a QTH where I can build this temporary setup. But sometimes it’s so exhausting. Each time I wonder what will go wrong. Broken cables, crippled elements, wires entangled in trees… Last summer my 80m vertical fell over right in the meadow next to the garden – 15 minutes before the start of EUHFC! I pushed a section too far and… timber!

I had the figure of 950 QSO in my mind but I looked it up. That was in 2006 when I did 24h HP (and won). Last year I did 12h HP and made 870 QSO. The difference between 950 QSO in 24h and 870 QSO in 12h is pretty obvious so why do 24h when there are too many slow hours and you end up in bed or on the couch anyway? This year I made 827 QSO with about 10 mults less and claimed score 258k.

Biggest disappointment is 15m AGAIN. Last year 98 QSO and 19 mults, this year only 52 QSO and 11 multipliers. I tried moving a couple of strong guys from 20m to 15m but it almost never worked. No UR on 15m either. Go figure! I moved VE2FK and I was glad I had the multiplier. K3ZO and N3AM called in too on 15m Saturday afternoon with the beam to UA. I turned the yagi to NA but I didn’t work a single guy. Weird propagation. YD1JZ was pretty loud on 15m though. Moved two locals to 10m for the ON DXCC multiplier. That’s it. I didn’t even try a PA, DL or F to move to 10m. Come on Sun, you’ve been hibernating long enough now! I was glad to work 1 ZL on 20, a VK on 40 and a PY on 80m. I should have asked the PY to go to 40m but I figured I was going to work one anyway. Turned out I didn’t. Pretty good participation on 80m from USA too. JA only a handful on 20m.

I REALLY should stop promising beers to guys that work me. Local friend ON4BHQ is getting his feet wet in CW after much pushing and whining from my side (that rounds the circle, see first paragraph). I promised him a beer when we worked on 5 bands. Guess what? Cheers OM!

And saving the worst for last. Usage of the DX spotting network in ON is controversial but I’ve had it with some guys spotting themselves over and over again. Here is an example. FYI: ON4ZD = OS0S. I have absolutely nothing against this fellow ham but I wonder why he does this over and over again? Doesn’t it make you look like a fool?

ON4ZD     14222.0 OS0S        UBA contest                   1029 27 Jan 2008

ON4ZD      7047.0 OS0S        WPX RTTY                      1036 10 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7037.5 OS0S        WPX RTTY                      2001 10 Feb 2008

ON4ZD     21017.0 OS0S        uba test                      1345 23 Feb 2008

ON4ZD     21017.0 OS0S        test UBA                      1520 23 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7013.5 OS0S        uba test                      2132 23 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7013.5 OS0S        uba test                      2132 23 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7013.5 OS0S        uba test                      2305 23 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7013.5 OS0S        uba test                      2305 23 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      3532.5 OS0S        uba test                      0027 24 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      3537.5 OS0S        uba test                      0635 24 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7023.5 OS0S        uba test                      0653 24 Feb 2008

ON4ZD     21017.0 OS0S        uba test                      0914 24 Feb 2008

ON4ZD      7019.7 OS0S        uba test                      1110 24 Feb 2008

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