Hooray for Russian hams!

I’ve said it before (read it here) and I’ll say it again: contesting without UA from here would be very boring especially with the current propagation. Russia hosts the next WRTC in 2010 and put up a dry run contest yesterday to test the operation’s sites (near Moscow) and log checking system. When I read the announcement on I decided to give it a go. Only four bands (10 > 40) and only lasting 8 hours. Like usual ‘CW only’ was my preferred category. I took an extended lunch break and put in about 6 hours ending up with almost 550 QSO. I had a couple of fast hours on 20m (120-130 rates), one 120 hr on 15m and the average rate got very low by trying 10m. I didn’t try 40m since it was broad daylight and the wind was 5 Bft so going outside to put up an antenna wasn’t quite appealing. Everyone could work everyone and there was plenty of activity. Especially when you consider this was a special contest outside of the regular schedule and there hasn’t been made a lot of promotion.

You could tell that by the reports (ITU zone). Some sent their CQ zone, others sent a serial. A German op sent ‘5NN 061’ and I asked for his ITU zone. OK no problem: ‘5NN 14’. Nonono, ‘ITU ITU ZONE – DL IS 28 28 BK’. ‘ITU ZONE?’. So what do you do in this case? Change his serial to his ITU zone? Apparently the guy made over 60 QSOs giving a serial number. The bozos on the CQ Contest reflector always state that ‘you log what is sent’. So let’s say I log ‘061’ (which I did). Scenario 1: he doesn’t submit his log. Log checkers say: DL = ITU 28 so my QSO is wrong. Or then the guy realizes he needs to change his serial numbers to a fixed zone report. I’m screwed again!

It was a lot of fun and I’m sure the UA guys with their R33-prefixes will have knocked themselves out. At least the top scorers (see results). They averaged 150 QSO / hour over the 8 hour stretch. I hope we’ll get some feedback soon about the site construction (tower / antennas) and the observations. I had a great time and it was nice to play with the K3 in a contest. That rig really is great!

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