Today yet another certificate in the mail: "First Place Multioperator Belgium" for the 2007 edition of the ARRL 10m contest. I didn’t even remember entering that one. I checked my log: twenty five contacts (25). In other words: showing up and submitting a log suffice to receive wallpaper when you’re in ON. The ‘multi op’ thing just means I was ‘assisted’. The ARRL counts DX cluster as a second operator. I learned that the hard way (link).
I like the 10m contest a lot. But now is not the time for 10m. Last week I was talking to Franky ON7RU. He feels that very slowly propagation is creeping out of the valley. Skeptical me replied that I did not have that impression. The next day I worked VU7SJ on 10m CW. I was amazed. Not just a weak signal popping out of the noise for a few minutes, but S7-S8 for quite a long time. Strike the iron while it’s hot so I CQ’ed and worked some loud EU’s and got called by Z29KM. Turning the beam to him made him S7 too. On 10m… And also 15m seemed to be better than it has been over the last year. Maybe it’s just my imagination but could it really be that we’re getting out of the minimum?
Right now my best DX band is still 30m. In a few weeks probably the W6/7-path on my sunset will be there again. It was there last winter so I hope it’ll be there again. I worked a lot of JA last week just after my sunrise which is about their sunset. The problem with copying them was not the weakness but the echo. On both mornings the signals were quite loud but hard to copy. Is there a Q-code for echo? I still don’t know, and I’ve been wondering for almost a year now (link). Anyone?