There’s always 30m…

Last weekend I fooled around in 3 different contests.

  • RAC Winter contest. Ended with 14 (fourteen, no typo) contacts. I wasn’t quite active… In stead I moved to 160m to do…
  • Stew Perry Top Band Distance Challenge: I expected more of this. Rather: I expected to work more USA. Only a handful and not too loud. 130 QSO or so.
  • RAEM contest. I had a blast in 2007 where I did only one hour but made well over 100 contacts. I started early on 80m but needed to QSY because no one answered my CQ. Once on 40m it was better but no where near high rates. Once the sun was up and I moved to 20 (after a quick check for Sunrise Gray Line on 160m in Stew Perry) things speeded up. 15m was… bummer!

Propagation seems absolutely absent. I limit myself to nighttime activities on the low bands. But as usual the most fun is brought to me on 30m. In the morning, right after my sunrise (0800utc), there is a nice opening to Japan and Far East that lasts about half an hour and then slowly fades away. And when the sun sets here (1500-1600utc) , there is a shorter and weaker opening to W6/7 (right after their sunrise). But you pick up a big deal of eastern US too while you’re at it. For some reason 30m is my best DX band (although it’s only a trapped dipole) and I’m glad I know about these two openings. I discovered this last year and it works every day. Some days the signals are stronger and the opening lasts longer, but both JA and W6/7 are workable every day. I must say that this is with the antenna at least 16m high. If the tower is down and the antenna is only 9m high, things don’t work that great.

After the move to Vista on the new PC, my log bookkeeping was a bit neglected. I had about 10 contest logs that needed to be imported in the DX log. I needed to process the ADIF and discovered a nasty bug in my ADIF processing tool that got introduced when I rewrote the routines for multi-threading. It took me a good hour to track it down and isolate the problem. Fixing the code took about 2 minutes. I should work some more on this project although I have no idea where it’s heading. But right now it’s holiday so I only work DX and walk the dog   :o)

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