Bridging the gap between contests

After two exhausting contest weekends, I decided not to do the ARRL SSB contest last week. My reasons for this were a) obviously: two exhausting contest weekends before and b) the SFI was high but the A-index was very high so I thought the bands would suck and propagation would be so-so on the higher bands. Like the week before in UBA CW. Once again the bands proved me wrong, especially 10m. Now the weekend wasn’t completely wasted. I went shopping for parts on Saturday ans spent a sunny Sunday outside homebrewing various projects (yes, Project X is one of it) . I hope to harvest the fruit of that later.

One of the things I need to do is regain access to the WARC bands. So last week I reassembled half of the WARC dipole (the not-yet-exploded part) and made it into a WARC vertical. The plan is to put in where the old 40m vertical was, now that that one has been put on early retirement. But as usual the parts you need are not in your junk box. I have all sort of clamps but the right diameter was not in it. I might as well make a quick 12/17m dipole and hang it on the tower. I think that’ll work better than the GP anyway.

I also spent some time every day on the acceptance of the logs for the UBA DX CW contest. My ‘log acceptance robot’ does a good job. It only takes a few minutes to accept/decline a few dozen logs and have the robot send a mail to the submitter. A nice piece of software. Even if I say so myself. Since nobody else can say  🙂   Maybe this deserves a posting all by itself. Anyway we’re up to 1062 logs for CW only which is already 100 logs more than last year. CW bashers can bash all they want but the ‘not longer used’ tune cannot be sung since most CW contests seem to receive more logs each year. Bottom line is that after the many problems I had last year to get the logs out of the emails, the robot now makes my life easy which is what robots are supposed to do. It only crashes in a specific case that I cannot solve: when a specific (Russian) contest logger is used in combination with a specific (Russian) email-client. I think that was the case with about 5-6-7 mails/logs, out of 1062.

WPX CW results are out. Nothing to brag about. I remember why. Speaking of WPX: I just finished following my first PVRC Webinar. It was about the WPX contest and featured speaker was Randy K5ZD. I had planned to follow a few of these live presentations in the past but they’re not always held on a EU-friendly hour of the day. K5ZD mentioned the crappy propagation, so I grinned when I just reread my posting about WPX CW 2010…

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