Part I: The first night
I set the alarm to wake me 15 minutes before the contest. I managed to hit ‘snooze’ only 1 time. I went downstairs for a snack and a drink to make it through the night. I was weird to walk through the living room into the citchen in the middle of the night without or youngest cat following me around. We’ve lost him in a stupid accident a few weeks ago. He was always around when I walked through the house at night during contests. So no cat jumping off the couch to greet me this time. No cat trying to pillage the fridge when I open it this time. RIP Rosti – we miss you very, very hard! 🙁
The first hour was good, with almost 100 QSO. The second hour was less but still good. Then it slowed down. Not much USA, and those worked were weak. By 6AM local, which is 4 hours into the contest, I had about 330 QSO but I was tired. I began acting goofy and I was afraid to log wrong serials. I went to bed and slept. Two and a half hours later, I woke up and much to my surprise I could work EU with good rates. However by 10AM local time, it was time to move on. I wonder when to start again?
Part II: afternoon / evening
Around 14.00 utc I picked up where I left it this morning. At a modest pace of 50-60 QSO per hour, I worked a bunch of EU prefix mults. I took a break again around 14.00 utc for evening dinner and a status update with the family. I also took down the inverted V since the wind got stronger with more gusts predicted and I didn’t really use it anyway. Each A/B test didn’t show a significant difference between the low inverted V dipole and the high rotary dipole. Most of the times, there is no difference. And yes the switching does work. It seems power splitting really is for the big boys with big antennas on very high towers.
I runned the band again between 17.45 utc and 21.00. Average rate sustained over an hour was 65. I struggled to decipher one JA. Only one called me – or at least I heard only one. But it was nice to be called by 2 BY’s and 2 VK’s. None of them were loud. Nothing is loud this weekend on 40m except Eastern EU. Now what? Sleep or run the bands? It has become clear that my SB40 effort is a very casual just for fun effort and with 750 QSO, the 1k limit I imposed yesterday is within reach…
Part III: Through the night
I watched some TV and was on the band again by 23.00 utc. Rates were absolutely NOT great. I was tired and went to bed with 865 QSO in the log by 01.00 utc. I wanted to be on by my sunrise so at 04.00 I was in the shack again. Not a single West Coast station worked I think. And only 3 ZL’s and 3 VK’s. At 07.41 I quit with 1033 QSO. Target reached. Time for a short power nap, a shower and then I had to leave the house for an event that I could not afford to miss. By this time I had about 15 dupes, which seemed a lot to me but only half of the total dupes I’d be working.
Part IV: To the finish
Back at 17.30 utc which is way too early for 40m in summer. It seems that the higher bands were good since everyone stayed late on the higher bands. Didn’t bother to listen though. Since the rate was approaching zero with only a dozen QSO per hour, I took another power nap on the couch and went back into the shack around 20.00. The highlight of the contest happened during these four hours. No rate, pathetic progress, quite some new prefixes but I was called by some nice DX like BY (4), HS (2), DU, YV, LU etc. Lowlight: a total of 33 dupes out of 1255 QSO.
It strikes me that almost all dupes called me the first time in a specific serial number range. Maybe there was someone else on my QRG at that time? I never had this much dupes before. Strange. There is one frenchman who is in the log three times, and yet another frenchman who gave me a lower number (#26) than the first QSO (#30). Maybe he counts backwards? Must admit he had a sloppy fist and my brain cannot handle sloppy sent CW well.
I also wiped some callsigns because the other station QSY’d after sending the number and not answering my request for a repeat. If I do not feel I have the number correct, I don’t log. There might and will be errors in the log, but at least I want to try to get it right and log the contact with the feeling of having it right. The other side will get a NIL but they should have waited and repeated their exchange. Had to abort a QSO a couple of times because I simply could not copy the call or the number. Sorry for that, but the band was noisy and the signals were weak. About signals: more key clicking QRM on the bands than normal?
A very laid back effort, because I needed to leave the house on Sunday. This would have ruined a SOAB effort anyway. N1MMLogger says 1222 valid QSO, 626 prefixes, and 2.27 megapoints, 20 hours of operating.