This really is one of my favourite contests. For a couple of reasons. But it’s only fun if there is propagation to carry the signals far enough to work DX. Well, actually this holds true for most contests. I remember my magic year 2007 where I made over 2000 QSO in 24 hours. That was the first time I passed the 2k mark in just 24 hours. It has also been the last time. This year I was off for a slow start. I knew things weren’t going to rock but I didn’t think it would be this bad. In stead of working 120 QSO on 10m the first hour like in 2007, I barely made 100 QSO in the first TWO hours, and NOT on 10m but on 15m with some 20m. I call CQ and nothing happens. Waddayagonnado? Call CQ once more. Over and over again.
Now there is something I don’t understand. And there is a pattern. Last year I asked myself after this very same contest: How do they do that? This year, the same thing. CR6K: 2800 QSO. LZ8E: 2900 QSO, HG7T: 2800 QSO, UW1M: 2300 QSO. There are more big numbers, I just took the highest claimed numbers off 3830.
I missed about 3 to 4 hours of operating time because I just couldn’t be bothered to fight the need to sleep. I wasn’t rocking anyway and things were too slow so I was not really in a fighting mood. Maybe 160m was most active when I slept between 01.00 and 03.00 UTC? But other than that: it was a slow contest from here. With good rates and a feeling to put down a good score, I would have done the full 24 hours. I see three possible factors for the low score compared to the Top Scorers:
- ON is a bad location.
- ON5ZO’s antennas are not big/high enough. Especially since one tribander does not allow for successful SO2R.
- ON5ZO is not a good tactical operator because he’s always on the wrong band and needs to be on band Y i.s.o. trying to run band X.
Something else? I tried changing bands often though. I tried 10m for USA but nothing heard. Maybe I should have done more 20m and not try 15m? Did I go to 40m too early while I could have run 20m? I tried to balance out the QSO numbers between 40/20/15, but it seems the guys reporting big numbers have a strong imbalance towards 20m.
All in all it was good to do an all band contest again after some SB efforts. Next is EUHFC where DX is not an issue 🙂