ARRL 10 meter contest 2011

Not much has happened after CQ WW. I wanted to rebuild the 10m yagi for this weekend but the project hasn’t moved. The cold or flu I was able to suppress before CQ WW hit back hard after the contest. Today is the first day in almost a week that I have been moving without pain. Last week some kind of flu got me and I went to work despite the fever. But on Friday I cracked and the virus could have its way with me. A lot of rest and sleep and some reading was all I did. And browsing 3830.

Now the time had come for the ARRL 10m contest. A forgotten contest, but propagation on 10m in CQ WW SSB reminded us! So I wanted to play in this one too. I also wanted to use a second antenna fixed to EU: the 3 element monobander that I dragged from under a thick layer of dust (literally). With CQ WW and being ill, the project hadn’t advanced so on Friday I took the opportunity to finish it. You know how it goes. I used a different design (wideband in stead of narrowband CW only) which in turn changed the feedpoint impedance. So I needed to make another hairpin. All things went quite well, I got the yagi assembled just when it became dark. Which means: “too late”. I still wanted to test it and put up the base for my push up mast, but without the counter weight. Since the yagi was only on a tube two meters high, it didn’t fall. The analyser showed resonance around 27 MHz. Ouch, wrong band! Pruning the hairpin shifted the SWR dip into the right direction. I wanted to make sure I was seeing things without coupling to the ground, so I added another tube. Bad idea without the counter weight. The feedline pulled the boom away from the center of gravity and dragged the yagi to the ground. Result: a bent reflector and a frustrated ON5ZO. I should have known that rushing things is a bad way of working, especially doing this work outside in the dark. I straightened the bent element, took away the feedline and called it a day. The contest will be done with the high tribander only… During the contest I wondered if a lower antenna would have helped for EU.

I started around 8 AM utc on Saturday, which seemed late. Yet the band was not really open and I had a slow start. It quickly became clear that propagation this weekend is not to be compared to the fantastic conditions in CQ WW SSB. Right after our local noon,USAcame through and the rate went up. I wanted to keep a balance between both modes. I tried to keep the number of contacts in SSB and CW equal, as well as the multipliers. I managed to do this, with some nice rates – but nothing shocking. Around 1600 utc signals started to fade and the band soon closed. No real W6/W7 openings. Maybe better luck on Sunday?

Not really. Same scenario. Slow morning, hope for JA that didn’t come. Only one or two for the multiplier. Chase mults. Wait forUSAto come through in the afternoon. Have a good hour or two withUSA. Feel the band closing. Sweep the band for the last contacts. Finished around 1730 utc.

Objectively spoken this was a great contest compared to what we’ve seen after 2002. But if you compare to the conditions in both CQ WW earlier this year… Oh well, good times were had. DX was worked. What else would we do on a weekend?

One reply on “ARRL 10 meter contest 2011”

Hallo Franki, tja je kunt in December ook niet alles verwachten. Het is nu een stuk later licht en eerder donker. Persoonlijk doe ik mee sinds 2006 in deze contest, dus hoezo vergeten. Het is juist een kunst om in deze tijd van het jaar een contest te doen op 10m en dan ook nog mooie DX te werken. Jammer van de 3 elements, ik snap dat gedoe met die hairpin niet echt. Mijn eerste 3 element beam had een hairpin, vond het een onding en verving het door een gamma match. Werd het iets beter van, maar bleef een gedoe vooral bij nat weer. Voor EU is het beter een 2 elem. quad te gebruiken op een meter of 4-5. En dan via backscatter werken, je staat dan versteld van de signalen. Zelf ooit geprobeerd en stond er versteld van. Dit jaar had ik zelf ook geen mogelijkheid om een beam op te zetten omdat ik binnen zit met longonsteking. Had het ding wel klaar liggen, en hij ligt er nog steeds. Ondanks dat mooie DX gemaakt met mijn vertical, zelfs backscatter was geen probleem (D, F, GM, PA). 73, Bas

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