When I logged K6IT on 17m CW in the late afternoon of December 31, I closed the books for the year 2011. A year in which I focused on contesting. A year in which I replaced the WARC triband dipole with a 40m rotary dipole. A year in which the sun developed freckles after the summer. That gave us 10m back. Daily DX on 28MHz, how long have we been waiting for that? In 2011 I crushed a number of personal records in big contests. But I knew I did not spend a lot more time in the shack than the previous years. So I was glad to run my log 2000-2011 through my statistics-mill. Surprise!
As you can see 2011 easily tops 2007, the previous record I didn’t expect to break at all. But look at the numbers on 12m and 10m and especially the evolution over the years. Clearly in correlation with sunspots and SFI. The following image clearly shows I am still a CW lover. The boost in SSB numbers is due to serious efforts in WPX SSB and WW SSB.
Clearly not into digital. I made 154 QSO in CQ WW RTTY SB10 – the start of the 10m resurrection, and worked ST0R on 3 bands RTTY. Still no interest in PSK or other PC modes which all seem utterly boring. It ain’t CW folks. I don’t know where that 13 for AM comes from. Now, the question is: with much more QSO in the log, did I spend much more time in the shack?
The answer is: yes but not much. I know there were days, especially in autumn, that I really wanted to get a taste of the improved conditions. In years before I might have supressed the urge to go to the shack by telling myself that there is nothing to be worked because of the absence of sunspots. That does not work anymore. Over the last weeks I have noticed that the higher bands are open most of the time. Some days better than others, sometimes a solar phenomenon works with us or against us. BTW: one ‘QRV day’ means a unique date on which at least one QSO is made. So this can be anything between a 24h contest period with 1500 QSO or just one or two QSO in a few minutes that day.
The bad thing with seeing these numbers (the curious ON5ZO) and knowing myself (the competitive ON5ZO) is that I will want to try to do better this year (the never satisfied ON5ZO). That said, I already know now that 2012 will have some ‘occurences’ that
will severely may slightly limit my operating time, and maybe even temper my eagerness to be on the air.
The past year 2011 once again was a busy but fun year. ON4CCP and I managed to synchronize our agendas for another CW fieldday. The addition of the 40m rotary dipole in February (tnx agn ON4BHQ for the helping hand) proved to be a good thing, and the homebrew WARC inverted V compensated the loss of the trapped rotary dipole. My UBA software version 2 took a lot of lunch time and burning midnight oil to get it done but I’m glad I rewrote it. Checking the logs is also time consuming but much less with version 2. Almost ready for 2012. The ramp up of Cycle 24 after summer was what we’ve all been waiting for. More fun, more activity and the resusciation of 10/12m. And for myself I’ll remember my personal bests in both CQ WW contests. The only thing I regret not having done is the processing of almost 3 years of ‘buro QSL’. That is n° 1 on my to do list of HAM side projects (making QSO has absolute priority): collect my boxes full of incoming from the club’s manager and answer all the QSL cards.
To those reading and following this: all the best in the new year. Good health, love and friendship and a steady income is what I wish for all of us with excellent HF conditions to boot. Let’s enjoy the Greatest Hobby on the World in 2012. 73!