Very hectic times here. Since two weeks there’s another mouth to feed. Yes ON5ZO is homebrewing himself a crew of M/M ops! Shack time has been zero. I just let Windows update itself and let the amp run dry for a few hours. There is plenty in the blog-buffer to write about but I just don’t have the time.

The scarce free time was spent on collecting and accepting the logs for the UBA SSB contest. Along came the ususal problems of people sending empty mails, ADIF i.s.o. Cabrillo, zipped files, unreadable files and sometimes things close to Cabrillo but not quite. The good thing is that the software now catches these mails and rejects the log (if any) and let’s me send a warning. Before the ‘mail-humanoid’ (it’s not a robot since I control it so there is human intervention) all this crap was accepted and then when the log checking began, it turned out all these ‘logs’ were not readable. So in three years time the UBA DX Contest made a giant leap forward on all fronts. Not meaning to honk my own horn here, but it’s a fact. It’s good to team up with Marc ON7SS, a dedicated workhorse. He handles most of the issues with the participants (mostly Belgians) and keeps a close eye on what my software is doing. And keeps calm when I goof up  🙂

About the UBA SSB contest: it seems OS8A beat me (again) in the 12h high power category. He was giving out big numbers and I hoped that he would be in the 24h category. Not so. No plaque this year. I admit to be human and sometimes weak: for a moment I thought to send in the log as 24h HP and win the plaque there. But it didn’t feel right. I would not really ‘steal’ the 24h HP plaque from anyone since I was confident that no one would make enough QSO for a plaque there. Which after the deadline turns out to be true. But that would not be a problem for me: if you can’t make more points in double the time, you don’t really deserve to win.

My issue is that I promote fair play and ham spirit and changing categories to win a plaque is neither of those. Furthermore my competitors and friends know I did 12h HP, so they would also know that I switched categories after the contest just to win a plaque. I would be looking at a plaque I didn’t really win and risk losing the respect of my contesting friends. BTW I assume I have some respect 🙂  That respect and a clean reputation are worth more than a plaque. Which is easy to say if you already have a bunch of plaques, I admit. So I sent in the log as 12h HP which is what I actually did.

This weekend ARRL DX CW. I received a certificate last week saying #10 World in SOAB (A) HP. I plan to be there again, I just don’t know what to expect because I haven’t done much operating lately and I wonder what’s up with the sun and the propagation?

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