This one was almost a week ago! I didn’t feel like writing something because… because of many reasons but mainly because it’s hard not to repeat oneself in this niche market of ham radio blogging. Here we go, in short.
Weather was good. For a change! The tower was still 2/3rd up after the ARRL DX CW a week before. I cranked it completely up on Saturday morning and unhooked the 160 wire so I could hoist up the remaining 80m wire in an optimum fashion.
The Belgian participants can pick between 6/12/24 hour categories. I used to do 12 but since a few years I’ve been doing 24. Because I suck at planning breaks. You can catch some sleep nevertheless without missing too much. I stuck to this plan this year too. I might have planned the sleep at the wrong time. What’s new? But I was tired and things went too slow to keep on trying.
Belgians seemed to be absent. Or at least I didn’t see too many spotted and didn’t hear many. Small country, few hams, not a real contesting mentality and passionate CW contest operators are scarce around here. My only concern was local fellow club member OR5T whom you probably worked in the past as ON4ALY. He was omnipresent on the air as I S&P’d, he called me when I was running and I saw plenty spots for him. And he always gave big numbers. At a given point he was handing out bigger numbers than me. That was after a break that I had planned to be short but that turned out longer since I fell asleep. Told‘ya I was tired. I needed to catch up since I thought he would be in my category. Hard to catch up in the middle of the night in this contest. The average rate was pretty low still I managed to catch up and decided to catch some more sleep. I caught up once, I’ll do it again.
Then the sun rose. SR on 40/80 was a bust. No VK/ZL. On 80 I’m not used to working into Down Under, it’s always a treat. But in CW on 40? Strange I didn’t work one. Other than that it was fun. The result is about the same as least year; slightly better with a dozen more mults. But not as good as record year 2012 where participation was massive. I think participation was a bit down this year. I made 1477 real QSO with quite some dupes (not counted).
After the contest I decided to lower the tower again to 2/3rd because they predicted two windy days. No storm though. That forecast turned out to be spot on. Strong gusts but no problem. So with this setup, I might just make a few QSO this weekend in the ARRL DX SSB too.