I really like this contest – RAEM. It’s CW only and you actually have to copy something that is not predictable and longer than 123. Not predictable if you don’t use a call history lookup file, which I never use. And not predicable for the first QSO as most of the info (QTH lon/lat coordinates) is prefilled when you work someone a second time on another band. But apart from that the exchange is pretty unpredictable and long. Think ‘1023 53N102O’ at 36WPM and no 5NN to synch the grey matter decoder. Love it! CQ WW might be high rate and full of DX, on the copying level it means nothing.

Added bonus is the distance based scoring. You know you hit the jackpot when a fluttery UA0 calls in. There are no multipliers and points per QSO are calculated from the exchange. This would be a fun format for a 24 hour contest with massive participation.

Since I discovered this contest I have only played part time in it. It runs for twelve hours so that shouldn’t be a problem. But it’s the end of the year and there has been a lot of contesting going on already. For a few years now I’ve been saying I will participate the full twelve hour period next year. Well, maybe next year. This year too I only played a few hours and logged 250 contacts. Non-Russian participation seemed down. I usually work more USA. Hmm, maybe because I skipped night time and started too late? But not even a VK or ZL this year. Hence the jackpot is limited to far east Russians. I did work RAEM the station on 10+15+20. Note to self: remove these contacts from the LotW and eQSL upload. They don’t handle the callsign RAEM well. Not at all in fact.

I interrupted the leisurly contest for a walk with the dog and kids (and XYL) in the snow. It started snowing on Saturday afternoon. But it was wet snow that turned into ice overnight. The quality was poor which was a huge disappointment for my oldest who wanted to make a snow man after we saw this movie last week. If you have kids, now is the time to watch it if you’re in the northern hemisphere! Anyway the snow was worthless for construction work. By now, Monday evening, the snow and ice are almost completely gone. We’ve had our winter now. It lasted forty eight hours.

The initial plan was to crank up the tower for the weekend and play in the Stew Perry Top Band Distance Challenge or whatever that thing is called. Mostly to try to work DX on 160 and test the beverage. But I wasn’t really in the mood. Good thing as it turns out. Most comments on 3830 are in unison: lousy propagation and hardly DX. If those with big antennas for 160 can’t work DX, how should I? I did try to SWL on the beverage but no DX was heard. I spent a few (two or three tops) minutes listening to OT6M who seems to be well equipped for Top Band. But during this time span I only heard him CQ’ing and not work a single station. Go figure.

I guess – no I’m sure this was all for 2014 for on the air activities. CU all in 2015.

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