Clublog – QSO by year

I stay clear of those (so called) social media but I do take a peek once in a while at some of the ham radio accounts that are open for non-members. Today I noticed that Frank ON9CC / OT6M had a nice graph from his Clublog account, titled ‘QSO by year’. I generated the same image for my account.


What do I see?

First off: it seems I failed to upload some contacts to Clublog because my own count is higher. And ARRL LotW shows a DXCC count of 285. What gives?

And I dind’t know I have been doing so much phone ? That’s only the major SSB contests. I do UBA SSB (moral duty), WPX and CQ WW SSB and if time and WX permits I crank up the tower for the ARRL DX SSB part.

I got on HF by the end of 2000. I had no knowledge of operating practice and had only a short and low inverted V and the TS-850’s autotuner. Somehow I still managed to work 70 countries in just under two months. Among those SY2A, one of the two or three DXCC entities that I snatched on SSB but not on CW. I wonder what the others are.

I discovered contesting in 2001 and 2002. There was plenty of activity on 28 MHz, a band for which I had a 3 el yagi at about 9m high.

In 2003 I had a lot of work to do in our new house and had no real antennas here. Low horizontal wires and automatic antenna couplers were used on the scarce free time. The dust settled in 2004 and with limited antennas but with considerable free time, I doubled the QSO count.

The difference between 2004 and 2005? A crank up tower to hold up better and higher low band wires, a big 10-15-20 yagi and a WARC dipole. That’s going from 8k to 18k. Oh wait, this is another major factor: 2005 was the year that the OO pfx was released for the first time and I made 17600 CW QSO as OO5ZO. Anyway the difference between crappy antennas and a tower to support real antennas is dramatic. Adding a 10 dB amp is NOT (January 2006).

I think 2008 and 2009 were two years that I had more to do for my job so I didn’t have so much time off. And early 2010 marked the birth of our first son. But then there was just no stopping me as the propagation peaked and the rates in the contests were mad. At least for a small station in Belgium. There was a small dip in 2013 because I missed two major contests due to storms and not wanting to crank up the tower.

Last year (2014) was the best so far. With my 5000 claimed QSO in CQ WW CW. I don’t think any single op has done this from Belgium in a contest? Yes I am damn proud of that   ☺

I already know now that 2015 won’t show spectacular QSO totals. I also know the reason why but still I’m surprised to see I made 10k contest contacts already even with missing much of the major contests earlier this year.

High QSO numbers result in thousands of QSL cards coming in. But that’s something I will moan about very soon, when those boxes of incoming QSL are processed (what a waste of time!) and my wallet is a few hundred euro lighter.

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