Happy Birthday UBA

This month (May 2018) Belgium’s IARU member society UBA celebrates its 70th birthday. To commemorate this, every local club is assigned an OT70 call. Such an event is of course tailor made for yours truly. Just get on and call CQ and rake up contacts. And that is what I have been doing for the last twelve days. Sweet. I made almost 2500 contacts, mostly CW spread over two calls: OT70NNV for my club (town of NiNoVe) and OT70UBA, as a member of the UBA HF commission (contest management with ON7SS).

It has been a blast, not only for myself but the total QSO count for the event is now well over 100k already. I must admit I had never thought this was possible. Usually Belgian radio amateurs aren’t really keen on such things. But there you go. Massive participation from all over the country. There are even a few clubs who seem to be active close to 24/7.

HF conditions have been poor to terrible. Not only because cycle 24 is dead but also the K-index was 5 or 6 on sever occasions. And yet some DX comes through. Like an isolated JA on 17m or so. On the other hand there have been days that the RBN picks up my CQ but no one comes back. True: it’s not really smart to spend much time on 28 MHz right now but sometimes there are loud stations that come through. Not antipodal DX but well into a 3000 km range.

I have limited myself to the small amp (500 W) and the tower is only up 2/3. That means I can’t deploy the 160/80 verticals. I had sought a solution for this but the initial plan failed. Plan B (C? D?) was a working compromise. More on this later on in a dedicated story.

In the mean time I hope to enjoy some more runs. Big fun!

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