Stew Perry 2018

I don’t like 160. There I said it. You noise lovers can have it.

I normally don’t do this contest but the tower is up, the 160m antenna is deployed and I have time to spare. So let’s see what we can do on 160 shall we? Well, we can get annoyed for one.

My only goal was to work DX. Just for fun. So I was to use the cluster / RBN and submit a checklog. But gosh what a frustrating experience. I logged a dozen EU contacts Saturday afternoon but I quit because I had to go somewhere.

I decided to sleep first because I don’t want to work dozens of EU which will just generate a ton of paper QSL again. And my setup is not cut for Far East DX – not even taking propagation into account. QRV 03.15z for USA. I found NP2J who was easily worked. That first QSO turned out to be the highlight of this dreadful event. VA2WA was another loud one. I worked him yesterday too on Top Band for the RAC Winter Contest.

I wanted to run but each time I found a clear spot, the same thing happened three times:

  1. Get called by EU only with only one American station every so many contacts.
  2. A US station would then land on top of me and start running, obviously not hearing me.
  3. I could hear the American work USA, one after the other.
  4. I had to abandon the run and find another frequency.

I felt like Dumbo, the opposite fauna-equivalent ham radio metaphor of the Alligator: I could hear plenty on the east coast but no one heard me. I really heard many W stations and PJ2T and XE2X but no one copied me. XE2X was especially frustrating because he was rather loud and I never worked a Mexican on Top Band. But it was EU only. Some of the DX signals seemed to be slightly better just around my sunrise. I tried a couple of guys before without success but they heard me in the half hour centered around my local sunrise. But most Yankees just CQ’ed in my pretty face.

Map generated by (& TNX ON3DI for the idea!)

The map above shows my log projected on the map. Nothing beyond UA4 but all red lines were worked in common darkness. So it was not the right time for the east. K0OO is farthest west.

NR3X, K3ZO and W1BB were the loudest on the band. Out of 237 contacts I logged 41 Americans under these poor conditions. And yet I am not satisfied. Probably there are Belgians who would be very glad to work a few states on 160m but don’t even have an antenna for that band.

When I walk the dog here in the neighborhood I walk drooling past a few houses with tremendous gardens which would be ideal for 160m operations (and a 80m 4SQ). Wide spread lawns for an XXL radial field. Room for beverages and some even have very tall trees lined up for phased verticals. But without propagation it would be useless too.

I wonder who (apart from me) will send in a checklog because they used the cluster / RBN? Each time I started a CQ on a fresh frequency a few EU’s would jump right on me. Some of them were running elsewhere in the band. Coincidence?

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