RRTC 2019

This yearly  ‘Russian domestic WRTC’ is a nice interlude for the laid back contester. I still had the tower up one level after the short playtime in the IARU contest the weekend before. I used the silent 500W Elecraft amp for this event. The shack was hot enough already. The big-yet-legal tube amp driven at 1300W adds five degrees to the room temperature when doing high rate contesting. It makes the heating obsolete in winter (really!) but is a nuisance during the hot summer.

I did not plan to be on for the full eight hours. Just now and then to support the contest scene. The ten and fifteen meters band were awful. And plain daylight in the midst of summer is not really helping me to log stations on 7 MHz. Place to be: 20m. Like always when the solar cycle lets us down. So boring.

The signals from our Russian friends in the tents weren’t too strong on 20m either. Some were stronger, some were just weak. I got plenty of QSY requests. I always granted the request as I was S&P most of the time and I was in it to support these Russian competitors. Oh yeah it seems the Bulgarians (LZ) run the same event at the same time. Super!

A QSY from 20 to 15 was sometimes a success. Moving to 28 MHz was useless in all cases. I made zero QSO on that band. I listened and tried though. Nothing heard and only two Belgian skimmers heard me. Later on the guys were asking me to drop down to 40m. That didn’t work either. It’s way too early. The contest runs until 1500 utc, which is almost five hours before sunset. That makes me hear only weak signals. The real problem with that, as opposed to winter, is the terrible thunderstorm QRN. Yes, thunderstorms.

The lightning maps showed thunderstorms all over EU. It was manageable at first. It was to the west of me, with the antenna pointing east. And on 14 MHz. Then a local thunderstorm passed over and forced me to QRT for 90 minutes. And unplug / reconnect everything. Later on it was to the east of me, from the Baltics over DL down to the Mediterranean. QRN from hell, rendering 7 MHz useless.

I ended up with 257 contacts of which 230 on 20m, 10 on 40m and 17 on 15m.

I haven’t been really active in 2019 but still: support the contest scene and get on the air!

 

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