Time for EUHFC – my yearly appointment with Europe. A twelve hour rate fest with only EU. Not having to worry about countries, zones, points-per-QSO etc. Keep the antenna fixed at 90°.
Last year I claimed my personal best in this contest, resulting in #10 EU and #1 in z14. This year I had no targets. Propagation is a joke and QRN might be a problem. So I told myself to just have some fun and try to reach 1200 QSO over 12h. I decided to play along with the real time score website(s) which is a great motivator. And indeed it was!
I did not want to start weak so I started on 20m. My guess was that there would be no rate on 15m and not even a signal on 10m. I logged 130 Q in the first hour: 80 on 20m and the rest between 15m and 10m. Yeah I couldn’t resist.
The third hour was the best: 150 QSO, almost all on 20m. I could keep the rate and fun up, as well as maintain a top position on the scoreboard. Yeah, I still got it! Halfway I took a ten minute break: stretch legs, empty bladder, take snack. I knew two things would happen later on: the rate would inevitably slow down and I would not be able to be on top of the scoreboard as soon as 80m and especially 160m would be exploited by the more easterly guys.
And so it happened but not before I managed to be #1 on the scoreboard two times. Yay. I should put that on my resume.
Top Band proved to be hard, as predicted. The band was noisy and the signals were weak. Some extremely weak and some very strong. But my antenna for 160 combined with summer propagation is not ideal.
The scoreboard showed that I had more QSO but lesser points than those above me. With all contacts being worth one point, the reason is simple: multipliers. I did a lot of S&P yet I just couldn’t find more multipliers. I claim 295 mults but top ten guys on 3830 claim well over 300.
Eventually the rate slowed down but I had accumulated enough to end at 1379 contacts. So I met my personal target of 100Q/hr averaged over the contest. I would be more than happy with another z14 best.
This is a killer contest year after year. I had a ball on the bands, for the first time in many months.