9ACW 2019

Since I’m into this contest business I might as well participate in this nice everyone-works-everyone contest. I decided to set up early in the week in order to play with the special event callsign OR0YAL. I had two options: do it on Monday in the rain or on Tuesday with wind. I hate rain so I picked the latter. Tuesday afternoon I was cursing and swearing because all the cables, wires and ropes were swinging and getting entangled. Getting wet seemed not so bad after all.

The wind was strong enough and more wind was predicted later that week. Hence I decided not to raise the low band wires yet. I still had to reconnect the 160m wire at the feedpoint. I guess my last 160m QSO dates from ARRL DX CW in February. Go figure. I put up the ladder next to the pole and went to get a screwdriver and wrench to fasten the cable lug. When I came back half a minute later the ladder had been blown over. It was that kind of weather. But it didn’t rain… The wind blew harder later that week but I decided to man up and leave the tower cranked up. If I cave in every time the wind blows too hard here I might as well knit scarfs or collect stamps.

Saturday afternoon I was ready for the contest. I was on the live score board and had no real expectations. Contest not too popular outside of EU and conditions weren’t inviting. Of course it was mainly a 20m thing at first and I descended to 40m already early on. The 15m band was a bust. I was glad to work K1ZZ for my only American on 21 MHz and what was to be my only (!!!) QSO on 15m on Saturday. The contest has a late start (2PM utc) which means I was on 80m early too. Things were not going spectacular but I was having loads of fun.

Around midnight things got predictably slow so I decided to grab a few hours of sleep. I was not really exhausted but I knew that when things were this slow I would be dead by the time the bands would open up again and activity would ramp up.

From sunrise on it was changing bands between 40m still open, 20m producing rate and Es signals on 15 but each QSO there was a possible multiplier. When ON5JT called me there I knew it was now or never. He agreed to QSO to 10m for my one and only QSO and (more important) multiplier there.

DX: Four ZL (2x 20m and 2x 40m), three VK (40+20+15!!!), eight JA (4x 20m and 4x 40m), 126 Americans, one KL7. Some pseudo-rare stuff not expected in this smaller contest like HI, CO, 3W, EX, KP4, PY.

Once again a fun experience. Enhanced by Propagation being what it is, there are still people showing up for the CW contests and there is DX even on the alleged dead bands.


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