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Stoked about the upcoming E.T. Krenkel Memorial Contest a/k/a RAEM? I know I am. It’s one of the highlights for the CW operator. A nice long pseudo-random exchange. Distance based score. What more could you ask for? A contest with a (hi)story. I’m glad to have found an old English copy of his memoires. #amateurradio #hamradio #cqcontest #cw4ever #hamradiocontest #raem
After a decade and a half of writing about contests I get the feeling that I am repeating myself. I can copy-paste a lot from last year’s post and edit the numbers:
This year was only the second third time that I did the RAEM contest from start to end (12h). I guess the E.T. Krenkel Memorial Contest has made it to my ‘must do’ list. It really fits my profile and operating preferences. I wish there were more events with distance based scoring i.s.o. multipliers.
What about this from 2018?
Eighty meters was hot. Lots of good signals, plenty activity and more USA on 3.5 MHz than ever before. I worked twenty eight Americans. After three hours I had over 220 contacts on 80m. Not too bad.
This is definitely NOT the case this year. Sure the band was wide open. Skimmers were picking me up that usually don’t hear me on this band or at least not this good. But it was a slow start and there was not many USA. This year RAEM coincided with the Stew Perry 160m contest and this certainly took a bite out of the activity on 80. A crying shame but at least the Top Band contesters report superb conditions there too.
Last year I wrote this:
The QSY to 40m was a cold shower. Not so much activity, weak signals and almost no DX. Everything beyond 2000 km was weak and real long haul DX seemed absent. The rate suffered. As well as the fun level. I think it was a general issue with the propagation. I could keep my position in the top five of the online scores. Most of the time I was third there. That puts things in perspective.
This was exactly true this year too. After a slow start on 80 it was the same story on 40. Not too many signals and those present weren’t really loud. This was not beneficial to the fun factor.
Things being slow made it tough to stay awake. I slept about three hours before the start of the contest but after a few hours I got very tired. Up to the point where I got uncomfortable and annoyed by the fatigue. Things went better when the sun came up and I could try 20m.
When 14 MHz didn’t produce any more QSO I would move back to 40m and work semi-DX there too. I focused on the UA9/UA0 because they are worth well over 100 points. Real arctic Russians even 180. VK2DX on 20m netted 280 points. Yeehaw! I managed to work the RAEM memorial station on 80+40+20. On 40m it was funny because I thought the station I called was sending CQ RAEM but it was RAEM itself. That’s 434 points per QSO.
Fifteen meters was closed. I managed 2 QSO there. I had 3 in 2018. I did not even switch the VFO to 28 MHz… I finished with about 100 QSO less than and 90k points below the 2018 score.
Last year I managed to win z14 despite this:
DL5YYM was pretty active from z14 so maybe this time I won’t be getting the z14 winner wood?
He was there again and handing out serials similar to mine. Will I receive another plaque half a year from now or will it be mailed to Germany?
BTW here’s proof of my lon/lat exchange:
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My QRP Labs QLG1 GPS RX module shows that my RAEM contest exchange “50N04O” is correct. It sees 10 satellites and offers maximum accuracy if I parse the data correctly from the NMEA specs. It works indoor. Not all GPS shields find a fix inside a building. No practical use for now. A bunch of ideas though… #amateurradio #hamradio #hamradiokits #qlg1 #qrplabs