Finally back for this one after a streak of storms kept me off the air last year. I usually do only 12h in this one (Belgians get to pick 6/12/24h). But not this year. I decided not to keep track of QRV / breaks but just go all out during the whole period. I knew I could probably sleep a while at night anyway.
I decided to put up the 20/15m vertical for SO2R. In retrospect this was quite useless as 15m was very dead and operating on both bands at once was useless. Furthermore propagation was bad enough so using a vertical on 20m was not really productive. I feel sorry for those using a vertical antenna with little or no radials above 10 MHz under this kind of propagation. It’s bad enough as it is with a tribander at 20m high.
No more preparation was needed as everything was still up after last week’s ARRL DX CW contest. I just inserted the stub into the 40m antenna. It’s a shorted quarter wave on 40m made of 75Ω CATV hardline, which acts as an open line (high impedance) on 40m but a dead short on 14 MHz, to filter out the 20m harmonic. Works just fine.
A side note about Belgians in this contest:
I often read comments like ‘Where are all the Belgians?’. Well, you worked all the Belgians there is to work in a CW contest. There are not many Belgians active on HF. Only a small slice of that does contests. The intersection of this collection with guys who can do CW is even smaller. Then you have to fish in the pond of stations who have the antennas to reach you under very poor propagation. To get at least these guys active, the UBA decided to let them play in 6h or 12h categories too, apart from the 24h class. So there you go…
No need to start the contest on 15m this time. Let alone 28 MHz which is just dead-deader-deadest. Rates on 20m were good and it doesn’t matter if I work Russians or Americans. As long as I work outside of the European Union, I get max pt/QSO. All the rest is fine for multipliers. However it seemed the alleged money band 14 MHz was short of cash. I found myself on 40m pretty early. Good thing the rates were high there. I did not have to wonder when to stop to plan a break, I could just keep on going. I think for CW I will stick to 24h.
At 2300 utc, midnight local time I got called by ON6SI, my club’s station operated by OR5T. He proposed to QSY to 15m. We both had zero QSO there so the mult was welcomed. Once there I asked for 28 MHz which would be our one and only QSO there. My initial plan was to look for someone on Sunday morning to move there but actually it was a good idea to do it then because propagation on 15 and 10 was absent on Sunday.
I got in the shack just before 5AM utc and did 50/50 between 40 and 80. Then it was splitting time between 40m and 20m. There was little to no life on 15m and ten meters was quiet – nothing heard. The good thing was I could just go on and on without needing to plan or calculate off times. I think with this score in my chosen category, there probably won’t be anyone doing better? It’s not a record by far I guess. When –if? – 15 and 10 will play along again one day… Can’t wait!
Band QSOs Pts DXC Pt/Q 3,5 430 961 48 2,2 7 533 1281 63 2,4 14 549 1461 61 2,7 21 33 63 19 1,9 28 1 1 1 1,0 Total 1546 3767 192 2,4 Score: 723.264