Just a quick list of what happened after CQ WW CW end November. Those studying contest history in the next century, or the author writing my hagiography should have complete data don’t they?
Propagation seemed only so-so. Result: once again I didn’t even turn on the rig for the ARRL 10m contest.
December: 9ACW contest
Half the number of QSO compared to 2020. Less people active, the COVID stay-at-home effect wearing off?
December: RAEM contest
After a storm in 2020 I was back in RAEM this year. Always good fun.
I could invade the bands with the special event station callsign ON75UBA, celebrating 75 years of our national society. The problem was the wind speed picked up and I had to lower the tower. This is acceptable for anything above 10MHz but it makes my low band antennas disappear. I made about 3700 QSO, mostly CW.
End of January: UBA DX SSB
Participated as OQ5M in the 12h sub-class. Participation seemed up from recent years. But it’s SSB and I only do this one because it’s our own contest.
I also made 500 QSO in CQ WW 160 CW.
February was windy. I was looking forward to ARRL DX CW but then windy turned to stormy. Then stormy turned into a few days of consecutive heavy storms: Dudley, Eunice, Franklin. Deadly trio. I was lucky that my antennas survived. All over this part of EU people reported antenna damage. And cancelled or limited participation in ARRL DX CW. I had to sit this one out because of storm after storm after storm.
All my hopes were set on UBA DX CW the week after. The weather finally calmed down and the forecast for the weekend was very contest friendly. Then Russia decided to invade Ukrain and two days before the contest someone in the UBA thought the contest should be cancelled because of this. A few hours later an official announcement appeared that “The UBA” had decided to cancel the contest. And then questions from my fellow Belgian hams came in through in my private comms channels… They do know I am not ‘the UBA’, right? I just check the contest logs and use their special calls. That kinda made me member of the UBA HF Commission. Something that organically grew back gently after I withdrew cold turkey from official UBA business 15 years ago. And I not always agree but who am I anyway?
Asking if a contest should be cancelled yes / no and why / why not is a legitimate question to ask. I’m not saying it should nor that it should not. But the thing is: there was very little thought put into this, if any. And now it turns out that people don’t like to be put against the wall. They rather make up their own minds and take it from there. Gee, who’d have thought? And isn’t that ironic? Think about the disease and the cure. The pot and the kettle.
So now I suddenly find myself with lots of free time this weekend. Time to update this webpage here. Since a few weeks I have a few new insights and thoughts about the hobby. Some of them strongly opinionated. Others are just plans I’d like to execute. I hope to find the time and energy to do something with it.
In the meantime: let’s root for peace and common sense. If not in international politics, then at least in our hobby!