UBA DX SSB 2020 – CQ 160 CW 2020

The first activity since late December. The yearly hiatus after a busy November and December. I would never operate this contests if it wasn’t for the UBA. It’s slow and most of all: it’s SSB. I delayed setting up until Saturday morning. The weather has been cold, very wet and windy. The only absentee on Saturday was the wind which is good. But it was raining and near 0°C. Brrr!

Setup went smooth, for both tower and low band antennas. I was hoping to catch a few DX on 160m in the CQ 160 CW contest. It took me one hour and a half and I was soaking wet and cold. But at least I was ready. I thought…

I forgot that the new 40+30m dual band dipole I installed last summer exhibits very high SWR in the phone band. 2.4:1 or more near 7200 kHz. I forgot about that because I don’t care about SSB (it’s good in CW) and I haven’t done SSB there since… WPX SSB ’20? Which was with the previous monoband antenna.

The only solution I saw was to T a stub to cancel out reactance. The antenna analyzer showed it was inductive (X positive). Which means it’s too long – hence the resonance down low in the CW sub-band. I wasn’t in the mood for calculating and cutting so I just went ‘trial-and-error’ style and added a few lengths of open ended coax to the T barrel joint until the inductive reactance got cancelled out. The best I got was an SWR of 1.7:1 in the desired band segment which was good enough for the amp to pump power into it. All this made for about an hour more in the cold. I was frozen and had to take a warm shower to return to a more or less normal state.

My plan was to do the 12h category. This contest is too slow for 24h and it’s SSB. I can’t stress that enough. I can’t hype myself anymore for this brutal waste of spectrum. Last year I bailed out from 12h and shorted things to 6h.

The contest had a VERY slow start. More than ever: no spot = no rate. People don’t tune, they hop spots. So if you’re not visible in the bandmaps they just hop over you. Some Belgians have found a neat workaround for that: they just spot themselves. Either with their own second call, or with a club call or whatever. A friend called this ‘self-assisted’. Go ahead, make a fool of yourself.

The contest continued on 20m because Saturday had a dead 15m. I didn’t even bother for 10m. I went to 40m early and returned to 20m for 3pt USA. Forty meters didn’t go as planned. It’s not CW, that much is clear.

Later on I was bored and decided it was time to play some CQ 160 CW. I can be short about that: I made over 200 QSO in just over one hour. That’s relaxing and better than yoga or mindfulness.

There was no DX to be worked. I went back to UBA SSB for some 40 (slow and disappointing) and 80 (much better).

I had a funny moment on 7MHz. I got called by 7A… Then there was brief chatter in some language on my frequency and YB… called. More chatter and YB.. called. This went on for a few minutes. Apparently the Indonesians were alerting themselves about my presence and I worked a total of xxx Indonesians in xxx minutes. That’s a first. There were a one or two that were just too weak to work and I didn’t want the locals to turn into net control and relay reports to me. Luckily that didn’t happen.

My YB pile up ☺

I decided to go to bed, it was 3AM local and I set the alarm for 6AM (0500utc). The alarm rang when I was deeply asleep. I couldn’t even swipe the alarming phone into snooze. After a few trials and cursing from the XYL, I disabled the alarm and only woke up at 7AM local time.

I went down for breakfast with the family, after all it was my youngest son’s ninth birthday. Then I went back to CQ 160 to work a batch of USA. Some were pretty loud, most weren’t. I quit that race with 400 QSO. My plan was to return late in the afternoon until the end of the contest.

I still had five hours or so to go in the UBA DX SSB. I attacked 20m which had low QSO count. It worked only so-so. There was a weak opening on 15m. Nothing spectacular but it is what it is. I got a phone call from my niece who was bringing back my trailer she used which was an half hour break. Then my youngest wanted to go for a walk in the afternoon so I quit the contest with not even eleven hours active out of the allowed twelve. But I had enough of the splatter and all the nuisance that comes with SSB.

The walk started under a gray sky but it started raining. We did a 10km tour and were cold and soaked when we got back. I didn’t return to 160m anymore, I fell asleep on the couch and went to bed early.

Monday afternoon there were already 600+ mails with logs waiting to be accepted and imported. Twenty four hours later we have already 100 logs more than in 2020 and more than 20 000 QSO more than last year.


9ACW 2020

Not much to say about this one. Yes it was fun. As always: the first half is more exciting than the second half when you run out of people to work in these smaller contests.

Yes I did better than my previous best. Best in QSO and score. The real time score board keeps you in the chair. It least: it does that for me.

Propagation was OK up to 14 MHz. On 15m it was not too bad but the skip seemed long and the bulk of the participants was in EU so that was not good. Ten meters was a wasteland – again. Just like last year ON5JT agreed to move to 28MHz for the country multiplier. Thanks Jean!

I worked 141 Americans which seemed few but I only had 126 in 2019. There was also the RAC Winter contest going on and that had many USA and VE stations working each other. Problem one: it kept them away from the 9ACW contest. Problem two: when one did call, it’s a cross contest QSO and if it was a VE giving me ON, and no number, what to do? The QSO did take place but I didn’t get a number? Oh well, the same situation for everyone.

Nothing else to  say about the contest. But I do have a general observation that has been confirmed once more. I have been quite active on weekdays and no-CW-test weekends and it’s hard to get people to reply to a CQ. The Reverse Beacon Network shows that the bands are open but there is no one around. Once the CW contest weekend is there, there is tons of stuff to be worked from all over the world. It seems that people leave the bands to the FT8 droids during the week and we all get out for guaranteed CW fun in the contest. As long as we can keep this up, it’s fine by me. CW Contesting is my favorite aspect of this hobby of ours.


I hate /QRP

I resent /QRP. That sounds more civilized but isn’t as catchy in a polarized click-bait world anno 2020.

I really don’t like /QRP. If you want to play with 5W: great! Do so. I don’t have the guts for it. If you want to crank it down do the mW level and still get through, I really want to be patient and ask for repeats until I have it right. If you want to acknowledge the low power by adding a ‘QRP’ in the mix at the end of the contact: fine but don’t feel obliged.


I just discovered that this stubbornness of mine costs me points in RDXC:

This /QRP means a score reduction of 3x the QSO points!
This /QRP means a score reduction of 3x the QSO points!

So there are a few options here:

  • Just go with the stupidity and log /QRP.
  • Just keep on being hard headed and log the call but omit /QRP.
  • Send a report, get it over with and NOT log the QSO. No points gained but no penalties subtracted. It’s mostly common EU stuff that never is a multiplier. This is absolutely not fair play, I know.

I already know what option I won’t be picking!

Legal fine print: I just looked it up on our governmental regulator’s website (LINK): it is clearly stipulated that /QRP is illegal!

Hier staat ook beschreven dat je de roepnaam met een aantal suffixen moet vervolledigen (/M, /MM, /P, /A). Andere suffixen zijn niet voorzien en dus niet toegelaten (dus geen ON4xyz/QRP of iets dergelijks).

Note: Niet toegelaten (Dutch) = not allowed (English)

Of course I am one of the few that object to this lame practice. And I’m not about to fight windmills.


CQ WW CW 2020

CQ WW CW – the biggest of the biggest. The annual gathering of everything and everyone on the High Frequency amateur radio bands. In my preferred mode: CW. Morse code. Dits and dahs. I was really excited this year. I wanted to hit hard, put down a good score. Make myself heard.

My last All Band effort was in 2014. That was epic: 6.7 million points with over 5000 QSO in the log. To my knowledge no other Single Operator in Belgium has made over 5000 CW contacts in a 48 hour period. It still is my ‘moment de gloire’. Could I do better?

Well, maybe not this year. 2014 was the second peak of solar cycle 24. Propagation on 21 MHz and 28 MHz was excellent. These bands were wide open for 3 point contacts for most of the daylight hours. With 14 MHz very runnable after sunset. Not so this year. There already are sunspots for cycle 25 and propagation seems to improve but we’re not quite there yet. Not by a long shot. After last weekend’s LZDX I knew that 15m would be so-so and the 10m band would not be very usable. So I decided that 4000 QSO in the log would be a self-imposed ‘limit of shame’. Less than 4k would be underachieving for yours truly.

During the week I had a lot of work to do for school because I had spent and will be spending two weekends in the radio shack, on the bands. That sort of ruined the approach of rest and relax before the contest. Would I be able to get some sleep before the contest? Forty eight hours was the goal but I only managed 43 out of 48 in 2014. Could I do better? I certainly feel a lot fitter now. I lost about 25-30kg of body weight over the last half year and that makes a major difference.

The stars of the galaxy more or less aligned to my benefit. The temporary COVID-proof school roster gave me Friday off before the contest and I could sleep late on Monday. Together with the increased interest in ham radio contests during this whole confinement period is another plus of the virus (that rhymes!). And the weather was also keeping calm: no wind, no storm, no crap. GREAT! I was getting so hyped I had bad dreams about infinite SWR on the yagi and wiggling contacts on the cables. How much can your mind be preoccupied with something?

My plan was to sleep on Friday afternoon but I didn’t. I did some household chores instead. I did go to bed on Friday night around 8.30 PM local time and set the alarm to wake me up quarter past midnight. The contest starts at 1AM local time so I had forty five minutes to get ready. Which I was.

I decided to start on 80m because that worked in 2014. I worked my fastest hour ever in that contest: 210 QSO in 60 minutes. This year was a good start but no new record. I was kinda bummed but I figure many peers would give the proverbial arm or leg to achieve my 190 QSO in the first hour. I should have done some 40m second radio hunting but the pile up was too messy at times to fiddle with SO2R scenarios. Something to work on?

The rates remained high which in turn kept me happy and going and going. This is what I live for! Besides wife and kids of course. I decided to do some band hopping. After all, that was my motivation to do All Band: when things slow down I’d just move to another frequency band to present myself there for a new batch of stations to answer my CQ. I took a short break after sunrise: bladder full, stomach empty. I needed to reverse that situation. Stretching my legs was a good feeling.

The contest went on and on and I was raking the QSO in by the dozen, no: by the hundreds. I intensified my 2nd radio activity to look for unworked stations. I’ve become pretty good at this and the short fixed exchange is ideal. Saturday moved along and the rates were pretty good. Even into the second night. But around 00z (1AM local time) Sunday morning I had two very slow hours. I evaluated the situation. I was not really tired but my energy level was dipping. The lack of rate and excitement combined with little to do was dangerous. I decided that a nap would not really hurt my score with these rates. But some sleep would render me fitter for the remaining twenty hours or so. In retrospect I think this is a good decision. It worked out as planned. When I returned I was still on the same spot on the real time online score board. In fact I would float be between #10 and #13 in my category. Not bad with two third of the guys above me were from the USA. This is the Biggest Contest of the year and I only have a peanut station but I am playing in the Big Gun league.

Sunday was a repeat of Saturday. The K index dropped from 3 to 1 which offered some openings on 21 MHz. Ten meter was a problem and it was not easy to get a good rate or sustained DX. I must say that I am VERY surprised by the many real DX calling me on 15m and 10m. The Far East and Oceania did represent! I was called by many double multipliers from all over the globe. That is very exciting and once again my age old adage was consolidated:

Keep calling CQ and the multipliers will come!

By that time the QSO count was around 4000. The shame-limit was exceeded so that was that. Extrapolating current rate to the remaining hours taught me that 5000 QSO indeed WAS possible but it would not come cheap or easy. Challenge accepted and off to the races.

I made the most of 15m and the band was dying. Signals had not been strong all day so I decided it was time to move to 20m. My QSO count there was low (700-ish) so I had a margin to boost the rate. Four hours of 120-150 QSO added a good bunch of QSO so I was a big leap closer to the magical 5k number. Cherry on top: it were mostly tree-point Americans and some exotic multipliers. Yeehaw!

The 20m band was also fading quickly. The result of little sunspots and a weak ionosphere. I had worked my share of callers from zone 3 and the East Coast signal strength was dropping fast. With five hours to go, a plan hatched and got executed: to park myself on 40m and use the second radio on all other bands to work as many stations as possible. That plan worked out just nice. The rate on 40m was just below or just over 100 which for my skills is ideal to mix with the second radio. So I made the epic 5000 QSO with a few hours to spare. This would allow me to build a margin so I would still have more than five thousand contacts after the log checking procedure. And so I did.

When the bell rang at 00z on Monday I claimed 5274 unique QSO. While the score is only 80% of my 2014 effort. That is because I collected 676 multipliers in 2014 but only 566 in 2020. The reason is clear: 10m is not open yet, 15m is not as good yet and the whole COVID-lockdown-confinement situation prevents people from travelling to activate unique countries. On the other hand I have never worked as much variation and numbers of stations from China, Indonesia, Australia etc. Even Latin America was well represented.

Some numbers:

  • 4678 run QSO (88.7%) and 596 S&P QSO (11,3%) on the 2nd radio.
  • 1627 QSO with USA (30.85%).
  • Being called by JX, OD, KH6, KL7, VK, YB, BY, HI, HC… is always a treat. Remember my contest motto!
  • Total Time Off 03:40 (220 mins)
  • Total Time On 44:20 (2660 mins)

Biggest surprise: I spent 44 out of 48 hours in the operating chair, never once did I fall asleep or goofed up and I wasn’t really a wreck afterwards. I had tons of fun and this is really the thing that makes my amateur radio heart pound. And I never get enough of it.

Special thanks to my wife 💕 who had to miss me yet another weekend while I am at home. Thanks for supporting this crazy thing no one but a contester understands. Thanks for the cooking, pasta was deeeelicious. And thanks to my two boys for showing interest and bring the food and drinks. My biggest supporters!

Apart from the game, the competition, the technical side, the tactical aspect of things, it’s also about being part of a large community from all corners of the planet. With one goal in common: bridge the gap by bouncing our RF signals off of the ionosphere. It’s the same people we meet time and time over again. The short ‘didit’ to say hello, greeting friends by name – too numerous to mention. You know who you are!

CU AGN in the next one!


LZ DX Contest 2020

I can be short about this one (from 3830):

It just kept on going and I felt strong. I made a lot of use of the second radio for which I installed my second antenna. This antenna can be seen here:

During the night I slept for a few hours. I was not really tired but the rate was so low I decided to get a nap and be fit for the last seven hours.

For now (10 days after the contest) I am the first non-LZ on 3830 in CW HP. Last year I was second with 600k points. I now have 1000k.

Apart from tons of fun and a good score, I feel confident for CQ WW CW.


In the meantime at ON5ZO’s

First of all: I changed to the default WP theme. I don’t like this color scheme but my old theme generating software is no longer compatible with the new WP code. Stuff gets broken and I’ve run out of energy to find patches and workarounds. Maybe it’s time to admit the commercial (=paid for) theme generator has run its course and just forget about it. It hasn’t been updated by the company since 2014 and my last paid upgrade is also a few years old. Time to move on and forget about it. I’ll pick up the theme thing when I have the time. Yeah right.

EDIT: I fiddled with the color scheme from the default theme. It should now be less reddish and more blueish. Yay!

I have been doing plenty of stuff for the hobby lately. But I haven’t been posting anything here.

It’s various stuff in the ‘this and that’ department. Things that generally spoken are not blog material. I sort of had it with blogging. I still like to write and publish stuff. Even if hardly anyone reads it. But I feel like am repeating myself. That is because I always do the same in the hobby. Doing that doesn’t get boring to me. I still am very passionate about the way I enjoy the hobby. Writing about it does feel like saying the same things over and over again.

Add to that that I have been using Instagram a lot for the last fifteen months. I like the fact I can put just about anything there and interact with the outside world. There is much more interaction there than here. Plus my blog has been strictly about ham radio. On IG I also post various other things.

Check it out here:


CQ WW SSB 2020

I did SB80 four times in a row (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) so last year (2019) I decided it was enough and did SB20. That was a huge disappointment. It didn’t meet my expectations, not by far. Too much stations on the band. No place to run and you couldn’t receive who was answering. Three layers of loud signals from all over the globe.

The 40m band is even worse. And I am not in the mood for an all band effort in SSB (yet?). SB80 again? I talked my plan over with Denis K7GK whose opinion I respect and he thought it wasn’t a bad idea. So SB80 this year again.

Just a thought: 40m is my best CW band but the worst in SSB. Same setup, same operator. So it really is the mode.

The plan was to set up the tower on Wednesday. But the wind blew hard and the gusts were strong. I even had to put the RX loop’s pole back down again after having it put up for winter only a few days before. Stinking winds! So I did all that Thursday after work. It really shows the days are getting shorter. But I got ready with all the work even shortening the 80m CW wire to 75m sideband.

This contest starts at 2AM local time so I tried to get some sleep. I almost fell asleep at 9PM on the couch so I went to bed. But of course once there, I couldn’t catch sleep. The alarm rang at 01.15 AM and I wondered why on earth I would get up. For an SSB contest? Usually that feeling pops up after 30 hours or so. I had a bad temper and managed to get everything up and going in time, including myself.

Keeping a blog is good for looking back. Just like last year’s WW SSB (2019), the sun threw some dirt at us. Read here.

For this year (2020) SJ2W posted an aurora picture (link) and the A and K indices were too high to be good. K was 4… Could be worse, right?

The start was slow. Very slow. You need to get a packet spot if you want rate. Finally someone threw me on the DX cluster. I was able to run two fast hours. I finished the first night with 750 QSO. Of which about 160 Americans. That was not too bad but I was low on mults. There wasn’t much DX and the handful of usual suspects was weak. I can manage to work my way through the big guns in CW but on phone I don’t want to waste my time in the pile ups. So I was glad that later on ZW8T and XE2X called me for two double mults. My moto ‘run and the mults will come’ once again turned out to be true. Shout out to the other nice DX multipliers that called me (A4, A6, C3, FY, KP2, TF…).

The second night included only three good hours, good for about 350 contacts. From then on it was slow. VERY slow.

What can I say? If you pick a category like SB80 with only 1200W and a single wire, you know what you can expect. Lots of EU, not too much DX. But at least it is expected. Last year, I made only 1250 contacts with a yagi on 20m. That was an unexpected disappointment! The band was just too crowded. It never fails to amaze me how big the difference is with CW. Same operator, same setup, total different game.

My dual RX loops (USA and Far East) worked great. I had to switch many times to make a QSO just to suppress a blasting adjacent signal from the opposite side. Bu it helped and it worked. I don’t know how yet, but there might be room for improvement here. On the TX side, I am at the limit of what this QTH supports.

After doing contest write-ups for nearly a decade and a half, I feel I’ve run out of things to say. I keep on repeating myself. Because the contests repeat themselves. So QRU for this one. Already thinking about the next one…


A permanent 30m solution

A permanent 30m solution? At least: I hope so.

The 30m band has always been my favorite. It supports DX all year round, all through the solar cycle and most hours of the day. I like that fluttery polar path sound of W6/W7 at my winter sunset. Or winter sunrise: a full hour of my best JA pileups time after time. I wish I had those in the contests. I once tried RTTY on 30m on a summer evening when the sun was indeed rising in the land named thereafter. They went nuts. Not many Belgians really CQ’ing on 10.1 MHz it seems…

I spend many weekends on the regular contest bands. But I also like to work some casual DX. So I try not to call CQ on the contest bands but revert to WARC. Especially 30m.

In 2004 I started with a 12+17+30m triband dipole on top of the tower. It brought me lots of DX pleasure for its size and simplicity. Too bad the trap got blown almost ten years ago.

The Toasted Trap


I removed this dipole and replaced it with a 40m rotary dipole. This antenna is so kick-ass good that 7 MHz is my best band, especially since the higher bands are worked with a yagi. So this antenna can never go.

After that I have been trying various things for 30m. It all works but never as good as the flat top dipole on top of the mast, even if it was trapped.

A monoband vertical.

30m GP v2018

A monoband sloping dipole.

A delta loop.

A triband WARC wire dipole.

A triband WARC vertical.

A permanent WARC antenna


These are all antennas that work. Especially if you don’t have anything else. But they need to be put up when there is no contest and taken down when there is a contest. Because they eat up real estate, or use a pulley that is needed for 80/160 low band contesting etc.

I was looking for something that can be installed permanently without interfering with my contest setup. So I was looking at the OptiBeam (link) or DXAvenue (link) dual band dipole. Or upgrade / modify my OptiBeam 40m dipole to include 30m. This can easily be done but the major issue was hooking up the 30m parts to the 40m loading coil.

But in Spring there was this OptiBeam 30+40m dipole for sale on the second hand classifieds. The price was right so I did not hesitate and bought it. I went to pick it up and installed it this week.

I could keep the feed point assembly on the mast as it is the same size and length. That made installing it easy. Moreover I could use a friend’s scaffold which made the one man install job quite easy.


Is it a permanent 30m solution? That is now under evaluation. I’m sure it’ll work on 30m and bring me DX pleasure. And work better than any of my 30m solutions. The big question is: will it have any negative influence on my 40m contest results? If so, I will probably revert to 40m monoband operation. Let’s hope not…




WAE CW 2020

Another contest you say? Yes, another contest I say!

This time: WAE CW. Yes: Worked All Europe. But Europeans don’t work Europe. We work DX. Yes: DX. That means: far away. Which makes it hard. We like things hard. If it’s easy anyone could do it. Actually anyone can do it. But not everyone is crazy enough to do so.

From the archives:

For the record: WAE CW

WAE CW is a bit of a stinker. WAE CW is one of my favorite contests. There you go, once again I exhibit a bipolar disorder.

WAE CW is one of my favorite contests because:

  • It is CW.
  • It is only DX and some nice one.
  • QTC! QTC? Yes, QTC. If you like CW and unpredictable exchanges, this is it.

WAE CW is a bit of a stinker because:

  • It’s almost always hot with a chance of thunderstorms that more often than never come to life.
  • It is not a rate contest and there is a very big imbalance between DX (not much) and EU (a lot of).
  • It can get slow and boring at times. “Slow like WAE on Sunday” is an expression.


What’s up with QTC?

Setup HF – SSB and CW Contests

Want to train copying QTC?

QTC Training Sound Files


This year it was just too hot. Ridiculously hot. A heat wave ramped up on Thursday with outside temperatures of 37°C and more. I knew this would be a problem in the shack. It would make for some very uncomfortable hours. I even contemplated not playing at all. In the end I decided to settle for a low key casual participation. After the contest I can say that the shack’s temperature was always over 30°C peaking over 32°C on Sunday. That’s inside, where I operate.


Another reason why I wasn’t tempted: N1MMLogger. The QTC part is the programmers’ nightmare and I suspected a few bugs this year too. I knew I had to test in advance but I just couldn’t get myself to do that. Also: I don’t like the dedicated QTC window that got introduced a few years ago. Under pressure of the RTTY crowd? Clearly mouse driven operating. YUK. I was very fond of the classic interface using the Entry Window to log QTC. No mouse needed! Never a problem. A few days before the contest I saw a few mails passing from the German contest reflector: QTC logging problems. There you go. I did a quick test of the latest update when I booted the computer late Friday evening. It seemed to work. But you never know…

I knew that I was making a tactical mistake by starting late and sleep the night from Friday to Saturday but I just couldn’t be bothered. First QSO at 0540 utc on 7001.85. Pretty low in the band. That’s 7 MHz real estate reserved for the big gun hotshot contest folks. And me. First reply: NO6T with that distinctive fluttery sound of a more polar propagation path. California Über Alles! Next up: W9RE and let’s shake the tree with a batch of QTC – success! The logger worked and I still could copy CW. The run didn’t last long. After such a late start the band closed for DX so I tried 20m to the east. That kinda worked too: a lot of UA9, a bunch of JA, a VK and I QSY’ed for KL7SB with QTC to boot. I got bored around 0700 utc and took a loooong break. I even took a beauty sleep after lunch. Unplanned and it was longer than it should have been.

The rest of the day (late afternoon, evening and early night) was spent on 20m and 40m. Running, begging for QTC and S&P for multipliers. I did a quick scan of the still unexplored 80m band and went to bed between 1AM and 4AM utc. The bed was empty: the XYL moved downstairs to sleep on the couch. It was much somewhat cooler in the living room than upstairs under the roof. I took a portable fan from the shack to the bedroom to create at least the illusion of a draft and exorcising the devilish heat. Nevertheless I slept deeply and even hit swiped the snooze button too often.

I was QRV for sunrise and found a noisy and deserted 3.5 MHz band. Not much to work and no replies to my CQ. A bit of a shame because the RBN showed my signal all over the globe. It wasn’t much better on 40. That is: the band was good but not many folks to work me. Break(fast). An hour later: back to 20 and 15. Fifteen was very quiet. No propagation. I squeezed out a signal and 10 QTC on 28 MHz: 4Z4AK. This weekend was Cycle 24 at its best in bringing out the worst: closed bands. Don’t care: another cool-down break and another excessive nap.

In the meantime a few threatening clouds tried to cramp my contest style:


It was very hot outside and relatively hotter in the shack. I got a peak of 32.5°C in the shack. I did my best to find the fun and I managed to find some consolation: I was working DX, chasing multipliers and getting QTC. I was not putting down a big score but it is what it is. Namely: HOT!

Shout out to my RX loops. They were invaluable for easy listening in diversity mode on 80+40m. And sometimes they were the difference between not making a contact or logging it in the end. The difference when switching between both directions was stunning this time.

Bottom line: WAE CW 2020 is done. Except for the heat is was a good one. No stress, lots of DX and of 1000 QTC logged. Hell yeah!



EUHFC 2020

My 15th participation in this contest. One of my favorite contests. And I seem to do quite well: #12 in the top 100 of all times.


Statistics here:

I left the tower up after IARU. That’s three weeks. Make it easy on myself. Come Friday: 39°C heat, thunderstorms predicted – with possible heavy gusts exceeding 80 km/hr. Better safe than sorry so I lowered the tower on Friday in the scorching heat. Needless to say: no thunderstorm, no rain, no wind over my QTH.

Setting up again on Saturday, with low band wires and additional RX loop. Luckily my youngest son is becoming more handy and interested so I got a pair of little helping hands. His support is becoming more valuable instead of just symbolic.

Sweat all over the place while doing the antenna preparation. My T-shirt got soaked but everything got ready well in time and a shower washed away the sweat and body odor.

I had big fun chasing SJ2W for a z14 win. Check out his site ( ) and IG account (  ). Mike and I go way back since the good ol’ days of WWYC. We were young then, but we’re still kicking butt on the bands today!


Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram


That was a lot of fun! Extra fun to fight with buddy Franki, OQ5M @on5zo #euhfc2020 #euhfc #radiosport #sj2w

Een bericht gedeeld door Mikael Larsmark (@sm2wmv_sj2w) op

BTW: Real time scores are a hit! Check it out:

You can’t beat the guys in S-E EU but at least we kept the Germans off. Of course: SJ2W is a BIG GUN station. He’s got a bunch of HIGH towers and more monobander yagis than my small tribander counts elements. His ‘in band antenna site’ on the side is even bigger than my station. But the race was a thrill and I enjoyed every moment of it!

It was very hot in the shack. Over 26°C before I switched on rigs and the amp. It got up to 30.1°C when running in the heat of the battle – pun intended.

Shout out to rookie OT5Z who did his first full time contest. Welcome to the scene and make yourself heard! Thanks for the ‘15’ multiplier!


The rate was fine and in the end I claim my biggest score ever: most QSO, most multipliers, highest score.

It does NOT get any better than this. Or does it?