This weekend I entered the CQ WPX RTTY contest with target to improve my personal total QSO-record in a contest. I think the current personal record stems from a PACC-contest a few years ago and was around 450 Q’s. There was only one catch: in this same weekend the PACC-contest is organized. PACC-contest is a 24-hour contest where you only work Dutch amateurs (PA) to collect all the Dutch provinces which are handed out as exchange. Because the Netherlands is small country, this contest is only successful if there are enough Dutch amateurs participating. It’s a unwritten rule to always participate as Dutch amateur, if only for a few Q’s.
PACC is in CW- and SSB-mode. In CW I’m not yet able to be in running mode and SSB is far from my favorite mode. But for this one contest I want to make an exception and plug in the microphone. I switched back and forward from CW S&P and SSB and collect a poor 100 Q’s. BUT…… I did participate!
When I logged 100 Q’s in the PACC I immediately switched back to RTTY for the WPX. Saturday I ran around 250 Q’s and Sunday was good for another 350! Weird propagation (an A-index of 23!) on Sunday which was noticeable.
A fun moment in this contest was the very close encounter with my friend Jim Wilson, K5ND. We have an ongoing saga to just work each other once in a contest. I was in line to work another station when I saw Jim work him just before me. I switched antennas from vertical to horizontal to copy Jim’s signal but I couldn’t. When I tried to work the next calling station, K5ND again appeared on my screen! So Jim was Search & Pouncing just before me down the band! I figured if I skipped one or two calling stations and call the third, maybe Jim would arrive at that station just when I was working it. I worked NR5M and afterwards I wait a little to see if Jim arrived. I didn’t seen his call anymore, but this morning I read his blog update and it seems he did see me in QSO with NR5M! Ah well, maybe more luck in the next contest. I did broke my personal Q’s record, so it was a fun weekend.
The next few weekends I have some DIY-resonsibilities in and around the house. So I have to throttle back a little on the contesting.
Last weekend I entered the ARRL 10m CW/SSB contest. My 10m vertical (Antron A99) was still up on the roof since the last 10m contest. I did climb up the roof the reinstall the Buddipole. Not so successful this time due to a firm wind which blew it down again and again. Despite the support ropes.
The band starts opening up around 8:00 – 8:30 am. I switched back and forward between CW and USB. Actually the vertical was quite successful this time.
Around 7:00 pm the band was pretty much closed. Sunday I could only work until around 2:00 pm due to family duties.
After all a good contest, interesting to do a combined CW/SSB-contest. I think I need a good strategy for these combined contests next time. There were probably more Q’s to make then I did now.
Considering this the last contest for this years division league, I’ll take a rest now. I’ll rearrange the shack, clean out the place etc. Get everything up and running for the new contest year of 2014!
This weekend there where multiple contests to choose from. To optimize my score I picked out the Melee Tara RTTY contest on Saturday and the ARRL RTTY 10 Meter contest on Sunday.
I started off with a well prepped N1MM. Loaded with call history file and a fresh master.dta and country file. FSK was working (plenty of practice on Saturday). But since 10 meters doesn’t open up until sunrise I did have breakfast with the family first. Then I climb up the roof to put some extra’s on for 10 meter. My Fritzel FD-3 can do 10 meter of course, but it’s not ideal. I put up my Buddipole and trimmed it for 10 meter. I found an old Solarcon Antron 99A vertical in the shed which (if I remember correctly) can be used for 10 meter too. Everything is functioning and a cup of hot coffee I went in the shack.
The Buddipole did a great job in the early morning hours! In the afternoon the vertical seemed to work better then the dipole. Q’s where running low, but that’s only logical for a single 10 meter band contest. I did manage to squeeze out 100 Q’s.
It was already dark when I put down the Buddipole. The vertical I left up for now. Maybe it’s handy for coming contests?