WAE DX Contest, CW
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Band QSOs QTCs Mults
80: 39 28 68
40: 118 184 114
20: 183 346 84
15: 69 120 58
10: 19 29 22
Total: 428 707 346 Total Score = 392,710
Club: Rhein Ruhr DX Association
** Mults are already weighted with the bonus factor **
WAE'07 - Lots to say about this one. Not so positive though.
I knew it wasn't going to be easy in 2007 with the conDX what they are, so I
didn't really look forward to this one. Certainly not after some high rate
contesting in IARU and EUHFC. With DX only it would be a different story. DX
participation is always relatively low compared to EU but my fear was that the
lack of propagation would reduce the DX activity even further. I mean: why
bother if you know itâ??s not going to be a fruitful weekend DX-wise? You gotta
be a lunatic â?? or a contester... What's the difference?
By now I have a tradition here for T-storms on WAE CW weekends making it a
tactical challenge to plan breaks during these. And Mr. Murphy got creative and
threw in something extra. I got ill with a severe cold three days before the
contest. I didn't bother to put up extra antennas or crank up the tower on
Friday because I felt too ill. Blame our nice ( N O T ! ) summer WX for that. I
started the first night with a 3 hour break to get some sleep. I didnâ??t feel
like going through the night already.
With only the 40m antenna up, it was a very slow start 0330 utc. Static and not
many stations to log. Off to bed again from 0600 to 0800z. I felt somewhat
better so I cranked up the tower and put up the 80m antenna. High price to pay:
the effort took too much energy and I got tired and flu-ish again. Did I mention
I got stung by a wasp out in the garden? Oh boy!
Conditions were horrible (SFI = 68, K = 12, yummie) but I carried on. No runs,
no rate, no DX - no propagation! On Saturday I could afford to hang out on 10m.
This had turned into a casual operation by now with virtually no rate and no
pressure so why not try it? I worked VO1AAM, VY2ZM, NN3W and later on P43JB â??
on Ten! Cool! That OB11-3 really plays on all 3 bands. But this was the first NA
with it on 10m.
Saturday night the noise on the low bands was just earcrushing. I went to bed
at about 2000utc. Then I got up for 80m at 0200. Bummer, just the usual loud
stations. At 0700 I realized I had spent 3 hours for 23 QSO and a handfull QTC
on 40 and 80. That was a shocking thought. So I took a break(fast).
The bands never really opened up Sunday AM so at 1100utc I threw in the towel
and gave up. I was demotivated, almost disgusted. I couldnâ??t force myself to
stay in the chair knowing I would not work many stations. The WX forecast
predicted thunderstorms in the afternoon / evening so I cranked down the tower
and took down the 80m vertical leaving only the 40m antenna.
I took a shower after a nice meal and we went out to for a long walk and a
surprise visit to my in-laws. By 1800z it started itching again for an after
dinner QSO. I felt good and healthy again so I went into the shack and worked
some more on 20m but with the beam at 9m high in stead of 21m where it should
be: no go. My weak signal meant not breaking pile ups, not able to run and not
getting response to my QTC-begging. So it was a matter of waiting for 40m to
open, but it already was wide open for static and QRN. An online T-storm
spotting service showed a lot of hits 120km west of me but not in my area.
Anyhow the crashes were loud so it was hard to copy DX serials let alone QTC.
Still I carried on until the end, making some QSO in between on 20m and begging
for QTCs. I was glad to QRT.
WAE CW is my favourite contest - for the QTC so I focused on that. I was active
just under 24 hours, but some 5-10 minute off periods arenâ??t even counted. It
is what it is, given my physical situation on Friday and Saturday and the
conditions at the bottom of Cycle 23...
On the bright side:
N1MMLogger is really slick for QTC copying;
The OB11-3 tribander once again turned out to be a very good replacement for
the KLM KT34XA;
A lot of SA 5 banders, they are soooo loud so late on 28/21MHz, and my 80m
vertical seems to like them too;
Easy target for 2008 â?? donâ??t tell me SFI wonâ??t improve by then!
73 de Franki ON5ZO = OQ5M
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