W0UN (W0UA, op) ARRL DX CW 40M single band
1056 and 104 for a preliminary score of 329,472
(taking solice in the fact that it at least broke our old 0-district record)
I decided to write a few comments this time. I would be
interested in any feedback--especially from stations in
the upper midwest to west. --W0UN
My kingdom for 10 more points of solar flux! Propagation
to the north got so bad on Friday night that Europe and JA
disappeared! In fact the band got so quiet to the north that
George questioned whether the Beverages were still working.
It was so dead to the north that you could hear nothing but
internal rig noises! The MUF to EU and JA just dropped below
7 MHz on our paths--very frustrating to hear stations to the
east, south, and west still having some propagation and for
Colorado to be shut out. It got so bad that George decided
to sleep a couple of hours around midnight on Friday night.
And that was the right decision based on his condition after
a pretty rough work week (60 or 70 hours), the propagation,
and the fact that things improved somewhat on Saturday
night and he was better rested for it. This is the first time
that I recall, offhand, that we had significantly more QSOs
on the second night than on the first (might have been a
40 SSB effort by K0GU a few years ago that also ended up
The one unexplained situation was how N7DD still had Europe
when we were shut out. His path to Europe is right over the
top of us (at least his direct path is). Either he had some Europe
from a skew path that we couldn't make happen or the propagation
on the band went long enough so that we were within the skip
zone and he was enough further away to have propagation. I know
N7DD has a much longer shot to JA with his further south and west
location, and his LP to EU is also superior. But the SP Europe
differences are not clear to me yet.
What is also interesting (and may be related) is that we seem
to have a great signal into the arctic region in Europe but
can't make it on down to the lower latitudes. My good friend and
colleague is Dr. Jurgen Rottger, SM2/DJ3KR, and he has been
getting on the air for a few recent contests to work a few stations
with his vertical. He is director of EISCAT, a multi-national
consortium that does ionospheric research in northern Scandinavia
and an old line contester and I trust his observations as a scientist.
We seem to always be very strong there--often the strongest
signal from the US--beating even the east coast guys. But that
sure isn't enough to make a difference when the solar flux is as
low as it is now and doesn't get us into the population centers
Here is a copy of Jurgen's message after he worked us--good for
the ego but not good enough to be very competitive.
>Congratulations, John and George! A short note before I am rushing out to
>the airport: You were strongest last night from the US on 7 MHz. Your
>signal was peaking about S9 +10dB, almost as strong as the big Europeans.
>All other US max. S8/9. I just locked in to you during my usual evening
>scan before going to bed. W0UN is the one and only W I had and will
>work(ed) during the ARRL DX 1997, thank you George.
>Wish you further good luck and best 73, Jurgen, SM2/DJ3KR
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