[CQ-Contest] IARU ... fun

Joe and Tam BV/N0IAT joentam at transend.com.tw
Mon Jul 14 21:49:52 EDT 1997

Well gang, 
This is now the 5th year of operating IARU contest in some part of Asia.
I must admit, this
is one of my favorites, coming very close to the fun one can have
in CQWW as a single-op unassisted.  I suppose the appeal of IARU
is multi-faceted:

1.  this is an "everyone work everyone else" contest.  Unlike JIDXA,
    or ARRL DX, this one is a free-for-all much like CQWW.  

2.  It's an all-mode contest.  While I'm a CW op, it is neat to experience
    the whole contest community coming together -- the phone folks are 
    competing with the other phone folks, the cw ops with the cw ops, and
    a few brave souls even manage to work both modes successufully.   It's
    fun to spin the dial just to see the entire band alive with contest

3.  It's a good time of year -- the mercury is usually sky high, meaning
    it's ideal to fire up the air-con and the amp at the same time and just
    go to it.  Provided the summer t-storms stay away, the upper bands are 
    usually quite solid.  Also, I REALLY like the 24 hour format of this
one.       Unlike some of the other contests, (which take me AT LEAST a week
to prepare     for and another week to recover) the 24 hour format is tolerable.

Now, with that said, I did find the IARU a tad disappointing this year.  I
suppose the main culpret was the XYL and baby were both suffering from a slight
bout of influenza -- it miraculously cleared up around 12:00Z on Sunday.
This really limited my operating time and hence the very low score and few
Despite the low operating time, unquestionably this was the worst contest EVER
for me as far as band conditions go.  Things were tough going.    I heard NO
ONE up on 10M, and 15 was pathetic even into JA.   Even on 20M, I could not
get a good run into JA.  On the plus side, this was the first contest in
memory where I was working 1 for 1 EU and NA stations.  Thanks to K3ZO,
K6XX, N3BB, and the rest for their always-present "propagation beacons".
It was intersting to note
that some of the usual big guns went unheard, including W9RE and W0AIH.  
Speaking of JA, I did not hear many of the normal contest stations on the
air.  Where was JA1SSB, JA1ZLO and the other big boys of the Kanto Plain ?
I never heard Africa or Middle East open either.   From Asia, there was
W4KNE/DU3, VR97BG,  and that's about it.   40M yielded nothing but S9+40 
static crashes.

I'd be interested to hear about conditions in other parts of the world.  Was
it me or did things really drop off.  I think the flux was in the high 60's,
the lowest it's been in weeks.

Well...here's hoping I can figure out how to use TR V4.5 post-contest
without losing the log (happened last year).


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