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Class: SOAB LP
Operating Time (hrs):
|Summary: Compare Scores|
|Comments: [email] 2017-03-06 09:00:55|
|Antennas: 1/4 Vert 80M 25ft Vert w/LDG RT-100 Tuner -40m/20m 15m dipole @ 25ft. 3L 10m Yagi @ 18ft. This was an interesting contest. Never, since N5AU corrupted me in 1977, have I seen conditions quite like what I experienced this year I turned my radio on at 3pm before the contest, and discovered that I now had a 40db over S9 line noise problem. This was probably going to eliminate my working anything but loud stations, but I called Ozarks Electric anyway figuring they wouldn't be out until Monday. Surprise! They arrived within an hour, found a failed insulator, and the major noise disappeared. I started on 40m, which seemed to have more activity than usual for the start of the contest, but then again, I don't usually start on 40m. I worked a few guys, then went to 20m, figuring to go to what I thought would be the highest band open. It was, but seemingly only to the Caribbean and SA, so I went to 80 for the early opening. Nothing out of the ordinary, but I really do need further improvement on my receive antennas. I went 40 and 80 all night until I decided my aged body probably should get some sleep. Back up at 5:00AM for more 80m activity, then 40. When I went to 20 again around 12:45 was when I got the feeling that things ain't what they used to be, as the song goes. Only CR5C as the lone EU! Back to 40. Only one JA, no YB or anything else of interest, so back to 20. A few EU, but very few, mostly again SA and Zone 8 stuff. All day, and only one DL! Here is the most interesting part of the weekend; 15 was absolutely under some kind of anti- propagation cloud. This is usually my money band, has been for years. Not this time. No EU, not the entire weekend. Not really any AF either, except for Martti at EA8BH, and only on Sunday for me. He said he couldn't even hear himself on 10, and usually I can work west AF even during low cycle years on 10. I thought 15 might get a little better on Sunday (it didn't) so I basically slogged through 20 most of the day with a couple of short excursions to 10, which netted a few contacts. In all my years of contesting, I have never done one where I didn't work a single JA on 15 meters. This was the first. Can it get any worse? Another night of wading through 40 and 80. Up in the morning, a few more JAs on 80, plus T32AZ, Then back to 20. This showed some promise, as I worked a couple of Russians and eastern bloc countries, but that faded within the hour, and it was back to Zone 8, SA, and loud Is and EAs, with a couple of others thrown in. The further north, the less likely for me to work them. I normally try to avoid pileups anyway, since a peanut whistle doesn't work well in bad condx. 10m on Sunday had a couple of good hours. I worked a lot of the usual PY and LU, who seem mostly to be active on 10m only. I thought that was an acceptable effort for this time in the cycle. After laboring through 20 and 15 most of the day (and consuming vast amounts of Dr. Pepper and assorted junk food) I finished on 40 and 80. Old friend Bill, K1MM) surprised me from C37NL, then I went down to 80, only to find I had a new noise (track that down later) and decided with 20 minute left enough was enough. Truly, propagationwise, this was an interesting weekend.|