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Class: SOSB/15 HP
QTH: Wayne, NJ
Operating Time (hrs): 25
|Summary: Compare Scores|
Club: Frankford Radio Club
|Comments: [email] 2017-03-07 07:44:01|
|The worst conditions experienced in a half century of contesting. Was this 15M or 10M? Friday night, all I could hear or work on the entire band was a weak, watery "Zulu X-Ray Five Japan!" - barely above the noise. He's the loudest guy on from South America, 20-30 over 9 when conditions are normal. I sat there, wondering, are my antennas connected? Not one other station heard. I couldn't even hear WE3C! At 8 PM I pulled the plug and went downstairs to watch TV. 15M was positively comatose Saturday morning. Why did I get up so early, I asked myself. Was this trip really necessary? Slowly, signals from the usual suspects in the Caribbean and South America began dribbling in. But where was Europe? I didn't hear the first EA until 8:30. Well, better late than never, but as time progressed, it was apparent that band condition were bad, and essentially open only to southern and western Europe. 9A1A, a normally gigantic signal from Europe, was barely copiable. Zippo heard from Scandinavia, Russia, Ukraine, or eastern Europe. A few scattered mults, such as HB9s, some ONs and PA0s made it through, along with a few others, but that was it except for EAs, CTs, France, and Italy. Not one YU or an OK or an HA. By 17:30Z, the opening was done; once the sun went down in Europe, the ARRL DX test became the Worked-All-PY Contest. To the west, my background noise level was almost S9. A few KH6s was all that was heard, as well as VP6EU on Pitcairn Island, probably the first and last time I'll ever work Pitcairn in a contest, but that pretty much qualifies as a North-South path, and not really "Pacific" DX. No ZLs or VKs heard. JAs? Fahgeddaboudit! Smile - you're in the KU2M Triangle. On Dupeday (some people call it Sunday), conditions were, if it can be believed, even worse. I barely worked 75 stations the entire DAY, and absolutely nothing in Europe. Zilch! I didn't even get a chance to tell any IK0s that they had already called me three times. At one point while trolling the band, I heard CR6K, perhaps the loudest signal from Europe, barely coming through, but a short time later, he had disappeared. That was it for the EU "opening!" Back to the WAPY Contest. I did manage a few ZLs and a few southern Africans, but that was it. 90% of the time was spent beaming south, the only path that was working. Symptomatic of conditions were the huge pileups that saw W3LPL, K3LR and all the other big guns desperately slugging it out over the hapless new KP4 or PY that showed up on the band. OMG! A new QSO! Get him!! On the upside, with conditions as they were, I found time for other fun activities, like doing the dishes. I was also able to finish a nice book that I've been reading. Some say that we are on the cusp of a new Maunder Minimum. If that is correct, then it may be time to take some Portuguese and Spanish lessons.|