Monday, 7 March 2011

ARRL International DX SSB Contest

What a weekend!  This was my best DX weekend for many years.  Saturday morning the  SFI was 127, A Index=11 and K Index=1, and the bands just rocked!  Twelve hours later at 2130L the SFI was 135, A Index=5 and K Index=1 and it was wall-to-wall DX on all bands. 

On both Saturday and Sunday around 1600L the bands swung from North-South propagation to North-South.  I worked most of Europe and South America on 15m over the weekend, and a few more on 20m and 40m.  15m was just incredible, I haven't heard it that busy for a long time.  I went up and down the band and never stopped working stations.

80m was filled with the usual nets and "hillbilly roundtables" all weekend, but I did manage to catch both Poland and the UK on the band.

It was also amazing how many countries I worked on 10m. I can't even remember the last time I worked anyone on 10, but it was working well for most of the weekend.

The three big catches for me this past weekend was PZ5P in Surinam and HL3K in South Korea, both on 20m, and ST2AR in Khartoum, Sudan on 10m.

The downside of the weekend?  Well, that would have to be the many LIDS who just have to tune up right on top of the station calling CQ.  Why do these idiots do this?  Can't they understand that if you move off frequency 10Kc either side that it won't affect your tuning? 

I'm not the "perfect" operator, but I do understand the rules that make operating a great experience for all. So thanks to those few idiots who ruined our QSO's, I hope you all had a good time, and next time, please...try and use some common sense on the bands!

As I write this Monday evening I notice that the SFI has risen to 153, A Index=9 and K Index=2.  Hopefully the minimum is now behind us and it will continue to rise for the CQ WW WPX Contest on the 26th and 27th of March.

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