Sunday, 10 July 2011

IARU Contest 2011

As per the usual for this weekend, Don-VE3MNE and myself headed out for our annual IARU HF World Championship weekend to Don's cottage on Hay Bay.  This year Tim-VA3TIC joined us for a weekend filled with the anticipation of excellent DX.

The bands seemed to be very long with stations from Europe coming in at 20 over 9, but they could not hear us answering their CQ's - on any band, using any of the four available antennas.  We all thought it was going to be a very long weekend when I answered a CQ from Steve-VK6IR in Western Australia and had an almost instant response.  The bands settled down after about 30 minutes and we made lots of DX contacts.

Overall it was a great weekend, and the weather was fantastic.  However, some of the behaviour on the bands could have been a hell of a lot better.  I started to wonder if some of the clowns we heard had ever operated a HF radio before!

Sunset at Hay Bay, Ontario
The LIDS were out in full force tuning up right on top of each other and the weak signal they were all trying to work.  Twice I had to remove my headset quickly due to a LID tuning up right on top of my QSO.  They were so loud it hurt.  Obviously they have no respect at all for their fellow amateurs!

Why is is when a station calls for the "VE3 only" every "W4" or "N9" in creation decides that the calling station actually meant them and not the VE3?  Some of these guys need Elmers in the worse way!

What's with the stations calling "QRZ" over and over and over without ever giving their callsign?  In the end I started to work one of these stations just to see if I could actually get his callsign out of him.....and it took 20 minutes to do so.  Elmers anyone????

What's with these clowns who sit on a frequency and tell you that it's in use, when clearly it isn't?  This happened to me at just as lunch was called on Saturday.  I left the radio on that frequency while I ate lunch and heard nothing for the next 30 minutes.  I went back called CQ and was told the frequency was in use.  In the end I asked the guy how much he had paid for that particular frequency as I'd like to buy one as well!

And finally, what's with giving your callsign at mach 6, so a normal human being could never understand anything you had just said.  Then why do they leave a few milli-seconds in between their CQ's so that stations do not have enough time to get their callsign in?  IO4HQ was an excellent example this weekend on how "not to call CQ".

Tim-VA3TIC working DX
Last contact of the weekend?  0750L Sunday morning I heard 8N8FQ, the HQ Station for the JARL calling CQ....and got him on one call back to him.  Made my day! 

I worked just about every national HQ station I could hear, but I never heard a RAC station on the bands taking part.  Does anyone know if they did?

The IARU contest is an excellent way of working all the DX you can handle in a weekend, we never miss it, and we all had a blast!

Many thanks to the ARRL for running this event for amateurs around the world on behalf of the IARU.

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