Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sweepstakes - the result.

My finished 2014 section map - no clean sweep.
Saturday afternoon at 1600 local arrived and this years ARRL Sweepstakes kicked off, and it was straight to 10m I went.  The band was hopping and kept me going strong for the next two and a half hours.  Most of the signals were coming from out west and the California sections filled up pretty quickly.  No sign of Hawaii though, and no sign of any Quebec station for the whole weekend.

I did go to 40m after supper.....but there was no sign of the ever elusive VA3QV, even though he did email to tell me he would be on.  He was probably outside washing and waxing the RV.......

At about 2030 local the bands took a bit of a nose dive.  The SFI was at 159, the SN at 117, the A Index was 17, and the K Index was at 4.  Not the numbers we really wanted, but it was what we had to work with.

Most of the evening was spent on 10m, with the odd foray to 40m and 80m to check things out there.

By 0900 local on Sunday the bands had settled down and were jumping once again.  10m and 15m were the go to bands, but 20m was excellent as well.  But, by 1300 local the bands were starting to lose their magic as the A and K Index numbers went up again and the bands got very noisy.

I like this contest, the exchange is just difficult enough, and only being able to work a station once, regardless of band, also makes it interesting.

No band police were heard this weekend, but I did hear a US ham have a totally childish meltdown on 20m.  Apparently a fellow amateur had the audacity to trespass on this guys personal frequency.........messing up his AM signal with an interloping SSB signal.  I must confess that I had been sitting on the frequency for good 10 minutes while I fixed my log and had not heard a peep until the SSB station started to call CQ.

I always have a quiet chuckle when I hear a US station lecturing a DX station about the band plan.  Somehow they think that everyone must follow the ARRL or FCC one....well, here's a news flash......we don't, we have our own.

All in all a good weekend on the band. No QRP this year, I went QRO.  I'm nowhere near winning like I did last year, even if I did beat last years score by 5500 points.

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