|Beautiful Hay Bay|
As suspected the propagation wasn't the best for the Colorado 14er event and the only SOTA contact I made all day was in Utah !! Ryan, K7ODX, was activating W7U/SU-019, which in English is Monroe Peak in South Utah, a 3422m high peak and worth 10 points to we chasers. It was a rough contact as Ryan was only a 41 at very best.
Next up was Earnest, J69Z/p in St. Lucia, judging by the background noise he was operating from the beach, but was a very solid S9 into Hay Bay. There were many US and Canadian stations in the log over the course of the day, and it was amazing how many of them commented on the poor band conditions they were having.......I was having a blast making the contacts I got. Many of the US stations were running kilowatts, and given the very sad state of their signals I presume they were operating into less than optimal antenna systems. In fact there was one US station, a K0, that was running so much power he was splattering over half the 17m band, and didn't take too kindly to being told that.
Whatever happened to the days when hams cared about what their signals sounded like? A number of stations told the K0 what their panadaptors were seeing with his signal, and all they received in return was a "yeah, so what, it's the way I run my rig". Oh well..........you can't fix stupid.
At 1844 UTC I heard 9K2NO on 20m at about S9+40. He was working all sorts of Europeans but very few North Americans. I tried for about 15 minutes, but it was a waste of time as I just could not get a signal that could be heard into Kuwait. My last contact of the day was with GD6IA, Alex, on the Isle of Man. I had a great rag chew with him about my memories as a small boy of the TT Motorcycle Races that take place annually on the Island.
As I cleared with Alex the dark clouds started to form up over us and we packed up, had a fast BBQ supper and then high-tailed it home. The heavens opened just as I was unloading the truck in the garage.....perfect timing.
Propagation numbers for the day were: SFI=101. SN=70. A Index=10. K Index=2. If anyone is looking for a reliable propagation site, have a look HERE.
It was a good day. Great weather for the majority of it, good contacts, and good food. I'm looking forward to the next adventure on the weekend of August 15/16, which is both the NAQP and the ILLW weekend........the batteries are on charge!