Monday, 26 October 2015

CQ WW SSB Contest

What an outstanding weekend on the bands!!!!!  I think all the bands were full of DX signals, I know 20m, 15m, and 10m were rocking practically the whole contest, and 40m was hot at night.  It was really nice to have 10m wide open, I spent a lot of time there.

I managed to work 158 countries in a little over 12 hours operating.  All the usual suspects were on the bands, but I did get to work a new country, 4L0A from the Republic of Georgia, heard him on 20m and snagged him on the second call.  That's the first time I've ever heard Georgia on the air.

I also worked VU2CPL in Bangalore, India, on 20m Sunday afternoon on 20m.  How I broke that pileup I will never know, it was frightening!!

The downside of the weekend is that on Saturday afternoon, in the middle of a huge pileup, my antenna decided it would be a good time to come down.  Outside I went, man it was cold in the wind, I managed to get it back in the air and also put up a 31' vertical and some radials down as a spare in case I needed it during the night.  We had winds of 60 kph gusting to 75 kph all afternoon and over night.  So two hours of valuable operating time was lost.

Once again the "tuner uppers" were out in force, tuning up on top of active QSO's, and a few band police were heard, but not as many as usual.  There were tons of European stations between 7.040 and 7.124, and very few of them working split for a change.

Overall  the propagation wasn't bad, it certainly wasn't as bad as the numbers would have led us to believe.    We started with SFI=115, SN=91, A Index at 7, and the K Index at 1, and finished on Sunday with the SFI=106, SN=74, A Index at 11, and the K Index at 2.  The bands did get a bit noisy, but there was so many signals on them it was hard to tell what real affect the SFI had on them.

It's all over except submitting the log, and then it's getting things tuned up and sorted for the ARRL Sweepstakes on November 21st & 22nd.