Sunday, 15 July 2018

Not a bad day...

This years IARU HF Championship is over.  I didn't work at it too hard as I really wasn't feeling too well yesterday, but I had fun.

The day started with some pretty quiet bands, there seemed to be very few stations calling CQ, and I worked those fairly quickly putting all of the North American and Caribbean zones in the log.  Propagation was not good, just ok.  At 1300 UTC on the 14th July the SFI = 73, SN = 0, A Index = 6, and the K Index = 2.  Those figures stayed pretty much stable for most of the next 24 hours.

There was some deep QSB on the bands on Saturday, which of course always struck at the wrong time.  Stations being received at S9+ would just disappear in an instant.  And then there was my all time favourites causing issues....the tuner uppers !!!  Why these jerks haven't learned to move slightly off frequency to tune up is beyond me....and why do they take 5 minutes to tune ???

It was about 1500 UTC when the first European stations started to be heard on 20m, and only the guys running "too much power" could work them at first...which is a good thing because they were then out of the way for we low power mortals to get in there and work them.   This opening to the EU lasted about an hour and a half, and I managed to work a good number of EU stations with no trouble using my 80m OCF Dipole. The good news is that the EU stations came back with a vengeance starting at around 2300 UTC and lasted until I shut down around 0300 UTC.

Although I managed to work less stations than last year, I still managed to put 42 countries in my log, and I'm quite happy with that.  My antennas worked as expected and as advertised.  I mainly used the 80m OCF Dipole, but did use the vertical every now and then.  Stations were worked on 40m, 20m, and 15m.  I didn't hear a soul on 10m or 80m all contest.

Surprisingly this year I heard no African stations.  Normally Morocco and Cape Verde are in there with a number of stations, but I didn't hear them at all.

My only real complaint..besides the tuner uppers....is for operators to slow down.  You need to leave some space in your endless CQ calls.  If you don't leave a space we can't get in there to answer you....and then we both miss a contact....oh yeah, and please us standard phonetics.