Wednesday, 31 October 2018

CQ Contest - VE9FI

Don, VE3MNE, grounding coax.
Well, its nice to be home after 7 days away operating with the Hampton Amateur Radio Club.   The first few days where spent getting set up and acquainted with the shack equipment.   We also discovered that we had to ground the coax for the six element yagi to bring the noise floor down...but that was an easy fix.

We had a few issues - fortunately not very many - with the antennas, but quickly got them sorted out.  Mainly it was to to people operating on antennas that where too close together, or with similar polarities.

Friday night, for the second year in a row, we could not get a run on 80m or 40m, the stations just where not there.  One or two would pop up to work us..with difficulty..and then disappear.  It was very frustrating.  However, 20m was open into the Europe until very late, so we did well there.  We also managed a few contacts on 160m, all of them into the USA.

The propagation numbers for Friday night where:  SFI-69, SN-0, 'A' Index 6, and 'K' Index-3....not the best of conditions either.
Waterfall on the Flex, Saturday afternoon

On Saturday morning 20m didn't open up until 1200 UTC.  Before then we managed to work the odd strong station, most of whom I am certain were operating with more than legal power levels to reach out and work us.  After it opened it just went crazy, it was wall-to-wall signals right across the band, I've never seen it so crowded.

Our second station had a good day working 15m where a lot of contacts where made during the day.  It also made a few 10m contacts as well during the afternoon which was a surprise.  In the evening and overnight it was on 40m and 80m where business was slow.

On Sunday the bands opened up pretty much the same time as Saturday, and the day went pretty much the same with 20m being the crazy band again.  The 'A' Index had dropped to 4 and the 'K' Index dropped to 1, so that helped a bit with improving what little propagation we had.

Some of the more exotic stations we worked where in Malawi, Oman, UAE, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, and Senegal.  I even managed to work Malc, 2W0SEU, and surprised him by speaking a little Welsh to him.....not something he expected from a VE9 station!!!

Our total score was about 75 QSO's down from last year, but given where we are in the solar cycle we are very pleased with our performance.  Now we wait to see the posted results, and hope we did as well as last year.

Many, many thanks go out to Russ, VE9FI and his XYL Pat, VE9DZ for their great hospitality during our time at their QTH.  They take us feel so at home.

Here's a few more pictures.....

Operating station No. 1

Operating Station No. 2

Russ VE9FI in his shack

The lovely view of the snow on the way home at Riviere du Loup.

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