It’s been a few years since I last participated seriously in the Marconi Memorial Contest on 2 m. I tried to be QRV for some hours and hand out some points at least during the last few years. It’s always been fun so it was overdue to do a serious entry again. 😉
Condx looked promising, tropo was already enhanced a little on Friday and the F5LEN Tropo Forcast showed there might be good conditions to the east on Saturday evening. And so it was, all the Lithuanians worked (6-700 km) were solid S9 signals while they are usually S3 only in other VHF contests. Unfortunately there were only three of them QRV (LY2WR, LY2R, LY2FN). When they have their VHF Fieldday in July you can easily work 10-12 of them and a few Latvians and sometimes even Estonians, too, but not so this time, just no activity. Really a pity with these nice condx! Anyway, conditions into the other directions were not bad either, although not enhanced. But it helped to have stable signals from the South this time (compared to July contest) resulting in a good number of contacts with HA, 9A, S5 and two times YU again! YT3AAA was single op’ing from the YT4B location and could be worked Saturday evening. YU7ACO is a regular, too (although it didn’t work in July), logged Sunday morning and with over 1.000 km as well no slouch either. 😉
But the real highlight(s) came from the West this time. There was a small tropo zone evolving during the night across the North Sea. I had tried with the bigger GM stations a few times during the night but could never hear them (and vice versa). But on Sunday morning we finally had a stable duct enabling three very fine DX contacts into Scotland! 😎 Keith, GM4YXI, was the strongest of the crowd with a real S9 signal. Signals were stable for almost 4 hours until it all vanished again.
GM4YXI (IO87wk) tropo ducting over 1133 km Sunday morning:
Stewart, GM4AFF, was a nice signal with about S6, too, another easy QSO. Getting Chris, GM3WOJ, into the log needed a little more work. He’s another 130 km further away than the other two and the path is crossing a bit over land (although he has a coastal location as well) so signals were quite weak but we made it. 😎 His location probably helped, too. Tests with other Scottish stations further inland (i.e. MMØC) were all negative, it seemed the duct ended right at the coast line.
All in all lots of fun and great activity. I did not expect to log over 400 QSOs! If my memory doesn’t let me down I think my personal best in the past was something around 300 or maybe 330 QSOs in the Marconi. Would have to look it up in the archives. 😀
I worked a bunch of Czech stations never heard before, all individual callsigns. I can only guess they are usually operating from the big(ger) multi-op stations but due to all the Covid-19 restrictions they now popped up from their little home stations. But no matter what reason it was much appreciated! Here’s a visual overview of all stations logged:
And finally here are my total results. I logged with N1MMLogger+ this time taking advantage of rig control, bandmap, cluster spots, a.s.o. While it is not as flexible on VHF as TACLog (especially concerning reporting) which I’ve been using for the last 25 years it has all the modern advantages mentioned above which are missing in TL. And, I always have to run circles to make these old DOS applications like TL work under modern Windows versions (although DOSBox as an emulator does a good job but who knows how long it will last). So it was about time to do the move. 😉
VHFREG1 Summary Sheet Start Date : 2020-11-07 CallSign Used : DH8BQA Operator(s) : DH8BQA Operator Category : SINGLE-OP Assisted Category : ASSISTED Band : 2M Power : HIGH Mode : CW Default Exchange : # Gridsquare : JO73CE Software : N1MM Logger+ 1.0.8714.0 Band Mode QSOs Pts Pt/Q 144 CW 412 (incl. dupes) Total Both 406 163260 402,1 Score : 163.260 Rig : IC-9700 + PA Antennas : 10 ele DK7ZB Yagi QSOs > 800 km: 08/11 0849 GM3WOJ IO77WS 1258 08/11 0832 GM4YXI IO87WK 1133 08/11 1034 GM4AFF IO86TS 1128 07/11 2021 YT3AAA JN94SD 1079 08/11 0804 YU7ACO KN05RD 1037 07/11 1754 9A0V JN95PE 963 07/11 2319 F6DWG/P JN19BQ 923 07/11 1759 9A8D JN95LM 919 07/11 1752 9A1N JN85LI 894 08/11 0052 HB9IAB/P JN36GU 892 07/11 1553 9A4M JN85EI 886 08/11 0642 G4PIQ JO02OD 884 07/11 1807 9A1P JN65VG 881 07/11 2338 F1UVN JO10HE 865 08/11 0646 9A9R JN85OQ 862 07/11 1924 G4CDN JO02SS 849