Another RTTY contest is history. After I was rather disappointed after last year’s CQ-WWDX-RTTY this one was real fun! Uwe, DL3BQA, was going to use our station as the 1st OP again and had the choice of band. He decided to go single band for several reasons and chose 15 m. I had not planned to do a serious effort, just handing out a few points remotely every now and then besides other weekend activity plans. To maximize points for our BCC club entry it should be an SO4B (Single Operator 4 Bands ) entry then.
Condx were really good! Who would have expected that 10 m would still be this good and even open to the US West Coast? Japan was easy going Saturday morning already, that was a first indication of how good propagation would be going to be. Neither sunspot numbers nor the solar flux were extraordinarily high but a calm sun, low A- & K-index and no Aurora helped to provide good propagation. Sorrily I could only spent 2 hours Saturday morning so missed most of the fun dir East. Was back when the band opened into the U.S. and had lots of fun running on 10 m. No, I won’t repeat now for the umpteenth time that I’m a 10 m addict, you certainly know that by now. 😉 Rates were good enough to keep me awake. 🙂 I have been told by seasoned RTTY operators that participating from DL everything > 50 QSOs/hour is really good and > 60 fantastic and seldomly seen. Well, my best hour was 68/h, best 30 min 80/h (details are here). If I did the math right I had an > 4 hour average of 62/h while running one frequency from 13:07z to 17:22z doing 262 QSOs in that time frame. 😉 Clearly speaks for great condx and people enjoying 10 m as long as it lasts!
Although there were fewer JA contacts on Sunday compared to Saturday I felt Sunday had even better propagation. The band was open almost an hour longer and had more and stronger West Coast signals. In total 40 “zone 3” stations were worked, wow! Really didn’t expect that. I could even decode KH7XX a few times on short path (albeit skewed path, best at 330° instead of the direct 352°) Sunday evening! U.S. runs were “not as good” as on Saturday but hey, who am I to complain about a 50/h average over 4 1/2 hours on RTTY? 😉
After I returned to the station Sunday evening and Uwe had already left (he had completed his max allowed op time of 30 hours) 15 m still showed activity so I could even do a few QSOs there making it effectively an SO4,5B entry. 😉 The band was still nicely open after 21z but did not produce any runs so I soon QSYed down. 20 & 40 m were not much better. Both bands full of stations but I couldn’t get a run going. Using 500 W into a 4 ele Yagi simply does not cut it on 20 m during contests. The combination works quite nicely when chasing DXpeditions, though! So I QSY’ed to 80 m for the last 1 1/2 hours of the contest and could maintain an average of 61/h. Maybe I should have gone there earlier already …
All in all a total of 1.283 QSOs were made “casually” 😉 in less than the allowed op time. Sorrily there were a number of dupes who called Saturday and Sunday and both times confirmed they had my call correct! Wonder why … would understand that in CW or SSB and people possibly paper-logging but in RTTY when you are running the computer anyway I would expect people to use a computer log, too?! Weird …
CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest Call: DH8BQA Class: SOAB HP QTH: JO73ce Operating Time (hrs): 28:30 Summary: Band QSOs ------------ 80: 191 40: 114 20: 138 15: 12 10: 800 ------------ Total: 1255 Prefixes = 638 Total Score = 2,325,510 Club: Bavarian Contest Club Comments: Elecraft K3, KPA500, beams & dipoles
Now keeping fingers crossed condx will hold until next weekend. Should be fun in the ARRLDX-CW then. 😉