Ever since I coincidentally stumbled across the TMC (The Makrothen Contest) back in 2014 I wanted to do a full time entry in that contest one time. I really like the format: It’s 8 hours operating, 8 hours off, 8 on, 8 off, 8 on & 8 off again for a full 48 hours. So you can manage a few things between shifts, be it sleeping, walking the dog, or getting some honey-do’s done. 😉 It’s QSO exchange is grid locators (VHFers heaven ) and scoring is purely distance based – the further away the more points, reflecting the original meaning of DX, i.e. distance!
This year all underlying circumstances fit so I could do it. The first 8 hour shift was very slow. Not much activity, MUF below 7 MHz during the night. Boring. So I went to bed again for about 1,5 hours in-between. Early morning was a bit better but still slow. Finshed the first shift with 135 QSOs in the log.
Second shift started with 15 m open to the U.S. (!) but again no acitivity. 20 m was a bit better but I soon switched to 40 m. Less kilometer average but more QSOs = more fun and even more points in total. Added another 200 QSOs to the log. Still no high rates (well, it’s RTTY, rates are always much lower than on CW or SSB anyway), but more fun than the first shift.
Third shift brought another 230 QSOs. Again 15 m opened nicely into the U.S., even a few WØ’s were loud, but again too low activity, nobody recognized the band was open. There was even some Sporadic-E on 10 m but I first needed to convince an EA1 on 15 m to QSY with me to 10 m to have one QSO in the log at least. Shame …
20 m was the most productive band during the afternoon. More QSOs = more fun. Nicely open to North America = more kilometers! Shift #3 brought exactly as many points as shift #1 and #2 together. DX IS!
Makrothen RTTY Contest Call: DH8BQA Class: SO/Single Xcvr HP QTH: JO73ce Operating Time (hrs): 22 Summary: Band QSOs ------------ 80: 143 40: 134 20: 251 15: 36 10: 1 ------------ Total: 565 Total Score = 2,123,710 Comments: Elecraft K3, KPA500 + 80/40 m dipoles, 20 m 4L, 15/10 m 6L yagis
Looking at previous results the 565 QSOs seem to be okay and should be good enough for a nice placement. Of course it is rather low compared to the big RTTY contests. Or even to my result in 2014 when I made 140 QSOs in just 2,5 hours on 10 m (under much better condx, of course). I’d really wish the TMC would see more participation, the format should probably be attractive to many more people. Maybe it just needs some more marketing. The PL259 Contest Club already did a good job after taking over the contest’s organization a few years ago.
As I can’t get rid of my VHF genes 😀 I made some locator maps again like in 2014 showing what was worked. This time the European map is filled a lot more, of course, as half of my QSOs were done on the low bands …