Second 2 m ES for me this year & a new one on 4 m

After getting up this morning I saw things evolving on and LiveMUF so decided to drive from my girlfriend’s place to my home and get the station ready. 2 m opened about half an hour after my arrival but no QSOs made yet. Heard UA4ALU from LN29 as well as RN6MA/LN08 but both were just above the noise – enough for me to hear them but obviously not the other way round, my 700 watts + 9 ele Yagi were not enough to raise them. Yet another half an hour later the band opened for about 3 minutes overhere, enough to work UA4ALU on CW. 😎

2 m was open for almost 2 hours in total but all the fun was further east, i.e. I was about 2-300 km too far west, just at the very edge. Pity but on the other hand glad to catch another opening at all after quite a bad season (at least for me) this year. 6 m also opened to the East, i.e. BY, BV & HS could be worked from Central Europe. Again I was not lucky enough, I could not raise a single of all the DX stations. Wonder how much power everybody else is running to make it through the pileups … kinda frustrating again and taking away the joy of the Magic Band I used to have years ago. So I concentrated once more on 4 m and made some nice QSOs there via Sporadic-E and tropo, too. Even worked a new one with ER1SS for DXCC #38 and a new square of course, too. OH2FNR provided another new square later on, now at #173. 😎

A new one on 70 MHz:

09:09  UA4ALU        LN29LA   559   599    2 m.   CW    ES    2178
09:52  ER1SS         KN46JX    55    57    4 m.   SSB   ES    1245
11:08  DG8RAN        JN69CU   -12   -11    4 m.   FT8   TR     395
11:36  EA6SX         JM19IK   +11   +11    4 m.   FT8   ES    1760
11:38  EA6VQ         JM19MP   -01   -12    4 m.   FT8   ES    1727
11:44  EA3AQJ        JN11BI   +08   +01    4 m.   FT8   ES    1596
12:03  DK2GOX        JN49WS   -18   -11    4 m.   FT8   TR     484
12:06  OZ1BP         JO55GA   -03   -11    4 m.   FT8   TR     314
12:12  OZ6GH         JO65BM   -11   -17    4 m.   FT8   TR     292
12:15  EA5IOG        IM98PD   -02   -04    4 m.   FT8   ES    2025
12:21  OH2FNR        KP2ØIL   -03   +06    4 m.   FT8   ES    1029
12:27  OH7TE         KP3ØJS   -02   -16    4 m.   FT8   ES    1133
12:50  EA8DBM        IL18OH   -19   -14    4 m.   FT8   ES    3747
13:11  DF3XZ         JO53AP   -12   -06    4 m.   FT8   TR     281

As you can see basically all the activity concentrated on FT8. While it has quite some advantages when signals are weak (i.e. neither all the tropo QSOs above would have been possible on CW or SSB nor the double hop ES to EA8 although we worked that path on sideband during previous openings, too) I’m not sure what to think about it when everybody only just hangs around FT8 as a general trend but no activity in CW/SSB anymore. For me it just does not feel right … 🙁

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