I was really looking forward to this contest, which is one of my favorites. Just 24 hours and usually at a time of year that doesn’t pull me in a lot of different directions. I prepared by testing the new push-up mast and trying the vee beam and Moxon. The Moxon won out and did great work during the contest. This was a low power, all-band, CW only operation. I considered QRP, but I’m beginning to feel that the international contests are best entered at low power, with the domestic contests better at QRP power.
A CME Flare from the sun hit the earth about 4 to 6 hours into the contest, which shut down some of the activity. There were times on Saturday evening that it seemed like the North American QSO Party as no other countries were heard. None the less, at other times I did find a number of countries that I hadn’t yet worked on 80, 40, and 20 meters. Also found Saudi Arabia for a brand new country on any band.
I had hoped to break 500 QSO’s at least but only got into the low 300′s, up a bit from last year’s contest. Allergies hit me with a vengeance and really tired me out. So I was only at the controls for around 17 hours and then it was all methodical, somewhat slow, search and pounce, with one run producing a grand total of 3 QSO’s. I’m hoping to do SO2V for the next contest as I will be installing the second receiver in the K3 in the next month. That looks like an interesting project. From looking at the manual it appears more complex than I was considering.
When taking down the Moxon, I broke one of the fishing poles. So now I need to determine how best to repair or replace. I’d been looking at a Spiderbeam or a Hex Beam. Not sure the pocketbook can afford that expense this year. So I’d better be looking for a new fishing pole!
I hope you had a great time working the IARU HF Championship.