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.

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I must say you did a great job Jim! We did only run the IARU-contest for an hour on Sunday morning, but due to the CME flare (I guess) we only heard EU. See my blog for a short report.

    I also did look at the Hex Beam. It looks like a very interesting antenna! In the past I constructed a Cobwebb antenna which is also a folded multi band dipole. That worked quite impressive. I guess a folded multi band dipole with director must work even better. Do you want to put it up permanently or only for contest?

    73, Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      I read your post and the photos. Running battery powered QRP would have been challenging in those conditions. On antennas, I’m leaning toward the Hex Beam due in large part to the smaller size than the Spiderbeam. The Spiderbeam is three elements save for 10 meters where it is 4 elements. So it has significantly improved gain over the Hex Beam. My installation would be only for contests and rotated by the armstrong method!

      73, Jim

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