Above: Brian ZL1AZE near the end of the contest - still awake after 21 hours in the chair!
Total: 494 Total Score = 6,230
Class: Open HP
Operating Time (hrs): 21
Overall, conditions seemed to be slightly better than 2004 and this observation is reflected in the higher score this year. However it was still a struggle to work much on the higher bands and there were long idle periods during the Sunday daylight hours while the low bands were closed. The 10m QSOs ended up being limited to a handful of North American and ZL stations. The long path 80m opening to UK at our sunset also seemed to be poorer than usual - I only made 17 G long path QSOs this year compared to more than 20 in previous years.
Unfortunately I had problems with the Drake L7 amplifier just prior to our sunrise on Sunday. The amplifier went QRT with a huge bang and also blew the shack fuse. The sun was high in the sky by the time I recovered from this event so I missed much of grey line short path opening to Europe. It is likely that some short path 80m QSOs would have been possible as I heard G4CWH just prior to the amplifier failure and note that I was also spotted by G4WFQ at 1812 UTC.
Highlights of the contest were working ZS6ME, ZS75PTA and 7Q7BP on 15m towards the end of the contest. Unfortunately I missed any Africans on 20m this year - even the usually reliable long path QSO with 9J2BO did not occur.
Brian ZL1AZEPosted by ZL1AZE on March 18, 2005