Operator(s): ZL2AOV ZL2BSJ
Class: M/S HP
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Mode QSOs Mults
CW: 759 75
SSB: 585 66
Total: 1344 141 Total Score = 593,046
Surprisingly good condx across the Pacific into the W and VE; much better than during the CQWW-CW.
Quite good signals from most US stations during most times of both days, but also drop-outs lasting several hours. Good signals from Asia, but not much activity - apart from the loud JA contesters.
Our score is only 1/3rd of last year's raw score, QSO totals were down by almost 50 %.
The first evening provided the hoped-for Eastern Eu short-path; we decided to split it between CW and SSB...a good move because that was all we heard from Europe. The band then fizzed out with S5/OK/SP and closed an hour after local sunset.
The next morning (our first morning) the band was open to the US East Coast on local sunrise with reasonable runs, but things were slow during the day. Your scribe - unemployed CW op - became bored with reading magazines and connected the NorCal20 QRP rig to the 6 el. monoband yagi to work a couple of Eu's - long path. That was fun.
No Central Asia or Eu that 2nd night; the band died half an hour before local sun-set, and that was it.... this provided the perfect excuse to duck down to 160m. To our amazement, loud signals were heard in between S-9 static crashes. We scrambled to convert the station for Top Band use, and within 15 minutes three continents were in a hastily opened 160 m log. VE7CC produced at S9+20 dB the loudest off-continent signals I have ever heard on 160 m.
The 2nd morning: a 4:45 AM start. The 10 m band opened half an hour before sunrise with excellent signals from the The Far Side (NA East Coast).
By late morning the band faded, with W0YK (CA) the last station to sink into the noise floor...so we went QRT half an hour early to pull the station to bits.
In order to combat fading and QSB, we had diversity reception on a 2nd receiver with a vee beam spaced 10 wavelengths or so away from the yagi. This gave us the yagi in one ear, and the vee beam in the other.
The diversity reception experiment was interesting at times, particularly on CW. We had a similar scheme last year at ZL1V with ZL1CT's SO2R setup, and we used it to listen to JA at the same time as W.
This time however, both antennas were were much wider spaced, and pointed at the US. On occasion, the diversity reception helped to copy badly fading signals as they seemed to 'move' from left to right and back again. Also, at times, the yagi produced level pile-ups when the vee would favour one or two signals amongs the callers, making it easier to get a partial.
However, most of the time the yagi outperformed the vee. In fact, SSB op ZL2AOV found the diversity a distraction (which - at times - it was).
Thanks to Doug ZL2AOV for looking after the sideband, and to Brian ZL1AZE for stepping into the climbing harness to help with the Eu/JA yagi repairs at short notice. Please QSL via ZL2AOH.
CW: 54 State/Prov
PHONE: 53 State/Prov
Worked NAM CW:
CT MA ME NH RI NY NJ DE PA MD DC AL GA KY NC FL SC TN VA AR LA MS NM TX OK CA HI AZ ID MT OR UT WA MI OH WV IL IN WI CO IA KS MN MO NE ND NS NF QC ON MB SK AB BC
Worked NAM PHONE:
CT MA ME NH RI VT NY NJ DE PA MD DC AL GA KY NC SC TN VA AR LA MS NM TX OK CA HI AK AZ ID MT NV OR UT WA WY MI OH WV IL IN WI CO IA KS MN MO NE ON AB BC
BV FO HL HP JA LY LZ OK OM PY S5 TI UA UA9 UN UR VK VR XE YU ZL
BY JA JD/o K KH6 SP TI UA UA9 VE VK XE ZL