This is a quick write-up, for your entertainment. A late start - early Saturday evening - and an early departure mid-morning on Sunday. A part-time effort, due to QRL commitments.

In this contest you can only work North America, but that has never stopped European ops from calling (well: NOTHING - not even a failed receiver - prevents Eu ops from calling) I deleted the word 'TEST' from the CQ message and worked all callers...after I found out how to defeat the logging software so it would let me log non-counting stations.

A few times I took time out from the contest to run down 3Y0X, the DXpedition on Peter-I Island who are probably QRT by the time you read this. They were worked quite easily on 30, 20 and 17 m CW, but thanks to the efforts of our European friends, 7L2BSJ, ZL1BSJ, ZL2BSO and possibly other permutations are also in the 3Y0X log.

Anyway: I wanted to put ZL6QH on 160 and 80, but at 18:30 loc it was a bit early...plenty of action was heard on 20 m, so that's where ZL6QH kicked off, producing a very useful run into the US. After a while it became a European long-path pile-up, so I dropped down to 80 m and worked W/VE. At 20:00 loc. I went QSY to 160 m for the sunset opening.

No long path Eu heard, but 160 opened 30 minutes before sunset with plenty of good signals from the W/VE. For one hour, a busy pile-up produced callers from right across the US, who were determined to get the ZL multiplier on 160...K9DX and W3LPL amongs them.

After 21:00 loc, 160 slowly faded,and ZL6QH went to 80 m to be mobbed by the same big-gun crowd just worked on 160. After 40 minutes, 80 began to fade too, the QRN kicked in and it became difficult to copy the weak stuff so QSY to 40 m. As usual - 40 went really wel, with peaks of up to 250 QSOs/hr for brief periods.

A high point was when Lee's mate Don, N1DG called on 40 m. At the time it was not far off East Coast sunrise, and, against grumblings from the Pack (luckily not a rabid Eu Pack), I offered to try 160m. Lo and behold, on the 2nd attempt we managed the QSO on an almost useless band, and Don went into the 160 m log. He is a happy camper: ZL is a new DXCC country for him on that band.

ZL6QH was prowling the bands again around 05:00 loc. only to find that it was too late for propagation to the US on the Low Bands. 20 m hadn't come alive yet, so the 160 m European short path was checked out, and found to be closed as well. 80 m was open to Eu, however, but there were not many takers. Those that called were good copy, and at 07:00 loc ZL6QH went QRX for breakfast (actually: last night's un-eaten dinner)

At 07:20 loc. 15 m was found to be wide open to the US and VE with excellent signals. This was the place to be: very busy runs, and there were quite a few ZL contesters in on the action: ZL1BYZ, ZM1A and others.

10 m was checked but found to be mostly closed, only a handful of stations were worked (CA and AZ). W6YI (CA) was logged on all bands except 40 m, almost a clean sweep.

ZL6QH finished up where it started: on 20 m at mid-morning, this time on the long path to the US. Although the path was good, setting up shop between the East Coast big guns and the faintly audible Eu's was difficult, so ZL6QH cruised around, picking off anything that moved.

Below the summary for an estimated 9 hours of listening time:

band QSOs States/Provinces
160 65 26
80 142 39
40 139 38
20 99 27
15 281 48
10 4 2
Total 730 180

(These numbers are contaminated with Eu QSOs :-)

Wilbert, ZL2BSJ

Posted by ZL1AZE on March 06, 2006