After the unexpected good result in March on 13 cm, I had a special focus on this band in May contest. Last year I marked my new record in the number of stations worked on 23 cm, this year I improved the new record from March in worked stations on 13 cm. Particularly in the last hour I had the ambition to log at least 40 Stations. So I had QSO #40 in the last 5 minutes with Detlef, DJ3AK, in JO52GJ, 322 km, using aircraft reflections on planes just 50 km from my location, elevating the dish up to 10°: Power Aircraft Scatter 😉
QSOs on 13 cm
With QSOs to Poland, Hungary and Belgium three new countries could be added to the 13 cm list. HG7F (817 km) is my new aircraft scatter ODX. Also some new grid squares could be logged.
And again: After the contest is before the contest! A lot of ideas are in my mind, what has to be improved for the next competitions!
When looking for the annual results of the Italian Activity Contest 2016 on 1296 MHz yesterday, I was really surprised, to be the winner. I haven´t expexted this, as Giorgio, IK3GHY, had a higher score in total all the time. But as he won in 2015, he was out of competition in 2016. I have to respect his success and congratulations for your extraordinary score, Giorgio!
But anyway, it was great fun to work the italian lads every 3rd Tuesday in month. Hopefully, there will be enough time to be QRV in the 2017 events. I am also looking forward to go to Italy in October, meeting friends in Venice and at the Alpe Adria meeting near Udine.
Steve, IU1EAF, will be the contest manager in 2017 and the rules have changed too (english version online now). Thank you to Alfredo, IK2FTB, for all the work in the past year.
Despite a late start and easy going operation, at least 63 QSOs filled the log for the 23 cm band. HA5KDQ from Budapest (JN97LN) became my new contest-ODX with 829 km. As can be seen in the map, the eastern directions are my favourite ones.
Thank you to all paricipants and those who had patience to complete some QSOs!
It´s nice to see me as #2 in IAC. To meet the lads from Italy on 23 cm every 3rd Tuesday in month is always big fun. Unfortunately I missed the August event due to my dismantled rotor. Instead I met Giorgio, IK3GHY, at the EME Conference in Venice. Also big fun to see his new amplifier for 23 cm there, wow!
Everything is up and running again. Jacek of Spid in Poland gratefully did a great job in fixing my rotor. So I expect to be present in the September-IAC.
The contest is over and there are new ideas in my mind, how to improve for the next one. Even though I am using a homebrew KST-client beside the browser based one, arranging skeds in the ON4KST chat is still the bottleneck in operating the contest. I fear, many requests will disappear from the screens of many operators, before they can take notice. No reason to argue for me, instead I will continue working on my KST-client projekt.
QSOs on 1296 MHz
I had much fun in using Aircraft Scatter on 1296 MHz for most of the 58 QSOs, logged on this band. The average was 372 km/QSO and I worked 37 grids in 12 countries. And again HG7F became the ODX with a distance of 817 km. Weather was very bad and many of the contest teams weren´t able to go to their usual locations. So this time only one Station could be worked from JN99, compared to seven in July 2015.
When having a look on the claimed scores list, published today, I was really surprised by my preliminary result in the category23 cm single operator. I did not expect at all to be No. 1.
It had been very hot that weekend and the activity in the ON4KST Microwave chat was extremly high. So I slowed down, made only little use of the chat and tried to find calling stations on the 23 cm band. There were a lot of signals from the east and when going to bed at midnight I counted 29 QSOs with an average of 524 km/QSO. Top DXCC count was OK (11) followed by DL (5), OM (4) and G (3).
QSOs on 23 cm. Saturday in red and Sunday in green
On Sunday morning I continued, but it was still very hot and not much fun. When the temperature in my shack exceeded 40°C at around 10:00 UTC, I decided to go QRT.
Finally I logged 45 Stations from 12 DXCCs in 27 squares with an average of 483 km per QSO. 17 stations were worked in CW, the rest (28) in SSB. 10 QSOs had a QRB > 700 km (7 x JN99) and the ODX was HG7F with 817 km. The total time of operation was less than 15 hours.
The battle is over. I had my last QSO with Patrick, DH2PA on 70 cm just before the contest closed after seven days. There was a big regional activity on VHF, UHF and SHF, much more than last year. Finally I logged 414 QSOs on the four bands I have been active, compared to 266 in 2013. It is remarkable that there were many locals with improvised equipment on 23 cm. Just one new square on 2320 MHz could be worked during the activityweek: IK3GHY in JN65DM via aircraft scatter. But collecting new squares is getting harder and harder, the more are already worked. The tropo conditions remained normal during the seven days, so there was less DX than last year. This time I found four partners for 4-band-QSOs: DL7QY, DL8YG, DF5AY and DB6NT.
The top five of the most worked stations in this contest:
1. DL7QY 24 QSOs on 4 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm, 13 cm)
2. DC8WPA 18 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DJ1FZ 18 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DK0RLP 18 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DK7UP 18 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
Thank you all for your support and your patience!
total District K DL ex K F,I,OK,OZ,SM Squares
BAND QSO Stn QSO Stn DOK QSO Stn QSO Stn total new
144 183 94 99 43 26 82 48 3 3 15
432 134 66 69 31 20 65 35 0 0 10
1296 79 37 36 14 12 34 16 9 7 16
2320 19 11 1 1 1 15 7 3 3 10 1
Thursday night I tried a QSO on 23 cm with DG2PU in JO30PH, what´s a distance of only 80 km. Unfortunately Thomas is located down in a valley with Taunus and Hunsrueck mountains between us. His neighbor Marcel, DK7UP is closed by, but up on a hill. While it´s no problem to contact Marcel on 23 cm, Thomas signal was only 41, peaking 51 from time to time. Since beacons in similar distances often produce nice signals via aircraft scatter here, I suggested to try a QSO using airplanes to get reflections, but Frankfurt airport was already closed at that time that there was only very little air traffic. So we tried this evening. Our antennas were elevated by about than 10°, because the hot spot was in a distance of only 40 km (and a heigt of 10.000m). The second plane passed by in perfect manner and I could copy Thomas for about 10 to 15 seconds with 57, enough to complete a QSO. Due to the short distance the hot area around the center of the path is relatively small and reflections will not last too long.