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.
….. I worked in the Alpe Adria Contest last Sunday on 23 cm. In parallel there was an activity contest in Czechia. So a lot of stations from east, southeast and south filled the log.
Alpe Adria Contest 2013 on 23 cm
Remarkable was a nice SSB-QSO with Mirek, OK2UYZ in JN99FS over more than 700 km via tropo. Lane, S54AA in JN76EG could be worked, who was beaming into a large valley towards the Alps with mountains of 2.500 m. Another aircraft scatter QSO I had with Walter, IW3SPI in JN66OD, who is very, very close to the Alps.
Path information by AirScout
The reflections were rare and short but enough to complete.
It was big fun working in contest for a whole week. I felt a bit like Phil Connors in the movie “Groundhog Day” (german: “Und täglich grüßt das Murmeltier”), in meeting most of the stations again day by day. My main activity was in the evenings on 23 and 13 cm, using 2 m, 70 cm and the ON4KST chat to arrange skeds. The conditions were slightly over normal but increasing on monday with a small opening to France. During the seven days I could work one new square on 2 m (JN15), two on 23 cm (JN09, JN15) and three on 13 cm (JN09, JO42, JO44). There were only two 4-band QSOs with DL7QY and DC1UR.
My top 5 of the most worked stations in this contest are:
DF8PR 16 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DC8WPA 15 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DK7UP 13 QSOs on 3 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm)
DL7QY 12 QSOs on 4 bands (2 m, 70 cm, 23 cm, 13 cm)
G3XDY 8 QSOs on 2 bands (23 cm, 13 cm)
Thank you all for your support and your patience!
total District K DL ex K France I,OE,G,LX Squares
Band QSO Stn QSO Stn DOK QSO Stn QSO Stn QSO Stn total new
144 100 58 72 31 18 25 24 3 3 0 0 11 1
432 65 31 54 22 15 11 9 0 0 0 0 6 0
1296 73 34 27 9 8 21 11 14 10 11 4 21 2
2320 28 15 2 2 2 14 8 5 3 7 2 12 3
My operating conditions have changed quite a lot compared to October 1990. But my QTH is still the same in the south of Mainz, JN49CV. The most serious circumstance is, that we have internet and software defined radios nowadays. The possibility to arrange skeds and to gather information is revolutionary. It´s easy to find stations in the waterfall diagram, that are not on your frequency. No more CQs for hours and hours. Instead the chat must be watched and skeds will be arranged.
QSOs in October contest 1990
Rig: 1.2 m dish / 10 m RG213 / 120 W
Claimed result: 78 QSOs, 12000 km, ODX 404 km
QSOs in October contest 2012
Rig: 3 m dish / 3.5 m ecoflex 15 / 0.4 dB preamp / 10 m ecoflex 15 / 200 W
“Bad weather and bad conditions” that is, what most comments say about this contest. The weather here in Mainz was bad too, but I cannot compare the conditions with the contests in the last years, because my last participation in this contest was in 1990. This year it ended up in 50 QSOs on 23 cm and 19 on 13 cm. I am quite satisfied with these results.
QSOs on 23 cm
QSOs on 13 cm
My new ODX on 13 cm is OL9W in JN99CL over 720 km. A lot of new squares could be worked too. Many DX stations were nearly as strong as they were on 23 cm.
The past week I was ill and had to stay in bed. So all the improvements I had planned for 13 cm weren’t done. Because I was short in time, only Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon could be used to be QRV on 23 cm. In the ON4KST chat I arranged a couple of skeds. Finally 29 QSOs filled the log. Most of the DX contacts have been made eastwards to OK (10) and OM (3). Other countries worked are DL, OZ, I, G, PA, OE and S5. At least I logged 5 QSOs with a QRB of more than 700 km. ODX was OM6A in JN99jc over 769 km.