Long Path Surprises

Activity moves towards the high bands since the sun activity goes up. One one hand this produces some nice DX openings but produces also some unproductive times especially during dusk. Nevertheless, this contest has been a lot of fun. For the first time I could break the 2000 QSO mark.

This time I haven’t had time to setup the station the weekend before the contest. I arrived at the station on Thursday late afternoon since the Deutsche Bahn gave me two extra hours for the same prize. So I moved the outside installation work to Friday. It took a good part of Friday. In addition, I precooked the meals for the weekend to relieve my parents a bit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a as much rest as wanted before the contest start. 

As usually, I started to work stations on 160m with interlaced three pointers on 40m. Later I went to 80m as well. Checking the 20m band gave some good Pacific and Asian multipliers (HS, ZL, FK). This always leaves a big smile. Afterwards, the high bands are in the focus till dawn which repeats on the second day. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear my alarm clock. So, the break during the second night got a bit too long. 

The long path openings provided both highlights as well as a low light. Highlights have been the 40m long path to zone 3 on the first afternoon and to VR on 10m the second afternoon. While checking 10m for the last time with the antenna to South America after sunset a station started CQing with good signal. With just getting ‘XAN’ I realized that this must be VR2XAN. Not realizing that at this time this must be long path propagation I changed the antenna to short path and called him. Of course, he didn’t hear me. After realizing and correcting the mistake I made it into the log before the RBN crowd arrived. I haven’t had that much luck on 80m Saturday morning when ZM1A showed up with exceptional good signal. Holger, ZL3IO, on the key did his best but he got blanked by the crowd with everybody giving their calls without listening reducing the rate he could work stations drastically…

Around sunset the second day I was about 250 QSOs short of 2000. A number I wanted to crack for a while now. The hopes to reach that number had been quite low since literally every QSO on the low bands was mentally hard work. So, I took a short break to refocus and started kind of fresh to give it a shot. This strategy worked well and I managed to cross the magic number and logged QSO number 2022 when the bell whistled. However, lets see if it withstands the log check process.

The second double zepp used for 80m proved to be of just minimal use. I don’t think I will use it again. Nevertheless, a private skimmer setup could be a reasonable addition to the station setup.  However, the largest improvement possible is still the operators performance. I’ll try to work on it …

Last but not least, I would like to thank DL2LSM and XYL for the logistical and moral support. Without your support theses results wouldn’t been possible. 

Preliminary Result:

Call:  DM2M
Operator: DK3WE
Class: SO All Band Assisted QRP
Rig:   2x K3 (5W)
Ant:   2x20m Dipole @20m, 2x25m Dipole @16m, spider beam @20m, 
40m shortened 2 el. @17m, 160m Inverted-L 15m high QTH: @DL2LSM, JO61GH Summary:
Total Score: 3983 * (144 + 452) = 2.373.868

Band   QSOs  Points   Zones   Countries
160     182    197       9       49
 80     453    582      15       65
 40     381    769      28       87
 20     446    989      31       93
 15     348    883      33       92
 10     212    563      28       66
Total  2022   3983     144      452
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 at 2:40 pm and is filed under HF Contesting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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