|2012 ARRL DX Contest|
|Aurora as seen on Saturday Night|
I finished up Friday with a few QSO's and shut things down with anticipation of Saturday morning. I decided to sleep in a bit on Saturday and once I made it into the shack, it was not long before I remembered the morning propagation challenge of this contest. I was awake and ready to play at 1530z but I did not make my first QSO until 1732z with WA8V in Ohio. The reason being was that most of the lower 48 stations were still pointed to Europe and I could not get anyone's attention. Plus, the band was very good over the North Pole, so not only was the band crowded with the lower 48 stations, but European stations were just booming in! 20 meters was beyond standing room only as there was no place for this small station to retreat to but the nosebleed section.
As I called CQ with little luck to work stations, I tuned around and was just surprised how strong the EU signals were off the corner of my 4 element beam. It sure would of been nice to have Europe that strong last weekend during the RTTY contest! Europe stayed strong well after 1830z. Once the lower 48 stations begin to turn their antennas west, things got a bit better for me.
|HAARP Data ARRL DX Contest 2012|
I had finished up Saturday with 611 QSO's in my contest log. I found that the conditions on Sunday were worse than Saturday morning. I was not hearing Europe that much with the exception of a few of the big guns. I tried calling a few lower 48 stations and many just CQ'd in my face. I figured that if Sunday was going to continue like this, it was going to make for a long day.
I started calling CQ in the nosebleed section again (above 14.100) at the end of the row of continuous stations. I got run off my frequency twice, once by a NE3 station and a second by a VY2 station. I could hear them enough that it was effecting me but they were pointed to Europe and not hearing my 100 watts. If I had been running high power, I'm sure my presence would of been known. Just one of those things ya got to expect when you run a small station like mine and low power.
As I worked stations on Sunday, I found the QSB to be very strong. I would really struggle to hear a station and the next would be 20 over! I had my volume up and down so much on Sunday not to mention it seemed I was hitting my preamp button frequently just to hear stations. I forgot to mention that I have been fighting a heck of a head cold this past weekend and weekend so that did not help things either. I would get a few stations calling and between the QSB, QRN, and my head cold, it made for more than normal repeat requests.
On Sunday, I got to experience a huge amount of duplicate QSO's! I normally find out afterwards when I do some investigative work that it was due to being
|Twitter Post by Glenn, K3PP on Sunday|
|Band & Score Summary for KL8DX|
Thanks so much for all those that called or pulled my call out of the mud. The band was maxed more times than not with wall to wall signals well above 14.115. It was tough trying to squeeze in but that's all part of the fun of contesting. No matter how frustrating it can be at times, I find myself being drawn to the fast paced weekend craziness. When calling CQ, you just never know if that next call sign will be the multiplier you have been looking for, a long time friend you've worked hundreds of times, or that slow and new station looking to get their feet wet in contesting. There is no cure for my ham radio addiction but from what I heard this past weekend, I'm in good company.