This weekend we participated in the CQ WW RTTY contest. We had high hopes for serious operations, as there were no concerts we could interfere with this weekend. Our goal was somewhere in the 1500 QSO range in the multi-one high category. The eager spirited of us (read: the author) was hoping to go as high as 2000 if we could get enough operators to work throughout both nights.
We ended up getting a reality check. Friday before the contest, there was a large coronal hole facing the Earth. At our latitude, we have learned to fear such forecasts, as we know what they may bring – particularly if the auroral oval decides to pay a visit. Throughout Friday night we were following the K-index developments, and it looked like we might escape unscathed. No such luck was had, however, as a class G2/G3 geomagnetic storm struck just before contest start.
We started working 40 m on the morning of the next day, and everything seemed fine until 20 m failed after working it for a couple of hours. At this point it became clear that we would be hard pressed to hold a respectable rate. Our main issue was that 15 m and 10 m were completely blank throughout the contest, with no possibility for a run. 40 and 80 m stayed good throughout the contest, and 20 m recovered decently on Sunday.
It was not all bad, though. On 20, 40 and 80 m we had the opportunity to work a slew of contacts, with some particularly interesting DX thrown into the mix. The highlights being T6A, JH4UYB and YC6RMT on our OB1-4030 rotary dipole.
We might have gotten a higher score by putting more time in on 80 m, but our spirits were down after the days low rates – and sleep was too alluring.
Our final tally ended up at 972 QSOs from 145 different DX entities (by band). With 25 hours worked, this feels like less than the effort put in, but we are still satisfied given the conditions on the bands. Thanks to everyone who participated in the contest!
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty 3.5 99 199 4 29 7 440 892 10 53 14 424 879 11 54 21 9 18 3 9 Total 972 1988 28 145 Score: 355,852