160m open around the globe.
Another fun contest even though our current sunspot count remains at zero. Low bands were good with 160m open around the globe. Thanks to the following stations for picking me up:
V84SAA, YV1KK, KH6LC, NP4Z, SJ4F, JA0QNJ, OH0Z, CU4DX, E7/9A5K, CR3W, RT0C, F5IN, KH6AT, KL7RA, JA3YBK, PJ6A, DL5AXX, TF3SG, OZ1LO, PJ4A, VP2MSS, OL7M, SP1NY, OK5Z, VP5K, KH7M, CO2AN, SK3W, G6XX, LN8W, HQ9X, LA3MHA, JH2FXK, 8P5A, HL5IVL, V26M, GM5A, SN1W, C6AGU, NP2J, RL3A, ZF9CW, VP9/W6PH, P40E, 6Y3M, TI7W, G3XTF, PJ2T, ES5RR, XE7S, and HG0R.
40m was in good shape.
I won’t say great, because it seemed the band dipped in the middle of the night with signals rebounding as it opened to JA and improving as daylight approached. Europe was workable from about 3:00 PM local, until about 8:00 PM local when signals disappeared and shifted towards Russia. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a broad opening to Russia like 2018 CQ WW CW.
LP made for some exciting moments and provided much needed mults I couldn’t get the previous night running SP.
80m is still a pain.
For what ever reason, it’s extremely difficult for me to work to EU. Southern EU is no problem, but anything north of that is like pulling teeth. Heard many EU stations that just couldn’t hear me. Very frustrating. In the end, I worked more Europeans on 160m than 80m. Something isn’t right there.
I plan to replace my current 80m antenna with a new JK802. I’ve been very impressed with JK Antennas and hope this one will provide a much needed boost to my 80m efforts. It will sit at 120 feet, 30 feet higher than my current antenna. Stay tuned.
20m, the workhorse.
As the low bands yielded to daylight, Europe was booming on 20m both days, even if the band seemed to close earlier than usual Sunday morning. The band packed and I was forced to run above 14.125. Signals were as high as 14.145!
This time of year, at this stage of the solar cycle, from my far corner of the country, I had about 4 hours of good run time each day. Not bad, but far from east coast standards!
I could always tell when I was spotted. The frequency exploded with callers, many zero beating with a slight EU flutter, which made it difficult to quickly pull-out call signs. Any second radio action was on hold as I applied full concentration to get through it.
Still miss 15m, but something is better than nothing.
No runs of any kind on 15m, but pleased to work F5MUX, EA7PP, and OX3XR. CR3DX, CB3R and EA8RM were absolute beacons! I tried to run JA, but no luck. During that time, I got a call from a very loud OH6QU!
JA wasn’t a total bust. Still worked JM7OLW and JA3YBK both about 559. These stations are typically the loudest from Japan, so if they are 559, propagation was poor.
Without the Caribbean, South America, and Central America stations, 15m would have been a wasteland. Most all of those stations were strong and workable.
ZM4T, ZM4G, VK2BJ, and FK8IK provided much needed South Pacific mults. Thanks guys!
For anyone interested, here is my rate sheet:
73, Mitch, K7RL