P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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These results, and the great time I had, are a tribute to the ever-increasing number of RU participants, especially the casual operators.  This is a team effort because of the endless pileups created by the multitudes.

Going into this year's event, I worried about living up to last year's results.  But after putting 733 duped contacts in the log in the first four hours, I had very different thoughts.  How could I hold on to this tiger's tail for another 20 hours?!  And, with this level of activity, could the 3000-QSO mark be broken?  At 5Z, when the rate has normally dropped off, it was still averaging 120/hour.  But, with 1665 QSOs in the log, I needed a break and had to take six hours off sometime anyway.  I find high-rate RTTY contesting much more tiring than CW.

Normally, I take a full six hours off as in Sweepstakes, but this year I experimented with two shorter breaks divided by a stint on 40 and 80 to see what could be scared up in Oceania and the Far East around 6am local.  And, just like last year, I couldn't sleep anyway with my adrenalin overload.

During this time, I did pick up three mults that didn't appear elsewhere in the contest for me and I maintained a 65/hour rate for 80 minutes.  The three mults were worth 63 QSOs to me, so my equivalent hourly rate was over 100.  I guess it was a wash, and it gave me something to do since I wasn't sleeping.  I only planned on about 30 minutes, but couldn't bring myself to walk away.

Unlike last year, when my Sunday afternoon rate stayed up closer to my average, this year was more typical and fell off.  The last four hours were really down and I wish I could have traded one of those hours for staying on during the 06Z and maybe even the 07Z hour.  But, second guessing is always easier after the contest and overall I'm pleased with my choices.

Another choice was 10 meters on Sunday.  I didn't spend time checking 10 meters on Saturday because I was confident there would not be enough activity to warrant leaving 15 or 20.  But, on Sunday, I checked all day and found little.  LV9V was on a lot and I heard a few US CQs occasionally (W5AP is one I recall) but it didn't seem like there would be enough to work.  Yet, I also knew that a seemingly "dead" band can come alive if people show up and start transmitting.  I CQ'd for 20 minutes and worked 16 stations.  Along with my periodic checks, that was enough to tell me 10 meters probably wasn't going to help this year.  I recall at least one station (AA8LL - thanks!) who worked me on five bands.  (I'm eager to run a log analysis and see how many worked me on four bands ... it seemed like a lot.  There were 164 last year.) 

I'm pleased, and somewhat surprised, that the mults were higher this year.  I missed ND, LB, YT, NU and NWT.  I also missed PJ2 which I think was on.  80 meter Europe was incredible.  Signals were as loud as or louder than on 40.  Noise level was low and the vertical (thanks to W2GD the week before) was hearing as good as the Beverages.  The limiting factor on 80 was the lack of active stations to work.  I even picked up some nice EU mults via 80.

Thanks again to all who called in, multiple bands, to entertain me this weekend!


Ed - P49X