P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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Solar conditions were, on average, pretty good from Aruba. The word “average” is key. At several times during the contest, it seemed like my previous best in this contest would be far exceeded. Then, an hour later I wondered if it might end up my personal worst! At times signals were strong and solid. There seemed to be endless callers. At other times, it felt like most participants had left the game and the bands were noisy with weak, marginal signals. There was also a huge noise source that appeared Saturday morning prior to the start, went away, then returned again Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure if was locally man-made or an artifact of unstable solar conditions, or perhaps both.

I really appreciate the multipliers who answer my CQs. Especially so, because I’m not finding as many on my own as I think I should. DX mults were down to one of my lower historic numbers. Fortunately, the QSO total was up nearly 6% from the prior high. I still think 4000 QSOs and 500K points is achievable by a single-op. Something to strive for!

One of my goals going into this contest was to improve my searching for unworked stations and mults. This is doable while running on the same band, thanks to the RTTY decoder. But, it still takes attention and mine is still pretty much fully consumed at the 160 QSO/hour average rate. There are times when the rate is lower than average, of course, but I’m usually too winded from the higher rate periods to have the energy to tune another receiver. At the end of the weekend, I can’t really say I made much improvement in this area, and my DX mult total reflects that.

I also appreciate the many stations who worked me on 4-5 bands even though a multiplier only counts once across all bands. Many stations went immediately to my other band when I announced it. Some were amazingly quick!

My off-time choice worked out pretty good. In retrospect, I should have started 30-60 minutes earlier Sunday morning, in order to avoid the severe drop-off in rate late Sunday afternoon. But, one never knows until the contest is over. I’ve experienced solar blackouts, power outages and station problems in the past that destroyed a well-conceived plan.

One of the best parts of a contest like this is the momentary connections made with hundreds of friends around the world. Also, the vast majority of participants who are not serious about the contest itself, but nonetheless are the mainstay of the statistics in our logs. It is really gratifying Sunday afternoon to see so many getting on for the first time to join the fun. It seems like every ham is able to get on the RTTY modes these days, whether they care much about it or not.

Thanks to everyone who got on a played radio with me this weekend!


Ed - P49X (W0YK)