Contest after heavy winds

Looking a bit tired at the contest final...
Looking a bit tired at the contest final…

The first weekend of February was really windy. The rough wind ruined the just finished HEDZ, and nearly nocked down the other antennas. And there was nothing I could do, since I was suffering from influenza. I recovered during the next days, and on Friday (just one day before the start of the contest) Adri PA0RDA helped me to fix the antennas. The main pole of the HEDZ was broken, but luckely it was easy to repair. We checked all pins and guys, measured all the antennas, resoldered an inductor in the 40m matchbox, etc. In the afternoon the antennas were in top condition again, so we could start rebuilding the shack.

I did some preparation in the shack already. Cables and filters were already in place, while non-contest stuff was temporary removed to gain room for Adri’s equipment. Adri requires some extra space, since he always brings his own laptop and 80 column braille display (required for logging). And off course he brings his own TS-2000 and Ameritron ATR-30 tuner. Adri also brought his brand new headset: a real Heil Proset 4. Together with my foot pedal he was able to run the station and log on the computer simultaneously. I used my own transmitter (an old Icom IC-730, still in good condition) together with my MFJ versa tuner II and my Bencher paddle for CW. We both made some QSO’s simultaneously to see if the filters are working. Although we could still pickup eachothers signal sometimes, the filters were doing very well and gave enough isolation between the bands. Without these filters it would have been impossible to operate 2 radios simultaneously.

On Saturday 12:00 UTC the contest started. We both started in SSB. Adrian did the running station on 15m, while I started collecting multipliers on 20m. Later I moved to 40m, Adrian to 20m. In this way, we both were active on the bands throughout the contest. Sometimes we switched running and multiplier station. Later on the evening, when only 80m and 160m were still active, we ran only one transmitter. 160m was going quite well, while there was lots of noise on 80m. The next morning I switched to CW, while Adrian continued in SSB. Switching to CW was a very well move: after each CQ multiple stations responded, and in a few hours I did over 180 QSO’s, while Adrian kept on searching for multipliers in SSB.

Although most QSO’s where with European stations, we did some nice DX aswell: YB (Indonesia), PJ4 (Bonaire), K (USA), VE (Canada) and also some unfamiliar prefixes like EA8 (Canary Is.), 5B (Cyprus) and CU (Azores). We ended the contest with 541 QSO’s in our log. After removing dupes, the results are:

Band	QSO's	Dupes	Points	Mult
160m	105	2	103	18
80m	86	0	86	20
40m	188	7	181	31
20m	138	5	133	35
15m	23	0	23	12
10m	1	0	1	1
All	541	14	527	117

Our claimed score: 61659

So now we have to wait for the final results, probably available in April or so. But whatever the final score will be, it will be a new record for us!

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