Monday, October 17, 2005

Jarts-RTTY contest

Call: F6IRF
Operator(s): F6IRF
Station: F6IRF
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 35
Summary: Band QSOs Pts Mults
80: 276 596 55
40: 344 860 75
20: 443 1131 81
15: 470 1251 83
10: 78 189 31
Total: 1611 4027 325 Total Score = 1,308,775
Rig: my usual small domestic SO2R station - see

Part-time effort (was my birthday!), but...Logged: 927 OM's, 4 YL's, quite a few for the first time.
Younger: 14 (KC2NMZ) Older: 91 (G2DAN)
67 stations on 4 bands, 20 on 5 bands - 80 DXCC all bands
1000 QSO mark after 18h30 of tfc (new personnal record)
Solar flux below 80, but 28 countries on 10m !
Last year score increased by 86%
DXCC and mult stats at
(sorry for the cat. mistake on 3830 - sent a correction request immediately but it was not taken into account)

Who could guess that condx would be that good with such a quiet sun, and that 10m would open... even the most advanced prediction software do fail to predict such unpredictable phenomenae.
The contest story
Based on last year and expected conditions, and the fact that it was my birthday, my objective was modest...
Thought it would be nice to reach 1000QSO's. Started very well on 40m with good transatlantic conditions, and the first good surprise came after only 20mn with FR1HZ. However, and as usual at this season, 40m conditions declined before sunrise. 80m was very noisy, and the activity quite low, so I started to fall asleep... I usually don't need any break during the first 24 hours, but I had obviously started the contest already tired. Anyway 268 QSO's was not to bad for 4 hours and a half of traffic on low bands.Came back at 0620 and the first 2 QSO's were ZL2AMI on 40m and NL7V on 20, but did not stay much on 20 when I saw that 15 had already opened to JA. Great JA session which allowed to pass the 500 mark before lunch time... Was again falling asleep after lunch so took another hour nap before the opening of the15m W-window, was keeping an hear on 10m, but FR1HZ was the only station heard and QSO for this first day... 15m declined quickly after sunset, so I moved to 20m for another great 75Q in the 17th hour.
One of the problems of contesting from home is that you cannot dedicate full time to the contest, and you have to make the sacrifice of a minimum of airtime to social and family life... took another full hour break for dinner !
Came back directly on 40m. expecting a few JA's, but only logged JA1OVD in the first hour... was a bit too early; JA opening started 1 hour later. QSO #1000was logged at 22h29 after 18h30 on-air time... Then the rate started to slowdown, and again the bed appeal got stronger, so closed the stations at 00:00z with 1054 QSO's in the log. I came back at 0335, and this time 80 was in better shape, which allowed to log a few NA stations and multipliers, and again the bed appeal got stronger ! Went back for 40mn short sleep around sunrise...When I came back, I could not re-open my windows session... "you forgot youpassword?" damned ! Finally managed after 2 or 3 reboots... then the PC crashed several times before Norton detected a "spyboot.worm" virus attack !
Lost another 40mn there and gained a lot of stress !
At 0800, while CQ'ing on 15m I moved the 706 from 20 to 10m... great choice, I logged 50 QSO's and quite a few mults on 10m... all countries coming with antenna the antenna to east - apparently some multi-hop strong E's, with associated backscatter... until I had to stop, for my birthday celebration - had 1267QSO's in the log !Guess what I received as birthday present: An expresso machine ! ( I am readyfor the full time in the next one!)
The rest of the contest would have been a usual "boring second day" without 10m opening to states... W3MR was the first one on 10m with antenna toward west, quickly followed by a few others in K1 to 4 areas... K4GMH was the stronger and stabler signal for the whole duration of the opening, which I assume is a E's multi-hop, very similar to 6m transatlantic openings... same as last year in CQWW SSB, so it seems to be a speciality of the "indian summer" season... But never heard any VE, though VE1OP had been spotted by a few EU's, which seems to confirm my E's hypothesis: pathes are very localized, and even 100 kms on the ground can make the big difference between S9 and nothing.
I came back for a couple of hours after dinner, focusing on 80m... as usual the 80m activity gets better as the end of the contest approaches... had the pleasure to be called by VK6HD with a strong and clear signal.I finally gave up at 2245z... had to take some sleep to respond to the office appeal on Monday morning !Finally 1600 QSO's for 35 hours of traffic is not that bad... But contacted Nick UX0FF operating UY6F who told me they had passed the 2M points and the2000QSO's...
Wish I could be in better shape for this one and do over 40hours, but it's life, sometimes your body needs a rest, and it is not getting better with years... Has been a nice birthday though!

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