ARRL 10m contest has come and gone.

This past weekend was the running of the ARRL 10m contest for both CW and SSB. We are in a very nice time in the solar cycle which makes the 10m contest a popular one. The weekend solar conditions were great with the Kp index floating between Kp0 and Kp1. With good solar weather meaning an active sun also comes solar storms with very high Kp index and poor conditions but this weekend was great. As always here at VE9KK I was CW only entry in the contest. Compared to last year's contest I noticed the window into Europe in the mornings did not last that long this year. I did notice more of a window opened in the afternoon toward South America. 

I heard no what might be called exotic DX at my end and most of my scoring was contacting U.S. stations. Due to the propagation of 10m here, I was on the radio at about 7 am local time and off at 5 pm. I found that after 5 pm signals were just not reliable, with many repeats and then the station would just fall off the face of the spectrum. I had a few stations contact me from the Netherlands including Bas PE4BAS a fellow blogger. We did talk a week before the contest about trying to touch base in the contest but you never know. 

I have a program called log analyzer in which you load your contest log in ADIF format (other formats are supported). The program gives you a world map of all your contacts, there are many options the program offers. I do find that if a station you contacted in the contest has an incorrect grid square then you may see an odd country you contacted. For me, the contest showed a U.S. station that was in Saudi Arabia. It was due to his incorrect grid square but that only happens very seldom. 

In this contest my best 1 hour of running was 100 contacts but most of the time it averaged in around 45-70. I did very little searching and pouncing or S&P as it is called. I enter the contest as unassisted meaning I do not use any spotting software. I do this as it gives me more of a challenge. If I entered the assisted category I would have call signs listed on the waterfall of N1MM+ contest software. I could mouse-click from one call to the next and bang off contacts and points. Also, I could see multipliers as well this way. As for me I have fun unassisted and call CQ contest and S&P the waterfall. Below are the results of this year's ARRL 10m contest. Oh and before I go I did have Murphy visit me during this contest or maybe it was just plain old age. I all of a sudden lost mouse control. No matter what I did there was no movement. I ended up restarting my PC which during a contest is a major deal. Once restarted my old age moment passed and I realized I had mouse control again. It was due to the fact I was using the mouse on the left of my desk before the restart and that is the mouse for my Linux PC!!! On the right side of my desk is my Windows mouse and I did not even realize I was using my left-hand side mouse. No restart was needed in the end after all. 


Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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