The 2010 ARRL International DX CW event was my first operating experience when the solar flux indice broke through the 80 barrier. I watched A- and K-index steadily fall and marveled at our G4 class star. I imagined our ionosphere is much like the surface of an ocean. Each successive day reminding me of the local surf report.
Is there another sport as dependent on cosmological mechanics as RadioSport?
Friday night did not produce spectacular results, basically, the first evening is tough. My signal rarely scores on the first, second, or third call. It is however an opportunistic moment at logging multi-multi stations on spaces such as 15m or 20m at sunset using gray line enhancement.
I operated from N1MM’s band map with good effect while hopping between each space after loading needed multipliers. Additionally, I entered the high end of the spectrum into the dialog box then pressed enter for example; 14.080, 21.075, or 28.065 MHz then clicked downward.
I practiced moving through each space as fast as possible while loading or unloading the band map. The swarm network of spotting stations has little bearing in relationship to my location, the influence of propagation, and type of antenna system. I’m not spending expensive time ciphering through the cloud of information, pertinent or not, because of the variability of station configurations.
Saturday produced an entirely different set of results. I submit the existence of station configuration stratification where optimal stations are first logged through the competitive funnel leaving signal space during the last 24-hours of a major for modest stations.
Experience suggested following a Day Two type strategy and log data supported my conclusion 80% yield on day two versus 20% on day one.
Consequently, I logged (Japan = 19), (Hawaii = 17), and (Netherlands Antilles = 5) across five spaces within 24-hours. I’m optimistic as Cycle 24 actually stimulated 10m last weekend with a few South American 100-watt stations (Argentina and Brazil) going into the log.
It is exciting to learn my vertical antenna system is sensing low power stations on the high bands.
80m | 2 Qs | 1 Mults.
40m | 28 Qs | 11 Mults.
20m | 17 Qs | 8 Mults.
15m | 16 Qs | 10 Mults.
10m | 7 Qs | 3 Mults.
Total = 70 Qs.
Total Multipliers = 33.
Total Raw Score = 6,831 Points.
I have one more antenna system that will complete my coverage of available competitive bands within a home owner association regulated community. Admittedly, those sunspots added additional fun to an otherwise stellar event sponsored by the ARRL’s Contest Branch.
73 from the shackadelic on the beach.
P.S. Thank you Japan and Hawaii for making the difference in my log!