The Six Metre vertical is full of surprises!

With the IARU Region 1 50MHz contest over the weekend, I heard a few grumbles that conditions weren't that good. Certainly it wasn't end-to-end Es but I thought it was interesting.

For me, I worked a few 9A, YU, E7 and S5 stations at the outset and then it went quiet. Actually, that was interesting as I could concentrate on working some of the more distant UK stations on 'tropo'. GJ6YB/P was a nice one - I waited for signals to fade up and worked them on CW on a peak of QSB. Typically, their signals were much louder on Sunday! Whilst I was listening to them GM2T called and worked them. What propagation was that? Not Es or MS, but very solid. Tropo scatter? Impressive copy on the vertical.

GW2OP/P in IO71 was another nice one over a decent distance, as was the Five Bells Group, G5B.

On Sunday morning IF9/I2ADN came up and caused a stir (and some not great operating from people who clearly spend their time in HF pileups. Nuff said).

By the time we got back from family visiting, the contest was over, but there was a little Es with 4O3A, 4O4A and IW4AOT worked amongst others and a weak IK4 heard on 70MHz.

And the birds find the vertical useful too.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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