I found day #43 quite difficult, there was a big contest taking place, the Dutch PACC contest and every single station I heard was calling CQ contest. The idea is to work as many Dutch stations as possible and I didn’t realise this to start with so I called and worked EA5DFV in Spain and YO3CZW and YO9WF, both in Romania and all three on 20m before I realised. They were all very polite and gave me a signal report but I hadn’t realised that my QSOs wouldn’t be valid for points and I’m not sure I’ll have been written in their logs. I wish that there was a similar contest where only UK stations are valid for points and that the whole world is out looking for us. Later in the day I switched to 80m and gave points to PI4FRG, PA4AR, PA7MM, PA4JJ, PI4D and PI4AMF in the contest.
On day #44 I gave away a few more points by working PI4CC on 80m and then moved to 40m and worked PI4DX and PI4FRG (again). I gave PI4CC the serial number 007 and was most impressed when he hummed the James Bond theme music back at me! Later in the evening I stayed on 80m and had a chat with Luco, IZ1TRG.
I’d heard from various amateur radio news sources that the Solar Flux Index has reached over 100 for the first time in around five years so when I got home from work on day #45 I switched straight to 10m and called CQ for over half an hour but sadly there was no reply. I did receive a report via Twitter from Steve, M1ACB that I could be heard in Ipswich but it was just too late in the day for any decent propagation. Hopefully cycle 24 has now started and the solar flux will continue to rise. After not working anyone on 10m I switched to 80m and had a very quick QSO with Claudio, IZ0IWC who could barely hear me and had problems getting my callsign but we managed the QSO in the end.
I had a tune around 80m and heard a special event station, GB4R celebrating the birth of radar in the UK so although it took a couple of calls, I got through the pileup and we spoke for a few minutes. Chris, the operator is interested in castles on the air and as that includes Martello Towers, I suggested he have a look at The Martello Tower Group website and he was very interested.
I then heard a GW station who was very strong working an EI so I decided that I’d call the GW once the QSO was over. Sadly, the GW signed and passed the frequency over to the EI so I thought I’d call him. He had a couple of QSOs and then passed the frequency to Barry, G0MJX in London so I called him and we had a quick conversation. He’s quite familiar with the area I live in so it was nice to talk to him for a few minutes.