Day #64 dawned and with it the fact that it was a Saturday morning with contests throughout the day on both HF and 144MHz.
Before I did any contest operating though I had two PSK31 QSOs on 40m with DC2QT, Heinrich in Germany and G6UWK, Jon who is in Manningtree, about ten miles away from me. Then I changed to 20m JT65 and worked YO2BCT and EA1YV in Romania and Spain respectively.
At 14:00, the RSGB March 144 432MHz started and I’d planned to operate for the full 24 hours. Unfortunately, although the band was open I found the going quite slow and after nearly six hours I’d only managed 60 QSOs so I called it a day and finished, changing my entry to be in the 6S section. Later in the evening I returned to the wireless and gave away a few more points. I managed to work a new country and a new square on 144MHz, the Czech Republic and JN69. In that later session I worked 17 stations with an average distance of 351km and my best DX was OK1XFJ at 821km.
Later on in the evening I had one more JT65 QSO with IZ6OUY in Italy on 20m.
Day #65 was Sunday and it started off well for me, I worked OD5NH in Beirut, Lebanon on 28MHz for a new DXCC entity and then really struggled for about 20 minutes to work 2E0KFO using JT65 on the same band. He’s not too far away from me but the signal would have been going by ground wave and I logged him at -25dB, an incredibly weak signal.
A while later I had a chat with Bill, G4OAX on 2m FM. Bill lives quite close to me and we were discussing Slow Scan Television. I managed to receive a few pictures from the MB7TV replay but wasn’t able to send anything through it. I used to use SSTV many years ago but realistically I can’t see myself doing it much these days.
I mentioned at the start of this post that there was a contest on HF as well, it was the ARRL International DX Contest all weekend where the idea is to work as many North American and Canadian stations as possible. Around mid afternoon I switched the radio to 15m, a band I’ve not used much from here and had four quick contest QSOs with N4PN, VO1TA, VY2ZN and K1LZ. I then jumped onto 20m and worked SO5AS in Poland using JT65 then moved back to 15m and worked N4ST, WH6IO and KN8DMK also on JT65. I changed bands to 10m which was livening up nicely and gave contest points to W4OC, W4IX, WJ2D, WX4G, VO1KVT and W4SVO. These stations were all real good 5-9 signals, not just ‘contest’ 5-9s.
Later in the evening I fired up JT65 on 40m and worked VK6BN – My first QSO into Australia and this is documented in a blog post from a couple of days ago which you can read by clicking here. I rounded off the weekend with a QSO on 80m JT65 with G4PMB.
I’ve had a few issues sleeping really and after I went to bed on day #65 I ended up not sleeping so I got up and switched the wireless back on again, technically it was now day #66. Before long I worked M0TZO and OM7OM on 80m JT65 before crashing back out to bed again.
I had the day off to get some work completed on my car and so in the afternoon I had JT65 QSOs on 20m with UR5CJN in Ukraine, LY2CV in Lithuania and F4EAN in France and then K5CM on 15m. A while after I had an SSB contact with Ramzi, 2E0JYY in Alton, Hamshire. Ramzi was a really weak signal to start with but because I’d just had the diode replacement modification done to my wireless, I was able to pull his signal out of the noise. I had three more QSOs in the evening, ON5DC and ON4CHD in Belgium on 80m JT65 and then EA7HCL on 40m JT65.