These two days were the ARRL 10m contest and I had high hopes for it. I had a mental target of 500 QSOs over the course of the weekend but things didn’t go as well as expected. I started off on Saturday morning and it was difficult to get a run going and that really set the theme for the weekend.
I ended up with 250 QSOs and just two new countries – T6RH in Afghanistan and ZP5X in Paraguay and I also picked up a couple of new US States towards the Worked All States award. A .csv of my QSOs can be downloaded by clicking here.
I took my aerial down on the Sunday morning and so all QSOs after that were just on the vertical which was quite interesting. There was no beam to move and so there was less effort needed but I found the band was much noisier on the vertical than I’d been used to with the MA5B.
One thing I did notice, in events like this when running (calling CQ), it is very important to get spotted on the DX Cluster. I was only spotted once over the course of the weekend and it was very obvious to me when that happened as I experienced an instant pileup for about ten minutes. Although I now have a decent amount of power and a small beam, I’m still not a ‘big gun’ with a rare callsign so I don’t expect to be put on the cluster much. It’s nice when it happens though and fun to have the pileup for a while. As an afterthought, perhaps I should have used my short contest callsign as these are still a little bit rare and it may have created more activity.
Here’s a map of the 204 stations I worked over the weekend who have their details on qrz.com. Click for the full size version.