Event: PACC 2016
Logger: N1MM+ most updated version
Station: Yaesu FT-817ND (5W)
Antenna: HB9CV at 6m AGL, 84m horizontal loop at 7m AGL.
Incredible propagation in my eyes. Or the FT-817 does receive very well? I don't know. I had limited time due to birthday obligations but the score beats my imagination. I aimed for a few more QSOs as last year but it became 2 times more. 10m propagation was good though there were not that much participating stations, most came from Russia. Surprisingly I received FR4QT (Reunion) very well on my HB9CV and as his signal improved I managed to work him for a multiplier and points. Still on 10m I managed to work 4Z5LU (Israel) on CW without problems but struggled with neighbourstation PA0O who was just a few Khz down from him. A incredible signal from K3ZO (59+) on 15m SSB and worked him of course, my only USA station this contest. Not that I didn't hear the DX, but work them with 5W is another difficult task. I noticed a few exotic calls from dutchman abroad. One of them from Z21 (Zimbabwe) but he was not calling CQ but S&P working another dutch station. The majority of QSOs were made to the Netherlands followed by Russia. Incredible signals within Europe on 20m, that could be due to my horizontal loop. I even managed to work a station from Utrecht (PA85SVS) on 20m, he was a real 59 at my side. Normally 20m contacts within the Netherlands are difficult even with QRO. For 160m the loop was disconnected on one side and used as a endfed, I was surprised I could make some QSOs with QRP even with France and Poland for multipliers. As you notice I used a bit of CW as well. Actually I dared to give a CQ on 80m and didn't expect what happened next. I was creating a pile-up I couldn't manage and I respect the operators for having so much patience with me. So sorry for those that called but I couldn't work. I really don't "speak or understand" CW and have to do it all with the computer. Many operators tried to key s-l-o-w-l-y creating a even worse decoding environment for my decoding software (FLDIGI). For the software the best code is generated by another computer with a speed of about 20-25wpm. It is clear to me now that for serious contesting and DXing you really need to learn the CW language. I have been calling CQ on 80m (best band) several times but with 5W it doesn't give much response and it's just for "taking a breath". S&P is very intensive and exhausting at times but definitely give you points and multipliers with QRP. This was just my second time with QRP in the PACC contest, actually it is more fun with 100W. But with limited time it is really nice to learn how to work with very low power. It gives you an idea what is possible. Unfortunately the QRP section is a mixed section, to end high or win this section you really need to know CW. However I'm very curious what my place will be in the end. Time will tell...
Below a video from PA3JD Joop from Dedemsvaart. He showed up before on my blog in a small soundclip from the Frysian 11 cities contest last year. Joop did participate in the PACC this year QRP with 5W as well but only with CW. As you can see around his shack Joop does have a lot of old school gear and does make CW with a straight key and paddle. Wow, I wish I'm able to do this as well in the future. Video published with permission (tnx Joop).