Sunday, December 9, 2018

#10m ARRL contest day 2 - time consuming

SFI:70 SN:16 A:10 K:3

Event: ARRL 10m contest
Section: Single Operator mixed low assisted
Logger: N1MM+ / FLdigi / CWskimmer
Station: Icom IC-706 MK2G 100W
Antenna: HF5B @14m agl

And time consuming it was. It was bad yesterday but it was even worse today. I did my best but only a few contacts were made, most of them with dutch stations since there was absolute nothing that could be decoded. The only exception was OY1CT who came up for a moment, I made the contact and never heard him again. OY1CT was reported all over europe/skandinavia and seem to have a lot of luck with 10m propagation. Most of the contest was on CW, there was nothing heard on SSB. The only DX I worked on SSB was LY1R on saturday. The other SSB contacts were with dutch stations. So you think there was really no propagation, and I'm shure many have been listening and heard nothing. But it is not true, there was propagation but no stations in the propagation direction. This is todays RBN:

Of course when the 3B8CW spot was there I gave CQ in that direction but nothing came back to me...same for OH6BG, at that time propagation with OH was good but nothing has been heard or came back to me. Again I heard some stations from the Netherlands with good signals but whatever I tried they didn't hear me. The CW keyer I made is a great improvement, I should have made it years ago...I'm able to respond quickly when someone calls now and I'm shure my contact with OY1CT would not have been possible without it.

This was certainly one of the worst ARRL 10m contests ever. I've been reading in the archives of this blog and see that in 2009 I worked 21 stations as well, though it was all on SSB at that time and most of it was DX, this year most of the stations are dutch! But the worst was in 2010 with only 5 QSO. Of course I know, we are at the sunspot cycle minimum what else could I expect. But you never know of course you always expect surprises. Besides that it is the experience, you really have to do your best for every QSO. It was also a nice experience to have the LFA up and see what it looks like although it was no success, that cost me some time but it was worth it. Not to forget the fun I had on 10m FT8 before the contest probing the 10m band.

After all I'm satisfied and shure looking forward to next years 10m ARRL contest.


  1. Excellent dedication, Bas! I've been thinking, after reading your posts recently, that FT8 (or something similar) as a beacon mode would be really very useful and interesting. There are a reasonable number of people on 10m WSPR, but the 2 minute transmissions are far too susceptible to changing propagation and, therefore, non-decodes.

  2. Hello John, indeed it would be interesting. 15 seconds transmissions are fast. Though FT8 is not as sensitive as WSPR but good enough to do a fast propagation probe. I've written about it before. It would be nice to have an automatic beacon mode in FT8 but I guess it will not be programmed in WSJT-X since it is not intended as beacon mode. However you can transmit beacon with your call, I see some people do that. Automation could be done with a macro like they do with FT8 automation. 73, Bas


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas