Yesterday I participated in the 80m SSB UBA Spring contest. A few months ago I posted “I won my first contest 🙂” about my win in the 2010 edition of this very same contest.
So of course I wanted to try and get at least the same score as last year.
Since my friend and neighbour Luc ON7KZ wanted to participate also this time I could expect a little more competition than last year. Moreover Luc lives about 500m from here so we could expect a little QRM from each other. But, nothing better than a little hamspirit and we both decided to participate in the QRP-class (10W SSB). Thanks Luc! Moreover, as I knew Luc’s antenna was best at 3.620 MHz and mine was set at 3.580 MHz (digi-part of the band) I decided to make mine a little shorter so Luc could concentrate on the lower part of the band (3.600 to 3.650) and I mostly used the higher part of the band (above 3.700).
QRP power and good receivers and we didn’t get any QRM at all from eachother!
Now why do I have mixed feelings?
Last year my score was a little above 21000 points with 145 QSO, this year I had about 25% less QSO and about 45% less points. Luc ON7KZ was only about 1000 points behind me at the end of the contest.
Now the question is why is the score of this years effort so much less than last year? Same station, same antenna, same operator, same computer, same logging program… but a different callsign (last year I used ON5MF, this year I used OQ6A)
Was there less activity than last year? Did the beautiful weather and Paris-Roubaix keep the operators away from their stations?
Was I less performant than last year?
Of course when using QRP it is impossible to keep a frequency and run for the full contest but was it worse than last year?
Did the competition have the same low QSO-count as I have?
So this leaves me with a lot of questions which I guess will only be answered when the results of the contest get published.
Now, let’s have a look at the contest calendar and prepare for next effort!
As the frequent readers of this blog know I don’t own an amplifier and I like to contest. So what’s the solution to still be competitive a contest? Yes, enter the low power (100W) or the QRP-class (10W).
Every year the UBA-section DST of Diest organises the UBA Spring contest in 4 parts (each on a different sunday morning 0800-1200 local time) : 80m SSB, 80m CW, 6m and 2m.
In the UBA Spring contest there is no LP-class so I went for the 10W-class in the 80m SSB-part.
As Jan seems to be a far better writer than I am, I copied his text from the ON4KB page at QRZ.com:
ANNUAL ON4KB/P FIELDDAY OPERATIONS …
Over the last 4 years, the callsign ON4KB/P stands for a state-of-the-art SSB Fieldday operation each first weekend of September. This emergency exercise is an initiative of a team of great and competent fellow hams, mostly living in the area. In 2010 these are Hugo ON7FU, Luc ON7KZ, Jurgen ON5MF, Tim ON5HC, Geert ON7USB, Francis ON8AZ and myself, who all share the work of preparing, building the station, operating and logging. We’re also grateful to Sofie ON3SC (qrp on7kz) for the occasional help.
The team takes a fieldday quite seriously, keeping in mind the original philosophy behind the event :
To test our technical competence as radio amateurs and to combine knowledge and teamwork into the installation of a comprehensive emergency radio operation ;
To discuss technical issues and experiment in the true spirit of amateur radio ;
After examining the WA7BNM Contest Calendar for some time and after studying the rules of most of the contests I made a selection of the FOR ME most interesting contests. These were the parameters I used:
more than one radio allowed? I hate to watch TV when things get slow AND I own more than one radio AND I own a couple of bandpassfilters
24 hrs or shorter I have a business to run, also on mondays!
is there a low power category? I don’t own an amp and I want to keep my neighbours happy
is the contest also running on saterday morning? the business interfering again!
is it an everyone works everyone contest? I hate to sit at a station calling only one country
how much activity is there in this contest? I like lots of activity