With the sunspot cycle on the upswing, 10 Meter propagation has been terrific and this year’s ARRL 10 Meter Contest benefited from it. 10 Meter conditions are certainly the best I’ve experienced in the few years I’ve had my General license.
On both Saturday and Sunday mornings I decided to turn on the mobile station after work before going to bed and give out a few contest points. I’m sure glad I did; in just over an hour and 15 minutes of operating time I worked 31 stations from 17 countries (interestingly enough, no domestic stations!): Poland, Wales, Italy, Slovak Republic, Ceuta-Melilla, Austria, Slovenia, Ukraine, Madeira Island, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Montenegro, Croatia, Spain, Hungary, and Switzerland. On Saturday morning I operated from just before 7:30 AM local (1230Z) to just after 8:00 AM local (1300Z) working 15 European stations in the process. Saturday evening, I fired up the mobile station and checked for activity hoping to pick up some domestic stations but the band was dead. On Sunday morning, between 7:45 AM (1244Z) and 8:30 AM (1330Z) I worked another 16 European stations.
I was pretty impressed with the results from the FT-897 and Opek HVT-400B mobile setup, it seems to work pretty good on 10 Meters. I’m looking forward now to trying it on 6 Meters as well during the E-skip season (hopefully there will be a winter opening soon).