Last weekend, during the CQ World Wide DX Contest, I decided to fire up the mobile HF station on Sunday morning and try to put a few contacts in the log. Working a contest like the CQWW from a mobile station is always a challenge so I didn’t make an attempt on Saturday, the first day of the contest. Everything about a mobile station is a compromise, so you’re behind the eight ball in terms of RF power, antenna gain, etc. even in comparison to a modest home station. By Sunday all of the big gun stations have worked each other and are looking for contacts, so that’s the best time to for a mobile to try. After going off duty Sunday morning and getting some breakfast, I turned on the FT-897 to see what was going on.
Conditions were extraordinary. I had seen tweets from fellow hams on Saturday talking about how good conditions were for the contest, so I wasn’t completely surprised. 40 Meters and 20 Meters, at 8 AM in the morning were slammed. There were so many stations so close together that it was hard to pull some out. I tried a few of the stronger stations on both bands but 100 watts through the Opek just wasn’t enough to cut through all of the QRM. Many of the tweets I saw on Saturday mentioned how good the conditions on 15 Meters and 10 Meters were, so I reset the Opek for 15 Meters and tried it out. Conditions were excellent even for that early in the morning and I put 6 stations in the log. I usually have better luck on 15 Meters but it sounded like what 20 Meters frequently does in contests! Next I tried out 10 Meters and was even more successful, putting 8 stations in the log. I was quite pleased given how both bands were and exchanging tweets with some of my ham friends discovered that Sunday wasn’t quite as good as Saturday so I can’t imagine what Saturday must have sounded like!
Out of the 14 stations worked, most were in Eastern and Central Europe with a few Western European and Central/South American thrown in. One of the stations was from Belarus, which was a new country for the mobile log!
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Slovak Republic
All in all, it was a great way to end the morning. It would have been nice to have put a few more in the log and I’m sure that as propagation changed throughout the morning it would have been possible, but it was time to get some sleep.