Contesting from the slow lane……
I had a lot of fun taking part in the contest. The conditions on 10 metres were pretty good in my humble opinion. I managed to work quite a few stations despite my mediocre setup.
The only antenna I have for 10 meters is a simple rotatable dipole up at 7 metres above the ground. This is obviously far from ideal and I would have done much better with a decent multi element gain type of antenna.
I operated CW only and was single operator, unassisted using high power.
I managed to make: 411 CW QSOs and managed 110 multipliers. This includes 62 DXCC countries and 47 USA states.
I have mixed feelings about not being able to use the cluster spots as a single operator. It would have been handy to find new multipliers, but on the other hand there were hardly any major pileups to contend with. I do like using technology to its fullest and I certainly enjoy working with N1MM and using all the tools it provides including the real-time updating of the band map. I hope that in the future the ARRL will permit single operator in the assisted class.
My CW is most definitely not as good as it should be. I find that as the contest progresses that I become more relaxed and the speeds seem to be less hectic. I cannot help, but wonder if the contests took place at a slightly slower pace if the “throughput” would not be better? The speed demons have to repeat so many times and that could possibly been avoided if the sending speed was a bit slower.
I can only admire the skills of most of the running stations. On most occasions I only needed to drop my call once and the reply came back immediately. How do they do it? I cannot decode a full call that fast, let alone decode and enter the call into the contest logger. I guess I still have a looooong way to go.
73, Pierre ZS6A
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