I have WPX CW 2014WRTC qualifier coming up in May and I'm thinking about that Friday off as a long stretch weekend? The challenge out in front me is getting enough sleep or, and I'm beginning to believe, sleep deprivation is 99 percent of the game?
On the other hand, everything was 'go' in the SL shack, as it was o'dark thirty in the morning when I arrived. Two uncontrollable variables bore down on the event from our location on the central coast of California. The first was two solar flares created choppy to blown out ionospheric conditions. The next was a heavy winter rain storm.
I heard, really heard, for the first time the sound of rain static. It wiped out all the high frequency bands as the static climbed on the 756Pro s-meter. Funny, and it seems to happen this way in RadioSport or life in general, I was in the middle of a serious rate out of Asia when a torrent of rain fell from the sky.
The torrent heaved twice and it was in the early hours of the morning in the middle of prime time toward Asia on 40 meters. Wireless technology albeit roofing filters and digital signal processing could not overcome the energy discharging from the California sky.
Furthermore, we're working a possible phasing harness issue on the 6L 20m monobander. It was low power (100 watts) on this band until the issue is rectified and European wireless signals were bountiful on Saturday morning. I hunted and logged almost everything heard inside the cans.
Admittedly, I really enjoyed having access to the spotting network without having to change my entry category as a single operator all band (SOAB). Personally, it was a new element of attention and compensated for a second radio deficit. I used the information presented on the band map to judge band openings to include hunting multipliers.
I still advocate that an assisted category diminishes the potential of the game and incorporating the network into single operator would help equalize the field of competition when competing against single operator two radio (SO2R).
Later in the afternoon, I enjoyed a solid run on 15m with the 6L monobander pointed toward Japan and, as always, each Q is appreciated in the log. It's a big hit on the score when propagation toward Asia especially Japan is either marginal or non-existent. Additionally, a string of Oceania stations went into the log, and many thanks to those stalwart Australian and New Zealanders who always show up as well.