|CWops Open Session One 22,066 points|
|CWops Open Session Two 22,386 points|
I want to begin by thanking my mentor John, W6SL for opening his shack door for guest operating while making the dream road possible. My first ever Box score is out there somewhere in the RadioSport ether and, every event, every second, minute, and hour in the pilot's seat brings the dream a little closer. Persistence. Determination. And a little luck. That's my formula for RadioSport success.
Racing Against The Clock
The pack raced ahead at Session One after N1MM Contest Logger signaled the start. It is propagation limbo on the Central Coast of California as the sun has not yet risen and 80m was a dead signal zone for locals. I pointed the 40m three element monobander toward Japan at 320 degrees plus/minus without any luck while East Coast operators increased their respective numbers.
Shortly after sunrise, with 40m Q production approaching stall, I changed bands in favor of twenty meters. The rate meter immediately picked up and my numbers started rising but it wasn't enough rate to catch up with the East Coast pack. However, signal traction on 15m compensated for the slow 40m start while the underestimated band, 10m, surged for a least 30 minutes before collapsing.
Session One set a personal best nearly doubling my score from last year. It was a slow start however this session ended with the question, "Where did four hours go?"
Afterwards, I went on a walking work out with Radio Dawg, covering two miles before getting ready for Session Two. The work out endorphins set the tone and pace in the pilot's seat.
The race against the RadioSport clock was totally different. This time all of North America was illuminated with Europe in its gray line and Japan deep into Pacific morning. The 6 element monobander on 15m was pointed at 30 degrees plus/minus when the race started. It was red line words per minute as the rate meter went turbo with two and three Qs per minute going into the log.
I logged 70 Qs in the first thirty minutes on 15m before losing traction.
This was my tactical error because I fretted as the rate meter fell and then moved off the run frequency. I did not achieve another red line rate like the first 45 minutes. Ten meters despite the numbers was disappointing because the solar flux indice and sunspot count speak to a band that is supposed to be open, at least, for North American contacts.
I'm quizzical why the underestimated band seems to be getting little RadioSport attention as Cycle 24 moves toward its climax?
Oddly, I ended Session Two exactly where I started during Session One, that is on forty meters. Rate fell into the 'need to change band' zone on 20m and I thought, nah, is 40m open? I probably missed the opening by 30 minutes and I punched the words per minute throttle before N1MM Contest Logger signaled the finish line.
Session Two set another personal best record this time increasing my score from last year by five times. Likewise, my combined total shattered last year, and I left my mentor's shack feeling satisfied with a total of eight hours of additional practice on the dream road to the Box.