I want to thank John, W6SL for the time in his shack this weekend. He has helped me move to the next level in RadioSport and I'm grateful for his mentorship. It is truly amazing when equipment, antennas, and propagation converge for a weekend of ham radio fun.
Certainly, CQ World Wide DX is the event of the season and RadioSport's crown jewel of activity, many thanks to CQ Magazine for its sponsorship.
Who was not eagerly anticipating Friday evening? I bet most were thinking about this on Monday while checking space weather on a daily basis.
Eventually, the N1MM starting clock signalled game time and the wireless world of RadioSport was given a fairly decent weekend of Cycle 24 propagation. I started with the 6 element 15m beam pointed toward Asia. This was my first time behind the microphone during CQ World Wide and the butterflies disappeared when the first operator went into the log. I was thrilled because there is something a little more human like when operating single sideband and hearing the other operator's voice inside the cans.
My favorite RadioSport day is Saturday because it seems like the world is a little more relaxed and ham radio is giving us a needed break from daily responsibilities or obligations.
This weekend was weather spectacular with blue skies and a thermometer that peaked in the mid-eighties. I enjoy the view from John's shack on a weekend like this as one can stare out toward the Pacific ocean while red tail hawks ride thermal currents. His antennas' connecting me with the planet while Europe gave way to Africa followed by Central and South America ending with Asia as the terminator moved across California.
I spent the greater portion of 17 hours searching and logging especially when Europe is in daylight. It is a challenge to find a clear two way channel between the continents then hold that frequency. The west coast 30 degree path over the pole simply cannot compete with a single hop over the Atlantic ocean. On the other hand, Asia and Oceania is different, and a reversal for the East Coast. Yet, one might look at the recent blog posting at CQ World Wide and note participation density and distribution.
Now, I understand 'why' European operators said thank you after completing a Zone 3 contact because of our scarcity in comparison to heavily populated Zone Five.
My strategy insight after this weekend suggests loading the log with as many European countries and zones as possible, call CQ on what sounds like a clear frequency on the West Coast, search and log Africa, South and Central America repeat until propagation moves toward Tokyo, Beijing, Auckland, and Perth on the high bands then call CQ like there is no tomorrow.
Lastly, I want to thank those who mentioned my blog and said hello this weekend, it is one more reason why ham radio is the best hobby on the planet!
P.S. Written with my Acer Iconia Tab A100 using Blogger application.