|Results 2013 CQ World Wide 160 Meter CW|
My sleep schedule was turned inside out however the benefit of experience most certainly eclipsed lost slumber time. Overall, this is a story of two distinctly different events encapsulated within 23 hours of time in the chair.
First 12 Hours
Friday night arrived at the speed of radio frequency through coax with a weather system parking itself over the central coast of California. Subsequently, rain static pumped natural noise levels between an S8 to an S9 on a wavelength whose reputation lives and dies on noise. I jacked into the transceiver's can jack and John suggested using an additional filter to reduce natural static in addition to a 500 Hz continuous wave filter.
John mentioned be prepared for rapid peak and fading of the signal. He was spot on because if I didn't copy the entire call on the first burst then, ten times out of ten, I didn't get a second chance. His additional filtering suggestion helped with stations inside the noise chamber.
Likewise, I want to mention some stations who called didn't make the log, not for lack of effort between wireless sets and aerials, it was noise, additionally, and in sum; my experience on the Top Band played significantly into the equation, as there were few second chances inside the cans.
I gained this experience through Friday night with 350 Qs going into the log along with 9 DXCC entities. I went QRT after a full day and nearly 12 hours in the chair. My brain refused to function much like a hung application inside your browser. I simply spun, spun, spun an hour before sunrise.
The Other Side Of The First 12 Hours
My rate fell to 50 percent or less on Saturday night. I was curious if our East coast competitors were enjoying a phenomenal European opening and judging by 3830 Score Rumor comments, indeed, they were beside themselves. Well, reluctantly and with a friendly competitor grin, lucky you guys and gals!
On the other hand, I'm grateful for JA-stations who counted as 10-point Qs and our short lived Friday night 1100Z opening was a boon for the log. However, propagation is a fickle mistress that is, gives one night and can deny the next.
I can only write to a certain point because of my limited Top Band experience. The West coast enjoyed a brief teasing when G-station signals while in their gray line were heard and logged by the lucky few. It was a bitter sweet moment but that's RadioSport at its best.
Potentially, on Saturday night, the West coast waited for the JA-hour around 1100Z to exchange information across the Pacific and give thanks for a serious 10 point run for the log. Well, at least from inside my cans, 160m went short at 1100Z and stations from Arizona, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington bent the s-meter needle. I didn't hear anything out of Asia.
Overall, I gained introductory level Top Band experience because unlike other wavelengths, I must copy your full call the first time around; use additional filtering; and pause a little longer between CQs and listen. The Top Band, at least for me, requires several tons of raw copper patience. This wavelength quickly punished if your focus inside the cans shifted for even a microsecond.