This weekend we (HB9ELV and HB9EMP) worked the IARU Region 1 Fieldday. The installation of the equipment worked without any problem. At about 13:30 HB time the equipment was built up and tested. The time until the start we used for a short discussion on how we proceed in the contest. We knew that during the same time there will be the “AA all Asia” contest, which will be a problem because of the points we will lose. But in general we knew that our chances of a top ranking will be good. As announced there were not too many other Swiss stations which could win against us. We also realized that we forgot to buy food. Only some snacks and about 12 red bulls were available :p additionaly it was also the case that we were only two operators, which means that the one who was not in front of the radio had to check the generator make sure that it is enough petrol in it – hard 24 hours came up…
At 15:00 HB time the contest started, at the beginning we worked the top bands which means 10 to 20 meters. Propagation was fine. Japan stations and the Pacific area peaked S9. Our QSO rate was in the average and during that time we were around rank 2 in Switzerland. We always tried to build up some pile ups but this was hard to do. Not many stations spotted us even we got some nice signal reports from overseas. At about 18:00 we decided to go on 15m and beam to America. It worked fine. Our QSO rate increased alot. North and South America arrived in Switzerland with outstanding signals. Lucky we got spotted from some U.S. Operators – the show was on!
At midnight we reached the 600 QSO’s mark, but a couple of minutes later our big generator gave up like in the H26 contest (we definetly have to change it in the future). Within seconds we started the smaller backup generator, changed the power cable and we were back on air. From that on we thought a top rank will be difficult to reach. Only 400 Watts, will it be enough to break the big pile up’s on 80 meter? Chris HB9ELV started into the night session. This was the worst time in the contest.. Till 7 o’clock we could only work about 150 QSO’s the stations from America which gave us normally a hell lot of points during the night on 40 meter were rare. It seemed that they worked Asia on the high bands. Only a few found the way into our logs, even they arrived very strong…
Sunrise. We already thought that a good ranking is far away as we realized that we were still in good positions… Next stop was 20 meter with beaming to VK and ZL. A short check and we knew that the propagation was outstanding. ZL../mobile with S9 from Christchurch and other stations came in strong. Also a VK2 /QRP station found the way into our log. But beside of that not a lot was around on the top bands. The decision came from Chris to go back to the low bands and this was just right. Europe was pumping. The logging engine was back on and the activity on the frequency woke us up again. Many German and English portable stations were around. And once we heard their score we thought that we are even on a top rank in international comparison. Not too many stations reached the 1000 QSO mark that time we got there. Our Motivation came back again. Ready for a good finish we beamed in direction to England and we just got flooded with points from the British empire – thank you! Also big thanks goes to Germany, we are always surprised how many stations are active and how they always support us.
Finish! What a day. Chris and I were a bit tired but still nervous from all the red bull’s 😛 Three other members from HB9EE arrived and helped us to clean up and gather the things together. Big thank you for this! Arrived at Chris’s QTH it was time for a cup of coffee (we know that our caffeine level must have been incredible high). After two years of good contest results it seems that also the Swiss Amateur Radio OP’s have perceived us 😛 Chris was asked to give a short interview to www.Amateurfunk.ch (click on the link to read it).
At the end we reached a score of 1121 QSO’s and 586’764 points. It looks like we reached a top three rank. Some people think we won it, but we only believe it when we have the official results.
Thanks for the points and the support.
73’s de HB9EE