This weekend was supposed to be the Sept ARRL VHF contest with my local club where we head up to a mountain top, set up a couple of towers with VHF (440/220/144 & 6m) antennas and operate, but the weather forecast was bad so it was cancelled. A good thing it was cancelled as Saturday was nasty with intermittent downpours, high winds, tornado warnings and 2 confirmed tornado touchdowns in NYC. I didn’t even operate on Saturday in the WAE contest after a morning of activities and then the bad weather.
The WAE contests are interesting in that they add QTCs into the mix. A QTC is when you send up to 10 previous contacts you made to the other station. The info includes the time of the contact, the callsign of the station and the exchange the station gave you. For points, it’s the same as making a contact, so if you make 10 actual QSOs and on the 11th QSO you send them 10 QTCs, you have logged 21 points. In the SSB contest, I can only make a contact with European stations and I am the one to send them the QTCs (WAE RTTY contest has different rules).
Friday night I made a dozen contacts on 20m and 40m all with stations having nice strong signals. Saturday was a washout with the horrible weather so no contacts were made.
Sunday morning was beautiful and no indication of how bad the weather was the previous day with the exception of my fan dipole having the 20m and 15m legs wrapped around each other. I went out, lowered one end of the antenna, untangled the wires and hoisted it back up. I spent time on and off throughout the day making contacts with a lot of activity on 15m.
European ops were very aggressive asking for QTCs which was great. Even if I didn’t have a full set of 10 to send they wanted what I had. I very rarely got to more then 10 without an op asking for QTCs. 10m had some short openings but nothing too long. I checked often to see if anyone was calling CQ.
Late in the day activity moved to 20m and other then a couple at the end on 40m the activity was on 20m. I ended up with just a couple QTCs I could have given out so I essentially doubled my points by sending almost all my QSOs as QTCs. A fun twist to the standard exchange. I’m not sure why so many non-EU ops said “No QTCs” unless they were fresh out or just not comfortable sending them. I never turned down a request.
Here’s my score summary from N1MM:
Band Q/QTC QSOs Mlt 7 QSO 11 18 14 QSO 60 46 14 SQTC 50 0 21 QSO 53 46 21 SQTC 65 0 28 QSO 4 8 28 SQTC 3 0 Total All 246 118 Score : 29,028
Here’s a map of the contacts made using ADIF2Map (click for a larger view):
Now to see if I can get Swains Island – NH8S…