It is october again, and besides Halloween it is CQ WW SSB !
This is my favorite contest of the year, and I managed to get someting going in the single operator single band Category from Madeira. From 2014 till 2021 I had 6 entries finishing World #1 five times. Only 2017 I had to settle for world #2.
I was not on Madeira 2016 and 2019 as I was invited as a guest OP @ D4C.
How to get there – or not?
As always I decided to fly in on Tuesday, this time joined by Georg DD8ZX who wanted to come along and do some casual operating from Santana. The trip itself could not have been worth!
I had a buissnes ticket from TAP Portugal, just because I had a 450€ voucher to burn, that took me 15 month to get from TAP for a flight I had to cancel after several flight changes in 2020. This was my trip number 19 to the island and I was flying TAP many times before – and it usually was uneventful. Not so mich this time! It started late in Frankfurt – we miss the connection in Lisbon – got re-routed to Porto and arrive in Funchal with just a small delay of 12 hours! Full story later ….
Preparation and pre contest QSOs
The preparation in Santana went very smooth. I wanted to give 10m another try and the setup was done in lightspeed. The 10m monobander was still there from the RTTY effort, BP40 and BP60 mast were cranked up quickly and all antennas hooked up. We also had time to build a 60m Vertical. To save voice and ears we were mostly on FT8 and only a few test sideband QSOs were done. Station as always ICOM IC-7300 and ACOM 2000, nothing fancy at all – but it works.
Sunrise and Contest start in Santana
When you only work 10m the contest start at 0:00z is actually quite nice sleeping. The 10m band usually comes alive with the sunrise in Madeira. Slow for the first hour and then BANG! The early hours please me with two full hours close to 300 QSOs/h and short term rates up to 350 – this was really fun!.
The band closed out with 2800 QSOs and 300 ahead of CR3Y. Live is good.
Day two the conditions seemed even better than day one, but than came the struggels. The band was packed between 28.200 and 29.000 and it was impossible to find a free spot. If you find one far out on the edges QSO rates just went down, and when you try to squeeze in to the hot spots, fighting QRM it is not helping the rates either. CR3Y was reported about 10dB louder in Europe than myself and CQ3J on 10m did not help as well. Just until the very end I could not establish any good rates anymore and my 300 QSOs advantage over CR3Y was melting hour by hour. The dream of 5000+ QSOs and the assisted world record was gone. All I could no now is hang in there and finish strong. Getting mults in the log was challenging – but keeps up the score.
This is almost 200.000 points plus reduction below my 2014 score, but it hopefully should be good for another world #1 plaque. I was really togh to get the mults as you can see on the map.
Thanks to alle the callers and sorry for the ones I could not get out of the spatters – but hey, its halloween – splatters are part of the game!
As always a big thanks to team Samtana for keeping and improoving this place and let me operate from there! It has been a pleasure as always!
Update Nov. 5th official RAW scores
All the FT8 haters should stop reading here … or go here: https://df7ee.de/ft8-killed-hamradio-really/
Besides the contest effort we also managed to put up more than 6200 FT8 QSOs from Santana. CT9/DD8ZX has more than 3200 and I finished with 3000 in the CT9/DF7EE log last day morning (plus 1800 from September).
After sending out more than 30.000 QSL Cards from Madeira beween 2005 and today, I decided to go OQRS Only this year. If you want a QSL Card – please go Clublog online QRS for CT9/DF7EE and CQ3W as well. Bureau and direct is possible here. I will stop killing trees sending out pro active QSL Cards. Its more work this way, but less waste.
Thanks and 73