Compared to the spring sprint earlier this year, I had a better mast system this time. This one was made of stackable sections that were all the same 2" diameter, plus I had to add one spare piece from a different mast system to allow me to achieve the required 12 foot stacking distance. Other than that, I had a new rover vehicle and a new transceiver, but the antenna system was the same, and so was the output power and location. Unfortunately, even though I finished assembly a few minutes before contest start time, I was unable to get any photos due to sunset happening so early this time of year.
I got beam headings dialed in on the rotor using K1MS/B in FN42 as well as a barely audible NL7XM/B in FN20. I started on time and began calling CQ with beam pointed north, moving through northeast, east, and southeast, with no answers in the first half hour. Then in the next half hour I worked 70% of the contest all at once (in terms of number of contacts). The remaining 3 hours were painful, averaging one contact per hour. During the spring version of this sprint, contacts were spread out more evenly across all of the available operating time, and I had almost 3 times more QSOs in that event. Perhaps the reduced chance of E-skip this time of year lowered people's expectations for an exciting time.
I spent significant time calling CQ with the beam pointed into the "brick wall" to the north, but just like the spring sprint, got no results. I did hear VE3FGU FN04 calling CQ but he didn't hear my replies--that was the only activity anywhere to the north of my location. Later, in the last 20 minutes of the sprint, I began hearing an occasional syllable pop into my receiver on 50.125, so I turned the beam to the west and listened. I was able to piece together "W9RM EN52" (700 miles away) on ionoscatter(?) at 0254Z. He later said he tried replying to my calling CQ (and I do remember hearing something, but someone else was on the frequency blocking him at that moment). It appears that my longest actual contact was on ground wave with W3BC/R in FN00 for a distance of 204 miles (328 km) versus 255 miles for best DX in the spring version of this event.
There were other stations I heard but was unable to work for one reason or another: N2AO FN13, W4TAA/VE3 FN15, WB2RVX FM29, N1ZN, and KA3EJJ FM19. Notably missing were K1TOL, K1WHS, WZ1V, K1TEO, and W3SO, but I did work my own grid for a change. I didn't hear anything out of FN01, 02, 03, FN23, 24, FN33, 34. Overall, band conditions seemed to slowly deteriorate during the event. Here is a chart showing how that the planetary-K index equalled 1 during the sprint (down one point from the spring sprint). The X-Ray flux chart shows that X-ray emissions from the sun were down overall during the sprint despite an A9 flare earlier in the day. The solar flux was only 69, but that was two points higher than the spring sprint. I managed to get 8th place out of 17 in this sprint.
BAND QSOs QSO UNIQUE PTS. GRIDS --------------------------- 50 10 10 8 --- Claimed score = 80 ---
UTC CALLSIGN GRID --------------------------- PH 2330 AC2AA FN32 PH 2338 N3PKC FN21 PH 2345 W1BS FN32 PH 2348 AA3RE FN20 PH 2348 K3TUF FN10 PH 2351 W3BC/R FN00 PH 2353 N8RA FN31 PH 0051 KC2TEP FN22 PH 0052 K2MPE FN13 PH 0225 K2SMN FN20
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