I was watching the Doppler RADAR and the next band of rain was on its way north toward central NY. If I leave for the hilltop early, I will have lots of time to pick the most rain-free moment in which to set up the antenna. I did leave early and started setting up the station as soon as I got there at 6 PM since there was no rain yet. Finishing early, and with only a few raindrops on the window, I still had time to get some photos and then swing the antenna around, listening for beacons. When the sprint started, my first station worked was K8RYU EM99 (370 mi / 595 km) which I believe is an all-time new grid on 222. That's two sprints in a row working a shiny new grid on the first contact. That would end up being the best DX of the event, too, and he was S3. I also noticed that it is easier to work the stations in the FM field now that I have doubled the output power on the 222 station. Best DX in the easterly directions was N1JEZ FN44 (240 mi / 387 km). Best to the west was VA3ST FN03 (189 mi / 304 km) who was actually the only station to the west that I was able to raise, despite hearing VE3DS working someone at the start of the sprint. The majority of my contacts (63 percent) were CW. As for folks wondering whether the last hour is worth the effort: All 3 contacts in the final hour were new grids.
BAND QSOs UNIQUE GRIDS ------------------------------ 222 24 16 --- Claimed score = 384 ---
MD UTC CALL GRID -------------------------- CW 2311 K8RYU EM99 PH 2316 KM3F FN20 PH 2319 W9KXI FN12 PH 2324 KA2LIM/R FN12 PH 2328 N2DCH FN22 CW 2334 K1RZ FM19 PH 2336 K3TUF FN10 CW 2338 N2NT FN20 PH 2341 K1TEO FN31 CW 2357 AA2UK FM29 CW 0000 K1PXE FN31 CW 0004 WB2SIH FN31 CW 0006 WB2JAY FN30 CW 0019 W2SJ FM29 PH 0048 NY2NY FN30 PH 0111 K1OR FN42 CW 0136 W1QK FN31 CW 0144 K1GX FN31 CW 0146 AF1T FN43 CW 0150 KE1LI FN41 CW 0156 N1JEZ FN44 PH 0221 W1GHZ FN34 CW 0237 VA3ST FN03 CW 0246 K2EZ/R FN21