The contest ran for from 14:00 local time till 2:00 local time. So I booked the afternoon and evening off and headed over to my favourite /P spot on a (during weekends) desolate industrial zone in Arnhem. I set up my Hexbeam 12m/40ft high and installed my mobile amplifier to boost my power to about 300w PEP.
Fishing DX first
I started around 16h local time, focussing on DX first (no point in using the low bands at that hour). Because of the contest the WARC bands were quite busy and these were the bands where DX was to be found (hiding from the contest activity on 10/15/20).
Quickly I discovered a positive side effect of the EU contest: EU was busy chasing EU, so chasing DX became easier: pile-ups were noticeably smaller. Also conditions turned out to be rather interesting. The bands were not completely stable - some QSB around - but even 12m opened up a couple of times.
I started working far east stations on 17m, then went down to 15m to collect some contest points and stumbled upon 9M8 and ST2M - both new ones on this band. As no one had spotted ST2M yet we had the opportunity to have a real QSO in stead of only the usual 59 TU.
A lot of "new (band) ones"
I quickly became bored with the contest and went back to 17m where I contacted a lot of JA and North-American stations including West Coast US and XE (new on this band). Then I went up to 12m where I added A61, 4X and PZ to my list for this band. I visited 10m (contest) and 6m (Es opening towards DL/OK/SP/UR). Then I hopped around using the cluster to add V47, A92, CP, FJ (new ones), CE, JW and ZF (new band) to my log.
With the low activity from EU towards DX there was time to have a long chat with a ZL as well as two VKs.
Around midnight I had a chat with my friend PD7YY who was working from a hotel on TF. His mediocre set-up (end fed wire sloping from 4m high only to the ground) still gave him an S9 in the peaks on 20m. So the band was in a good shape.
No low bands
As 17m and 20m remained open there was no time to pick up on my original plan to join the contest on the low bands. There was just too much going on on the higher bands. It was difficult to find a good reason to stop and go home (you need to at one time or another). After logging ZF I turned off the radio at 2 am and began breaking up the station.
In total I logged:
- 121 calls - 22 in the contest
- 4 new DXCCs (all band)
- 4 new ones on 20m
- 12 new ones on 17m
- 3 new ones on 15m
- 7 new ones on 12m
- 1 new one on 6m