As blogged before I booked some time off from duties @ home on Saturday (afternoon, evening) and Sunday (morning), allowing me to basically be on the air on all parts of the day.
On both days I worked mainly using my hexbeam at about 36-40ft. On Saturday I changed the antenna once (to my 4 element yagi for 10m) to try and work RI1ANU on 10m. By the time I changed the antenna though RI1ANU was gone.. 1 hour completely lost. Luckily I managed to log RI1ANU in the evening on 20m.
On Saturday the wind was just a bit too strong for the mast height I chose (extending all parts to a height of 40ft), resulting in a strong bend.
|Mast bending due to the wind
|Less wind, less height and a guy line
With the change to summer time there was one hour of sleep less to get. I decided not to extend my Saturday evening hunting for some new DXCCs on 40m (there were some) but to get up in time so as to pick up the signals from VK and ZL in the morning.
On Sunday I was operational again at 9 am local summer time and stayed on the air for less than three hours. I logged only 17 contacts this time, including 1 new DXCC and 8 "new band DXCCs". 10m was mostly dead (probably still too early) and 15m not too strong. As I expected Oceania was reachable - strong on 20m - and I added ZL as a new band contact on 20m, as well as working almost all VK regions (with VK1 and VK7 being new ones for me). I started working short path - not being familiar with beams just yet. So I had some trouble working Paul VK5PAS, who I worked before and who was not particularly strong. Only after I worked him it dawned upon me that conditions were probably better long path. This was indeed the case and soon after I added the other VKs and ZL to my log. Noteworthy was VK7ZX who was a steady 9+10dB in my humble station.
All in all I worked 10 new DXCCs (3DA, 5R8, 5Z, D3, DU, FH, FR, KL, RI1ANU and 4U1ITU) and 22 new band DXCCs. Most new ones were in Africa (6). There were only a few stations I missed due to changing conditions or lack of time (or because they simply could not be copied through the QRM). The outcome of my operation this weekend can be seen on the map below. Dots are "regular" contacts, stars are "new band DXCC" contacts and the larger place marks indicate new DXCCs worked. Yellow indicates 20m, orange 15m, red 10m and purple 17m (contacts outside of the contest).