Decided to try my hand at the ARRL 10 meter contest this weekend for a few hours. I operated from about 10am-12pm local on Saturday Dec. 10 & worked 24 SSB contacts to my surprise! I was using my OCF primarily, it seemed to be performing a bit better than my vertical. I was using 100 watts for the entire contest.
I would not have been as patient if it weren’t for the SDRplay panadapter. Searching for signals in such a big band can be quite tasking for someone doing ‘search & pounce’ like me. I was having some issues w/ SDRConsole v3 & Omni-rig though, granted I had the beta version from August, and I realized there’s a newer version out released in October so i’ve upgraded everything.
I tried my hand at CQ’ing solo for a bit, but only garnered 2 contacts that way. I’m sure most of the guys that I was replying to were ‘big-gun’ stations, so thanks to all those hams who run directional antennas! The band was initially all over the place it seemed, I would wait until their signal came up audibly & clearly enough before I would reply. The band quickly dissipated after lunch time though, and most stations dissappeared. I would try again the following morning only to gain 3 more SSB contacts early in the morning. It seemed as if the band was less cooperative the following day!
I’m pretty happy for only casually operating for a few hours and netting 27 SSB contacts in total. Pretty funny how the higher bands tend to come alive when everyone is saying it’s not worth it due to the solar minimum right now. I even made a few local contacts here in the Austin area!
Thank you to all who participated & made this contest possible, looking forward to the next one.