Call: DL6FBL
Operator(s):  
Station: DL6FBL

Added: 05/Mar/2012
Contest: ARRL DX CONTEST, SSB
Class: SO UNLIMITED HP
QTH: JO31CQ
Operating time: 30

Summary: 
 Band  QSOs  Mults
-------------------
  160:   45    15
   80:  336    40
   40:  374    44
   20: 1150    61
   15:  461    47
   10:  125    26
-------------------
Total: 2491   233  
Total Score = 1,739,112 Club: Soapbox: Playing "Tech Support" for YL Sandy,
DL1QQ, who did the main entry as
Single OP All Bands from our station.
I always operated on the "second best"
available band (if there was any...
;-) Lousy propagation on 160m and 40m
in the first night. Worked VY2ZM right
at 0000z, but nobody else in the next
5 minutes. Sandy had started on 40m of
course, so I went to 80m. But I could
only collect 35 QSOs there in the
first hour. K3ZM called in around
0100z, and I moved him to 160m.
Normally a QSO with Peter is a matter
of seconds, but this one took minutes,
because the signal was barely audible.
Situation on 160m only improved
towards sunrise, and a few stations
started coming back to CQ's... Sandy
was not happy with her start on 40m
and complained about her rate being
much too low. When she went to 80m, I
took the 40m position - and I was
faced with the same situation: signals
were very weak, and I had to press
much too often. I only got few
answers and repeatedly lost the
frequency to some South European
station quickly. After some time I had
understood the situation: I figured
that Aurora was affecting the signal
path between our QTH in Northwest
Germany and the USA very heavily.
Stations South of us were affected
much less. *THEIR* signals were loud
enough in the USA to produce a
constant flow of callers and hold a
frequency in the "transceive" band
segment from 7128-7200 kHz, which was
simply not possible from our QTH this
time. It only became better when I
started operating split - listening
between 7200-7300 kHz and transmitting
around 7100 kHz like in the old days.
Since "down there" the frequencies
were less "frequented", our this time
"weak" signal was better heard in the
USA, and more answers were coming in.
Yet the rate was still much too low
compared with other years or other
contests, and the first night ended
with 500+ QSOs *LESS* than
expected. 10m did not behave well, and
only some 20 scattered stations were
workable the first day. 15m and 20m
were OK, and I even had a 230+ hour on
20m in the 16z hour including a 10
minutes band change from 20m to
10m. The second night was also hard on
the low bands. 40m again was only
workable with split operation. 80m was
average, but at least 160m became
workable between 0400z and our sunrise
(0615z). 20m opened much later on the
second day. But 10m showed some life
around 1300z. Most signals still came
in on skewed path, but VO1XT and K1WHS
(ME) produced loud signals on the
direct path which was a good sign.
Later also Florida and other Southeast
stations produced loud direct signals,
while the North and Midwest still came
in skewed path... At least 100+ QSOs
came in the log with 26 states. K5RR
(AZ) was the farthest West. 15m stayed
open much longer on day 2, but 20m
closed earlier on day 2. Fortunately
40m was in good shape towards the end
of the contest. Sandy was even running
a 160+ hour on 40m in the very last
hour of the contest - in transceive
mode on 7194 kHz (finally)!! Go
figure... ;-) 73 Ben DL6FBL