WW SSB – SO(A)SB20 HP

2020′s motto:
“There’s nothing better than cutting rotator’s axle latch with angle grinder
@2AM.”

Most probably I missed during the maintenance to check the rotator motor’s
latch. 2 hours into the contest realized that the antenna is not moving.
As the band was not very active went out to check what’s going on.
The motor itself was up&running but the latch was broken with no motion between
them. Could pick between to quit the contest or fix it. All the available
materials were in bigger sheets I needed to cut a piece to amend it.
Topping it up no other tool was prepared, only an old angle grinder… :-)
It was loud… guess the neighbors thought there is a burglary in ongoing.

On Sat @0900 the antenna stuck (luckily) at north and did not move anywhere.
Had to climb the tower and check what the hack could that be as the rotator
this time was not guilty. A small piece of metal scrap got between the mast
and the support making the rotator unable to begin the rotation. I cannot
guess but I think there is no other 1000 occasions when this angle and
positioning could happen again… Managed to pick that small metal part out
and could get it back to life.

Propagation
- Rarely happens but Sun was better and overall better than last year
- Sat night when 20m usually closes there was a pretty good re-opening to USA
- Sun was great with great LP opening to OC
- VK6 never heard however tried to allure with regular CQs to W-VK
- after the umpteen KH7M cluster spot on Sun well into the night I heard some
whisper. Spent at least half an hour sitting on the freq to see what happens
but after 9A5Y I managed to get through. I don’t know how as in according to
the big propagation book this path was not open but hope I will not see this
call in the UBN report.
- was an interesting experience that similar “no propagation” path’s was open
ie to DU. After several iterations of my callsign one of the operator even
said that “I didn’t expected EU…” :-)
- NH2L was rather loud after KH7M qso but the op (of course) did not beam to
EU and the USA pile was too big to get through

Activity
- Limited cty contest expeditions due to covid, no new mult on Sat only after
19UT
- usual QRM, sorry for the many repeat requests, thanks for the perseverance
- tried to maximize the efficiency of the prop windows, great operators at
the other end with quick reports and actions making the game great
- unbelievable  number of stns from DL, G(x), PA and EA

CQcontest.net
- Again good competition which made the fun even better
- 3h to the end the page said “Account is blocked” and stopped working
- I thought this is my account and started to troubleshoot on the recommended
profile page… :-)
- Unfortunately therefore I don’t know where Miki YT3X ended up.

Funny
I don’t know why a big chunk of operators (including myself) shouts during
SSB operation. Most probably the enthusiasm brings this up…
Tried to focus on this as the chords might suffer less but when a mult was
called it appeared I could not resist… :-)

This was again a great fun. If the SSN: 11 had this impact on propagation
I’m looking forward to have mooooooree…

Thanks a lot for the calls!

CU in the CW leg.

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