2016 Oceania SSB DX Contest

Over the weekend, the 2016 Oceania DX Contest was held. This was my first contest for the season, having missed this years RD Contest due to other commitments.

This year was definitely hard going compared to last year, with band propagation conditions truly terrible throughout the contest and then suffering the static crashes from a lightning storm occurring on the SA/NSW/VIC border later on Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t being particularly serious about the event this year, and therefore much of the time was spent in “search and pounce” mode making the initial contacts and then after the initial flurry, going off to do something else and returning to the radio every half hour or so to spin the dial and listen for any new signals.

And new signals were very few and far between, with only 9 contacts logged in the last 12 hours of the contest, with most bands only answering with the sound of the noise floor up until the last 3 hours of the contest on Sunday.

In the end I managed 42 contacts over the 24 hours of the contest, with the band split below:

Band QSOs
1.8 2
3.5 14
7 16
14 10

In comparison, this is around half the contacts from my 2015 contest effort. Notably last year there was much more activity on 20m (39 contacts) than this year, and 15m saw some contacts where this year there was none.

During the contest, I think my highlights would have been working 2 stations on 160m – it’s very rare for me to work anything at all on “top band”, along with being able to exchange contacts with stations I knew such as IK4GRO and VK5PAS (Hi Paul!).

Well the next big contest is CQWW SSB, which will be “The Big One”. Looking forward to it.

Oceania DX Contest 2015

Contesting Screenshot

If my saved contest log files are anything to go by, this is the first Oceania DX contest I have participated in since 2008.

I’ve been looking forward to this contest now, as it is one of the “big ones” for the year, and a big opportunity to obtain some new DX countries. It guarantees me a eQSL eDX award¬†as well as more uniques DXCC. It also means I really need to get around to getting some real QSL Cards printed (Do people have suggestions?).

It made for a bit of a busy weekend, as most of Saturday was spent cruising around Hobart, getting home in the afternoon an then settling down to contest in the evening (0800 UTC = 6pm AEST).

I decided to use the N1MM+ Logger for the contest. I have used it before in the Penstock Lagoon RD Contest, where it worked well but was largely hampered by not having a definition file for the RD Contest. N1MM+ does know about the big contests though and I was keen to get hands on with it again.

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