This time last year (2012) I was sat on the summit of Black Hill SS-253 on a beautifully warm and sunny Autumn (Fall) day. I’d just been to a local radio rally (hamfest) and this was a quick activation after the show. The colours were grand, the WX was grand and I worked a lot of nice US DX (W7, W5) on 15m. I didn’t have antennas for higher bands but I can remember hearing a W6 mobile near Venice Beach working a ZS6 with 25W. I thought “I want some of that.” and the seeds of a challenge for the solar maximum on HF were sown.
Move forward 1 year, WX was mild but showery, the rally was over and I was on the summit of Eildon Mid Hill SS-214 for another post rally activation. This time I was prepared and we have the 12m Challenge running and I had an antenna.
Boy oh boy oh boy were those bands alive. You name it and you could hear it. No space anywhere on 12 or 10m. When you consider what they are like a lot of the time it is amazing to hear them bursting with DX. If only we could poke the sun so it was active like this more often.
So apart from Europeans and several stations out in Crimea, I did work some nice US contacts, a total of 25 QSOs in 1hr including dodging a few showers.
CW: W7RV, VE2JCW, VE1WT, N7UN, W4DOW, KG3W, N5XL, KU6J
SSB: N7AMA, K0LAF, KI4SVM, K0NO, ND0C, W7RV
That’s Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Arizona, California, Missouri, Minnesota, South Carolina, Iowa. On 4.5W with a 1/4wave GP.
I made a profit at the rally selling stuff, met Neil 2M0NCM, Jim G0CQK, Mike 2E0YYY, filled up with eyewateringly cheap diesel and finished it off with a nice DX filled activation. A good day all round.
Thanks to those who persevered through some extreme QSB & QRM to work me.