Well it is finally that time of year once again. Looking at the prior year (and first year) I was only able to rack up 35,000 point or so. I am setting a goal of at least 100,000 points this year. Will be hard to do but who knows, I may get lucky. Since I now have a beverage pointing toward Europe I am also hoping to add a few more countries to the DXCC 160m Phone total as well.
On Saturday there was a whole line of storms to the north west of Georgia and continued up along the eastern seaboard which really made for a high static environment. It would cause a great amount of repeat requests as well as knock out my chances for the anticipated European contacts. Total DX contacts were only 9 for my station. On Saturday evening well into the early morning the winds were atrocious at the QTH. At times I was fairly certain my Hex beam would end up broken or coming down. I had reservations about my doublet fed with 600 ohm ladder line even surviving the winds. Luckily when I returned to the operating position and tuned up it had not changed very much so I can only assume that the antenna survived. Will have to check on it later.
The Beverage performed very well however. I would have fared much better if I had been able to get the second (NW to SE) RBOG installed before the contest but I was surprised at how well the small 140' to 150' BOG did at pulling out stations off the centerline. Example would be while using it in the S.W. direction I was easily able to copy stations from the north west as well as California. I owe that to the shorter length of the beverage increasing the capture area with the trade off of less gain.
This year I was able to work all 48 lower states (Louisiana eluded me last year) however once again Alaska and Hawaii were a no go, nor did I expect them to be workable either without the second planned beverage. Yet without the coveted DXCC multipliers my 378 contacts did not fare nearly as well as those with much lower Q's but greater multipliers, hence even some folks with as little as 150 Q's would beat my score in the end.
As one can see I was able to greatly increase my score over last years however making it to the 100,000 goal was way out of question. I will be very happy with the 51,850 points though if it holds up through inaccuracies, dupes, etc... Possibly next years conditions will be slightly better and with the additional Beverage covering the N.W. to S.E. directions I can finally break that 100k goal.
Bottom Line: I had one hell of a good time this year and it was enjoyable working some familiar call signs from other contests.
Next year, who knows.....