SAC SSB and Change of Plans

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SAC SSB is over for this time and it was a fun and memorable experience. Not because of record scores or mega-runs, but because a thick (and hopefully colorful) Aurora Borealis effectively killed most propagation paths over the pole.

After accepting this fact, I decided to drop all ambitions to hit records and readjust to reality. My new goal became to chase the Swedish National Team reasoning that they would have the same challenge as me, the aurora would cut of NA, thus limit the available stations (and multipliers) available. It would not be enough to run with the biggest signal to win, we would all have to fight boredom and use our skills to chase and catch the remaining points out there.

It is rare to experience a quiet low band overnight in a contest, but because of boredom this contest came to a halt at 01:00 when even big dogs like OH8X took a break because of low activity. When I realized that most of my competition was in bed, I decided to take one hour of sleep which helped me stay focused during the rest of the contest.

Because of limited time before the contest I did not hook SE0X up for SO2R this time, instead I use the K3’s sub receiver to sweep the run band for mults whenever the rate came down.

I also increased the effort to QSY for multipliers. While runs were possible on 80-15 meter, very little activity was found on 10 meters. As so often before ten meter was wide open, but stations had to be dragged up there to get this missing band.

Analyzing the log after the contest it is very clear how paths over the poles where blocked by aurora hovering at level 10 most of the contest. Only a very few NA stations in the North East part where logged and the longest QSO was with VK.

Below is the final claimed score with band breakdowns as reported by the SAC log submission engine;

Claimed Scores

What seemed to become a boring contest really turned out to be a fun challenge as soon as the effort was adjusted to the current propagation. And how did the final (claimed) score compared with the Swedish National Team? Find the team score here and claimed results here.

Now its time to get prepared for another effort under the aurora oval, the WWDX SSB Contest from TF3W. CU from Iceland then!


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