YBDXPI FT8 Contest – #1 SO North America
I enjoyed participating in the inaugural YBDXPI FT8 Contest on October 23, 2021. I was pleasantly surprised to get an email that I had won First Place as a Single Operator from North America. The plaque is a wonderful addition to my ham shack.
Prior to the contest, I had been working a lot of FT8 throughout the day, so I had a good feel for what typical propagation had in store for me. I had learned several years ago about the benefits of the Gray Line. From Florida, I have been able to easily work Japan and Australia as the Gray Line approaches the East Coast of the US. In the hour or so just before sunup or just before sunset, stations from Indonesia and other southeast Asia and Oceania entities dominate the band. This is actually a double Gray Line for Indonesia because sunup in Florida matches sunset in Indonesia. The reverse is true for sunset and sunup. Because the Gray Line is a two-way duct, stations in both areas can benefit from the Gray Line Propagation as it crosses their area simultaneously.
I made all my 40 Meters Indonesian contacts working the Gray Line, mostly around sunset locally. I was also able to make several YB contacts around noon local time on 20 Meters. In between, I added counters with QSOs from Europe and the Americas on both 20 and 40. During mid-afternoon, there was also good propagation towards Europe on 15 Meters.
My station at that time consisted of a Flex-6600M and two 80 Meter Off-Center-Fed Dipoles at about 50 feet in the trees. I have subsequently added a Flex PGXL amplifier and a Flex TGXL antenna tuner.
I am an avid contester, having entered 62 different worldwide contests in 2021 using FT8, RTTY and SSB. I am an active member of the Florida Contest Group.
I am looking forward to the YBDXPI FT8 Contest next year and plan to try even harder.
de K4SBZ , Stan