Some hams don’t care for radio contests, but I would contend that big contests actually create HF propagation. That’s what permits me to say band conditions on Friday night were lousy while on Saturday, after the IARU-HF got underway, I only needed to touch my key to provoke a response from the other side of the planet.

I played the contest CW only on 20 and 15 meters. The only US stations I called were W1AW/3 and 4U1UN – if you don’t count Alaska and Hawaii. I quit after putting 50 in the log in an hour and a half, but as I was preparing my results for submission this morning I noticed a mistake that reduced my total contacts to 49.

That included 29 countries on five continents (AS,EU,NA,OC,SA). According to my logging program, the total DX miles (not counting any in the US) equaled 197,372, an average of 4,199 miles per contact. That resulted in a claimed score of 4,122.

It will also yield a few more savory fills if those stations confirm the contacts. They probably won’t. Most were contest clubs who don’t QSL. Still, I noticed a nice uptick this morning in my LoTW totals thanks to the individual stations worked.

Seems like something to keep in mind for the next time?

I also found a couple of LoTW confirmations for ATNO’s from stations worked weeks before this contest. Probably prompted to upload their logs at the same time they handle the paperwork generated by the IARU contest. Hopefully, a few more like these might dribble in over the course of the week. Fingers crossed!