After my mediocre performance in the Fists Sprint a couple of weeks ago, which I blamed on my antenna, I decided that I’d better put up my 20m ground plan antenna again. So, this morning, just before the North Carolina QSO Party was to start, I threw a rope over a tree branch in the front yard and hauled up the ground plane. I spread out the two radials, snaked the coax into the house, and I was in business. The SWR measured 1.2:1.
I tuned to 14.040 and worked a couple of stations and began to think that I was going to do OK. That quickly came to an end, however. The band must have changed, because stations that were truly coming in 599 suddenly dropped way down in strength. In fact, I was hearing European stations calling the NC stations that were stronger here than the NC stations. I even tuned down to 14.033 and worked one of the Germans just for the heck of it.
Apparently, the radiation angle of the ground plane was too low and skipping right over North Carolina. I probably should have gotten on 40m, but I still don’t have an antenna for that band. I guess that should be my next project. The best band to work NC at this point might actually be 30m, but by gentleman’s agreement, there’s no contesting on the 30m band.
Oh, well. The contest runs to 10 pm tonight, so perhaps I’ll get back on a little later and see if anything’s cooking.
Despite my mediocre performance (7 total QSOs, 155 total points), I actually had the highest score in the state of Michigan. (It was probably the only score from the state of Michigan.) For my efforts, I received a certificate, noting my first place finish.