2018 V31GX

Hello fellow Beru-ites.
Decided to come back to Belize again relatively late this year. I had gone a fair way to organising a trip to Sierra Leone but was cancelled quite late due to national elections there. The government cancelled my licence application due to ‘security concerns’. (Most of Africa is not normally a good place to visit during elections.) I had the advantage of knowing my QTH well and an old log to compare with. The locals were happy to help me erect my 12M spiderpole and had no problem with wires all over the place. I intended to improve the station with some RX antennas but only had time to put up a quick BOG which didn’t actually work in the end. For some reason after adding a pre-amp the noise was even worse on 80M than the inverted-L, probably due to its proximity to buildings. I have yet to try an Delta shaped loop which I shall play with in my remaining time.
Last year my 40M trap failed (capacitor) but this year I swapped it for a higher Vmax surface mount RF cap which worked perfectly, no need to build a quick 40M dipole mid-contest this time.
I missed out on he first hour due to slack time keeping. For some reason I thought last year I was 5 hours behind but it seems I was a hour out thus I started at 11:00 Z and lost some VE’s on 80M.
I found conditions well down on last year, nothing on 10M despite a few QSY requests.
No G’s on 15M at all this year despite trying quite hard at the right times. The VK/ZL path was there the same as before but the long path seemed much stronger than Vocap predicts and the SP weaker. I always leave HamCap running so I can see available paths open, always find it very accurate.
Had a bit of a part time effort, took 2 hours off mid contest when it was SLOW to go shopping and visit a restaurant.
40M is noisy but 80M was terrible. Constant S9 crashes. Sounded like storms but also a bit like splatter, still unsure of its origin. I am now looking at the local cellphone mast which is only 300M away with some suspicion! If I didn’t ask you for repeats several times on 80M you were one of the rare few. Very hard work, lots of ESP needed to pick out serials in between crashes and constant fiddling with the K3 filters, first time I have ever had to use the NR button in anger. Worked well on strong sigs but buried weaker ones.
Surprise of the day was to work 3B8XF on 40m at a time it really shouldn’t have been possible.
Took an hour off towards the end due to tiredness,came back to rinse 40M of G’s then packed in 2 hours before then end when it quitened down.
Numbers well down on last year, mostly due to dire conditions I think rather than my part time effort and holiday style operating.
 Band     QSOs     Pts  Cty  Sec  Pt/Q
   3.5      34     625   17    4  18.4
     7     137    1940   53    7  14.2
    14     117    1625   41    7  13.9
    21      25     425   14    2  17.0
 Total     313    4615  125   20  14.7
Score: 4,615
1 Mult = 2.2 Q’s
73 Iain V31GX/G4SGX