July has started OK-ish, but the higher bands have been poor – that is until the 5th, when I managed to get 4W6RU on 10m for a new slot – Happy dance!

Sadly, so far, nothing on 6m, but I live in hope….

Most activity has been on 20 – 10m FT8, but with some FT4. On the evening of the 4th, I was on 15m chasing the last few 13 Colonies stations, but failing, and then CQ’ing, and working a few JA stations. Then I got called by Gus K2GT, and he is in Hawaii. Got a -12 from him and he was -15. Not bad as I wasn’t beaming his way. Then Terry HP1SEB called me – sent -14 and got -08 back, again beaming the wrong way. I also saw Don VA7ZT at -15 and tried calling him, but it just didn’t work. We used the messaging facility within JTAlert, and he said he could hear nothing from Europe, only Pacific area stations and NA, yet there were loads calling him. We tried a few times to have a contact, but when he was hearing EU, we weren’t hearing him. Funny old game, this propagation stuff….

I’ve now got 4W6RU on the bands I needed – 10 and 12m, and both on the 5th July, so very happy with that.

On the 7th, I saw 9Q1ZZ being spotted on the cluster, and I hadn’t got that on 17/12/10m. On the morning of the 8th, as I was about to go out, I saw them on 10m FT8, and at good signal strength. However, there were 50+ stations all calling them. As I was about to go out, I told myself that I would give up at 0915UTC if they weren’t in the log. Well, that was close, but finally got them at 0912UTC. Then on the morning of the 8th, again about  to go out, they were on 17m  FT8, but not as strong as the day before. Still, I decided to try anyway, and managed to log them at the very last minute. After being out all day, I then saw them spotted on 12m, and very strong too! This time, there was no rush to get them in the log, but guess what…. I got them first shout 😁

Some recent DXCC entities worked include OH0, HP, 4W, and that 9Q.

Well, as of 1930UTC on the 27th, I have now made 6000 QSO’s this year! Just shows what retirement can do for the hobby… Also managed to work 1A0C on 15m FT8 – not a new one, but still good for the CQ Marathon this year, taking my tally so far to 209 DXCC entities, and all 40 CQ Zones.