I operated the CQWW DX RTTY contest a couple weekends ago and conditions on 10 and 15 meters were fantastic. Zones 40 and 33 can be extremely difficult from here, due to the polar path, yet I was able to work TF, CT3, and CR2X which is one of the most difficult countries to work from here due to propagation. This is similar to someone in W3 working UA0 in zone 18 on 10, or a European working KH6.
Conditions on the low bands, however, were dismal. I could get nothing going the 1st night and wasted a lot of time CQing on 40 and 80 for few responses. Everyone was on the higher bands! Tropical systems all around Guam added to the noise, and a strong tropical storm over Japan probably curtailed activity somewhat.
The claimed score is about 1 million points over the Oceania SOAB record – so my goal was met – but I felt I left a lot on the table. If I operate this contest again next year (if I get the 1-year extension I requested), I will have to try to do more on the low bands and try some dual-band CQing. I probably could have added 20-30 QSOs or more per hour had I tried this.
This past weekend was the Oceania DX SSB contest. I made only a few contacts; the EU pileup quickly became unmanageable and unruly so I shut off the radio. We had a threatening weather system that put us in a higher typhoon readiness condition. This meant I had to take down my 80/160m vertical and almost my Spiderbeam. As a result, the station was not ready for a full effort.