After the flares and the CME’s in recent weeks, the Sun had gone quiet. However, low Solar Flux led to poor propagation in the high bands and high Solar Winds from a Coronal Hole caused high levels of background noise and QSB. Hence, conditions were not too good for QRP operations.
Nevertheless I decided to participate in this month WES, the October Weekend Sprintathon of the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC). The “theme” for this month’s WES was related to the German “Oktoberfest”. The brand of the straight key being used had to be part of the exchange as if participants were “sampling” each other “brews”. Bonus points were awarded for each different “brew” with the German ones having twice the points.
In these trying conditions, operating as VE3DTI and with only 5 Watts in the output of the ICOM 703-Plus (and the 43 Ft. quasi vertical endfed wire with a single elevated counterpoise set around the fence) I was nevertheless able to “sample” ten different “brews”, one of them being a German “Baumuster”. Here is the complete list: J38(Don KD3CA), Lionel(Will W3WKV), Vizkey(Charles AI4UN), Hamkey(Frank AC2IK), Johnson(Howard K8PWL), Begali(Tom W4TZM), SpeedX(Phil K3EW), MCElroy(Bob K3CKO), Baumuster(Len W1LVT) and LNR(Pete WH6LE).
But the real thrill was to be giving away double the bonus points via the offering from my end of an “echte” Schwaben “brew”: the little SCHURR “Kleine Morsetasten” by Uli Sheunemann aus Audenwald.