This weekend I decided to keep my CW contesting skills up to date by participating in the Romanian DX contest (YO DX). Although this is a mixed mode contest, I operated CW only. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, there has been no activity at the EI0R contest station where I regularly participate. So I felt it would be good to keep my contesting skills up to scratch, so to speak.
I used only my inverted V dipoles and my Antron 99 for this contest. The hexbeam is still down, pending repair, at the moment. Despite the limitation, I had great fun and worked 378 QSOs on the bands. My best band was 40 metres, where I managed 167 contacts. 20m was next with 89, then 80m with 60 QSOs, 15m with 37 and I was thrilled to be able to manage 23 contacts on 10 metres using the Antron vertical.
My claimed score is 142,754 but there were perhaps as many as ten or 12 QSOs where I had great difficulty copying the progressive number, especially on 15m and 10m where some of the signals were weak.
Notwithstanding the slight difficulties, overall the contest was very enjoyable. There were good run rates at times, and only a few lean periods. Most of the time it was possible to log QSOs without having to wait too long. I operated maybe 12 hours out of the 24-hour contesting period. I did not want to get too tired or stressed and only participated to have fun.
I certainly achieved that objective. I'm looking forward to further contesting coming into the winter.