As others have mentioned, band conditions on 10 meters over the contest weekend started with a bang and ended with a whimper. If I'd consulted my crystal ball and Tarot cards, I would have known this in advance and would have spent more time on the air Friday.
Here are two screenshots taken 24 hours apart showing the deterioration of band conditions.
The contest started at 6pm Friday evening - 30 minutes after my sunset - and the band was open to the Pacific for hours. VK's, ZL's and FK8IK went into the log. Those DX stations were as loud as any of the domestic stations I was hearing. 10m was in fine form and I went to bed later that night fully expecting to be able to work EU the next morning.
While I was sleeping, someone pulled the plug and let all the magic out of the ionosphere. There was propagation Saturday, but it was single-hop and very geo-specific: for half an hour, nothing but W9's; an hour later, just Virginians, then W6 (and nothing else) for a while.
One exception to all this - South America. I didn't hear/work too many of them but the ones I heard seemed to always be there, day to day and hour to hour.
I really enjoyed having the Mexican states as mults. It's been a while
since I participated in this particular contest so I don't know when
they were added to the offerings.
All tolled (or is it told?) I made 280 contacts in 32 states and 12 DXCC entities for a total of 52,640 points. All CW.
- Flex 6300
- Elecraft KPA-500
- 3-element Yagi at 16m