This was the first year I took part in the IOTA (islands on the air) contest and I very much enjoyed the time I spent in the contest. It was very well attended and many Island stations were there and waiting to be contacted. I found the band conditions on my end were very challenging at times with stations going from S9 to barley above the noise floor. This is one of the challenges of a contest and just makes things more interesting. I would say it was a nice change to hear lots of stations in the contest, a sure sign that the solar cycle is improving. As a participant in the IOTA contest you can enter as CW, SSB or both and I choose to enter as a CW op.
The radio I used was the Icom 7610 with the filter set to 250 Hz with the APF (Audio Peak Filter) feature turned on. My antenna was an Endfed multiband antenna and my power output was 100 watts. One of the memorable contact I made was Cuba. With all the issues going on there it was nice to be able to make contact with that island.
I was on the air for about 3 hours in total and made 53 contacts for a score of 5,124. It sure is not a record but I very much enjoyed my time on the radio and that's what it's all about.