wow nice operating with just below 1 watt.
indeed -- the operating event provided many 'propagation beacons' (manned by live operators) to engage in QSOs.
certainly the openings on 15m are much shorter than a few years ago. also it helps that many of these stations have massive antennas. those ZL's never cease to amaze me - they are blessed by low noise levels at their QTH, and nice propagation along the great distance.
you also noticed that human beings type in the spots! frequently there are mistakes in either typing or copying. funny thing is that someone will type something like 7F1A and it shows up on the band map next to ZF1A - and countless operators will call them -- after they have already QSO with ZF1A.
some folk in this sub-culture will spend all weekend in the chair. others are clubs with several operators taking turns at the rig, to insure contacts are being made whenever there is an opening someplace.
I did just a little contesting - and funny thing on Saturday I was making 15 and 20 meter contacts using the wrong antenna -- my 80/40 vertical instead of my little 2 element tri-band beam. I need to see what kind of match this vertical is giving there -- and do some A/B comparisons. I do find wave angles to vary from time-to-time, and sometimes (but not always) the beam is stronger.
made my first QSO with my Para80Set -- I need some more data, but this rig seems to depend too much on the operators ear sensitivity.