I had a great time working this years’ contest in various 2- to 3-hours stints over the weekend. Band activity seemd to condone the schedule I set for myself – I’d work whoever I could hear, go watch a football game, then back to the contest, then rake leaves, etc.
Three of my fellow bloggers made it into the log: Larry W2LJ, Nick WA5BDU and Paul K3PG. I’ve worked Larry a lot over the years but this was the first time since I moved back to 5-Land a few years ago. Many other familiar calls were good to hear again as well: W7ZOI, N0EVH, W4DU, W0RSP, W4QO, W3BBO.
Only one contact was made on 10m (N7TQ) however 15m was in good shape with plenty of activity on both days. EA2IF was booming in from Madrid on both days and I got Guru into the log on both 15 and 20 meters. Sort of disappointing not to hear other DX stations – perhaps the “I” in QRP ARCI is just window dressing…
A couple of brief excursions outside the contest netted DT8A on South Shetland Island and CE0Y/DK7ZB on Easter Island.
The set-up here was the K3, 80m dipole (at 23m) and N3FJP contest software. I continue to have a love-hate relationship with N3FJP software. Depending on the speed I set it for, the keying weight may also change – 23 and 25 wpm both sound like good, proportional CW; 24 wpm has truncated dashes. I’m using those speeds as an example; other speeds vary as well.
This is true on the 3 computers, two rigs and numerous copies of N3FJP software for the various contests in which I’ve used it. I was ready to blame the last unchanged component – the serial to USB converter – but another fluke of the keying can’t possibly be attributed to it – the sudden, unexpected speeding up of a CW exchange, say from the set 23 wpm to upwards of 30+ wpm for a few words. Then back to normal. Maybe I need to disable some/all background programs running on my ‘puter – I’ll give that a try.
The K3 still impresses with the magic of its selectivity. A weak, in-the-noise whisper of a station at 400 Hz pops into sudden clarity with a turn of the selectivity dial down to 100 or 50 Hz. I shoulda made a demo recording. I will in CQWW.
532 QSO points X 69 Mults X 7 (for QRP) = 256, 956 points