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Showing posts from November, 2008

A good Sunday

With all my recent posts on the run-up to Sweepstakes and SS itself, it's easy to overlook how I spend most of my time on the radio -- with casual random contacts with other hams.

Today -- Sunday -- was a good example of a day of radio for me.

This morning I had a couple short contacts, then got in a long conversation with W3ANX, Geo, in Pensylvania. We quickly we discovered we had a common passion -- radios -- and spent about an hour talking about different radios, pluses and minuses of each, etc. etc. It's like when a bunch of car guys get together, they can talk about cars for hours. We can do it on radios, but we do it via radio and with Morse code.

This afternoon I was doing something else when I heard a loud CQ on 80 meters from K5HZ. I answered, and started talking to Ron in Autrian, MI, in Michigan's Upper Penninsula. As we talked, I discovered he lived on a lake I've driven by several times, always thinking that a home along that lake would be ideal. Now I'm …

I almost met my goal

With over 500 contacts I only managed 79 sections, one short of the coveted clean sweep.

On Sunday morning I only had four to go, ND, and NLI in the US. and NWT and NL (Newfoundland) in Canada. I got them all but NL.

Oh well, that gives me a goal for next year, to finally get that clean sweep.

In the end, I had fun. That's all that matters.

Sweepstakes goals

It's Saturday morning and Sweepstakes, the biggest and toughest contest, starts this afternoon. It's tough because the exchange is long and unpredictable. People complain about contensts having a meaningless 599 exchange, but Sweepstakes is just the opposite. I'll be sending a
serial number, precednece or the classification I'm in, my call, the check which is the year I was first licensed, and my section -- 1 U K9OZ 65 IL. That may not seem like much, but copy different variations from different stations a few hundred times at high speed CW and you start to see the problem.

I ususally set a goal for myself prior to the contest. Last year my goal was 400 contacts and a clean sweep -- working all the sections. I wound up with 380 and 75 sections. Someday, I'd like to do the clean sweep, but most years I wind up in the 75 to 78 range. There are a few tough ones, like the Northwest Territories in Canada. So my goal this year is 500 and a clean sweep. I'll report back…