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Showing posts from November, 2009

DX contest

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I spent some time working the CQ Worldwide DX contest this weekend. I learned a good lesson -- keep checking the bands.

The contetst started Friday night, and I tuned around on 40 meters. I could hear a few Europeans, who were being swamped by hundreds of US operators calling them. That wasn't the contest I remembered, so I went upstairs and did something else.

Saturday morning wasn't much better. I worked a few Asians on 40 meters to get started, then moved to 20. There I heard just a few Europeans, again being hounded by hundreds of US operators. With my vertical, I don't stand much of a chance in that situation. I made a few contacts, but soon gave up and did something else.

Then late afternoon I went back in the shack and listed on 15. I could hear Asians, and made contacts. Then I ate dinner, and came back down to 40 meters. There were the Europeans, all over the band. I spent the night working them. It's still a thrill to hear that faint signal from half-way aroun…

CW decoder

I was having a very nice conversation (at 30+ words per minute on cw) with Bill, KA1RVM, this morning. We were talking about radios -- my favoroite subject -- and started talking about cw decoders. I told him I was surprised how well the decoder on the K3 worked, and picked up the camera and shot this quick video of the K3 decoding Bill's last transmission.

KG0GY wins Field Day 2b2

Last summer's Field Day results were just posted, and my cousin, Brad, KG0GY, did all right. We finished third in the section of Nebraska, behind the large operations put on by the Lincoln and Omaha clubs. But to our surprise, we finished first place nationally in our classification of 2B2, a group (not a club) with two stations and two operators. There weren't a large number of entries in that category, and there is Brad's call at the top of the list. I'm not sure how we beat this next year.

In a side note, it is 70 degrees in Chicago today, not bad for middle of November. I'm sitting on my deck in the sun writing this.

Slow sweepstakes

Last weekend was the CW Sweepstakes, probably the biggest and most challenging of North American contests. I had planned on making a major effort to work a clean sweep -- all 80 sections -- but discovered I had an old friend and his wife visiting over the weekend. It was hard to tell them "No, don't come, I have a ham radio contest."

So instead I did a very modest effort -- in about 2.5 hours of operating I made roughly 140 contacts. I had a good run going on 40 meters Sunday morning, and did some search and pounce just to listen around the bands. Actually, it was a little liberating not to have to try to beat last year's score and make that clean sweep. Maybe next year.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other contests coming up this winter. Maybe I'll make a big effort on the 160 meter contest next month. Phone Sweepstakes is two weeks away, and I'll dabble in that a little, but I just don't see the challenge of working a phone contest. Maybe if I had a bette…