"Use it or lose it". A very familiar saying - and also the truth.
Never was that more evidenced by my participation in the NAQCC Monthly Sprint tonight. I haven't participated in one in a long time. Heck, I have not been on the air as much as I should be. And my rustiness showed big time (to myself, at least.)
I tried running a frequency and was only mildly successful. I never got into a good rhythm or a good QSO rate. So I alternated between running and "searching and pouncing". In all, I made 25 QSOs in just under two hours worth of participation. Ech!
It's tempting to blame my results on poor band conditions; but that would be a lie. There was plenty of participation - I was just off kilter.
If I do have one lame excuse, though - I can blame some lack of performance on 20 Meters due to some fierce QRN that I was experiencing. For about the first 45 minutes of the sprint, 20 Meters had an S7 buzzsaw on it. After it disappeared, I made only about 4 or 5 contacts on that band. I think I could have made more if it wasn't so noisy, early on.
40 Meters was once again the money band, with the overwhelming majority of my contacts made there. It was a nice, quiet band with very little QRN, I spent the last 15 to 20 minutes of the Sprint hunting for contacts on 80 Meters. I made three. 80 was in full Summer QRN/static mode.
Even with my poor personal performance, I still had a good time. It was good to hear some old, familiar calls and a bunch of new ones, too. Looks like the NAQCC Sprints are drawing quite the crowd!
72 de Larry W2LJ