and when I say this, I'm not talking about political parties - I mean the "Giver of Points" Party.
I spent some time this evening handing out points to stations running in the North American QSO Party. Just hunting and pouncing, handing out points here and there. Doing this, I re-affirmed three things.
1) In contest situations like this, it's relatively easy to get used to sending and receiving faster than your normal "comfort zone". This is a great activity for those of us trying to increase our code speed. By my fifth or sixth contact I was exchanging with stations at a rate significantly higher than my normal rag chew speed.
2) I was glad to see a goodly number of my contacts popping up in my log as NAQCC, SKCC, QRP-ARCI and Flying Pig members. Obviously, I had worked these stations before in the various QRP Sprints. These folks obviously have the contesting bug and it's good to see them in a non-QRP contest, too.
3) That even though I did not join the contest for any significant effort, it is still a lot of fun to make a lot of contacts in a relatively short period of time. Not only do I build up my log, but I also get to see how the bands are, how propagation is and where the loudest signals are coming from. I also get to switch between antennas and see how they stack up against each other, giving me have a feel for what works better in what situations. Not a bad teaching tool.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!