Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fall QSO Party

This weekend was the QRP Amateur Radio Club International Fall QSO Party. This was a 36 hour event sponsored by the QRP-ARCI for all QRP ops to work as many other QRP stations as possible within 24 hours. Even though the event ran for 36 hours, any one operator was allowed to operate a maximum of 24 hours.

Of course, that limit is no big disappointment for me; as I come nowhere close to being able to operate for that kind of amount of time!

Priorities, priorities, priorities. As much as I love amateur radio, other things come first. Like my kids, like housework, like yardwork; and the list goes on and on and on. So, in the limited time that I was able to operate, I did surprisingly well for myself. In about three or four hours worth of operating time I ended up working about 75 stations. That really brought up my QSO total as a result of the dip it took from spending time watching baseball these past few weeks!

A few surprises were in store. First was that 40 Meters, which is usually my "go to" band was a big disappointment this time around. A RTTY contest (what else?) wiped the band out on Saturday; and then Illinois QSO Party seemed to dominate the band on Sunday. So this time, the bulk of my contacts came on 80 and 20 Meters. Another pleasant surprise was that 15 Meters was open for a tiny bit on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I heard some activity there; and actually managed to work three or four stations.

The last pleasant surprise was working my friend Bob W3BBO on 40 Meters on Saturday afternoon. Bob was sitting on a frequency, running stations. I responded and he came back to me. He was a good 599; and in fact was 599+. Bob came back to me and told me my signal was quite loud too, which is always nice to hear. Amazing what 5 Watts will do!

All in all, it was a good radio weekend. I was happy for the opportunity to get on and wrack up my QSO total. I'm over 1500 for the year now. It's looking doubtful that I will hit my goal of 2006 QSOs for 2006; but I should do at least as well, or better than last year.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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