Sunday, February 18, 2007

ARRL DX Contest weekend

Wow! Wall to wall CW on all the (non-WARC) bands! It was so good to hear that! I'm not a serious contester by any means; but these major DX contest weekends are always fun. I didn't have a lot of time it spend; but the time I did put in gave me a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction. And once again, I got to see firsthand that QRP does work!

I had two goals for the weekend. One was to work a Hawaiian station, the other to work an Alaskan station; as well as picking up a few new countries, if possible. I ended up working two Hawaiian stations; but Alaska was a bust. I thought I had a good shot of working KL1V down at the bottom of 20 Meters this afternoon; but the propagation path wasn't strong enough for QRP. I heard him work some W2s and W3s; but I'm sure those guys were either QRO; or had better antennas than me!

Here are some of the stations I ended up working, QRP of course. IK4ZGO, TO6M, FS6KA, VP9/W6PH, CO8ZZ, PR7AB, PT7AG, C6AKQ, EF8M, V31TP, WP2Z, KH7X, HP1XX, V31JP, EA8/OH4NL, NH6P, C6AWL, PX2A, OM7M, P40W, YR9P, 8P9NX, F2DX, AND IR2X among others.

In addition for the chance to work some DX, the weekend was great high speed code practice! I really had to concentrate at times to get some calls that were being sent in the 40 WPM range. I'm guessing that at least some of those high speed guys were using either computers or programmable keyers; because in one instance I was asked to repeat my state and the guy ended up sending manually. The difference in fists between the exchange and the request for the repeat were like night and day! And the code speed used for the repeat request was way slower, too! It gave me a good chuckle.

I guess I will never end up being a serious contester as I can't imagine leaving all of that work to be done by a computer. Maybe if I got into it seriously, I would make use of that to relieve some of the tedium; but somehow it doesn't seem just quite right to me.

If I remember correctly, the next big CW DX contest will be held by CQ Magazine and is sometime in May.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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