Saturday, January 14, 2012

I'm a card carrying member of the GOP

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!


  1. And to think I almost gave your posting a pass because I don't think politics and hamming mix well, hi!

    Very worthwhile points Larry. Contesting does have value for us non-contestors, too. Something to keep in mind when the big contests chase us off to the WARC bands (which I guess could also be considered a benefit!).


  2. Good evening Larry, I too was out and about in the NAQP contest. The speed is right up there for sure and I was surprised at the speed of some of the stations. I also was trying again to get the PSK working and I don't really have any WARC bands setup here so it was frustrating with contesters on the PSK freq. Finally I guess you could say that I am also a happy member of the GOP as well.