Yeah yeah — for those not familiar with the ham radio contest scene, it’s geek talk for North American QSO Party SSB.

(And for those not familiar with what a QSO is, click on the words for a reference).

Anyways — it’s a relatively short contest (noon to midnight).  Single operators have a maximum of 10hr operating time, and teams have the full 12 hours.  Since my antennas work best on the higher bands, I worked everything I could at first, 10, 15, 20 and then switched to 40,80 later in the day.  I spent the full 10hrs working the contest – unfortunately didn’t find anyone on 160 – could have used some more mults I think.  My QSO rate was not what I was hoping – even with running for a while, it wasn’t what I was expecting – I may have left it too late.

The cool thing about this contest is that we’re all on a level playing field, so to speak, at least in terms of power.  Everyone runs low power – which means 100 watts maximum — or there is the QRP route (5 watts maximum).  Naturally, what dictates the score is how good an antenna system one has, as well as location/height.  To separate the men from the boys, operating skills come into play.

I ran with two antennas — a G5RV and a ground-mounted vertical — switched back and forth to check which was best for different conditions/etc — found the majority of the contacts were better with the G5RV, but for the odd one, the vertical proved much better, go figure.   (I had to make a note which antenna was on which port, as I had switched them around just prior to the contest after making some small mods.

Heard the usual VE4 guys on – not as much as the Canada Winter Contest – but was good to hear local activity.

Was kinda nice, I had my dinner delivered to me in the basement where my rigs are, so I was able to continue operating while muching down some grub.  (Thanks Miss).

So, the posted scores are as such:

Call: VE4DRK
Operator(s): VE4DRK
Station: VE4DRK

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 10hr
Location: Canada

Summary:   Compare Scores
Band QSOs Mults
80: 15 11
40: 38 22
20: 64 29
15: 99 30
10: 14 3
Total: 230 95 Total Score 21,850

Club: Radiosport Manitoba

As you can see, 15 was rockin’, but 20 came up a bit more.

Used the new N1MM logging software – works quite well on this new(ish) laptop.  Now that I have the SSD drive installed and the OS working the way I want it, time to transfer all the goodies over to this machine and setup the digital side of HF things …

Until the next set … time to get the setup changed 🙂

73, Dan, ve4drk