Lousy conditions hamper NAQCC sprint

QRP is a challenge any time, but when old Sol acts up, it can really throw a spanner in the works. Last night’s monthly sprint sponsored by the North American QRP CW Club offered difficult conditions, at least for me. The coronal hole that developed a couple days ago muddied the A index (25 at contest time) and made signals difficult to copy. The flutter and QSB was so bad that it was difficult to copy an entire call sign most of the time. I operated for about an hour, made 5 contacts on 40 and 80, and decided to call it a night. This in contrast to when conditions are good when I’ve made over 50 QSOs in two hours, all QRP and sent with a straight key.

If you’re interested in slow-speed, hand-sent CQ at QRP power levels, check out the NAQCC. It’s a friendly group of operators who embrace the minimalist’s challenge. Best of all, there are no dues for a lifetime membership.

January North American QSO Party, CW

cwkey_250The semiannual NAQP events are fun contests that run twelve hours. You can operate 10 of the 12 hours, and the exchange is simply your name and state. Many operators use a different name in tribute to an Elmer or a club member who has passed away (and most everyone in KP2 and KP4 uses ‘Chacho’).

I got on for a couple short periods in this weekend’s CW running, totaling just under four hours, and made 121 QSOs. Continue reading “January North American QSO Party, CW”

ARRL RTTY Roundup 2016

The ARRL RTTY Roundup is a friendly, fast-paced contest to kick off the new year. Everybody works everybody and the exchange (for NA stations) is simple. Only DX stations send a serial number. If you have gear to do RTTY, it’s a fun way to spend a few hours. Digital contacts are harder to come across than phone or CW QSOs, so it’s a great way to increase your state and country counts.

I’m not really set up for RTTY contesting but I make do with fldigi. It’s less convenient than using my other contest logging software but it gets the job done.

Station: NF8M
Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 4.5
 Band QSOs
 80:  28
 40:  42
 20:  38
 15:  18
 Total: 126 State/Prov = 40 Countries = 7 Total Score = 5,922
Club: Mad River Radio Club