Personal Satisfaction: AC4BB

While contesting is a great aspect of amateur radio (for me at least) what makes the hobby more satisfying are those individuals who set out to to achieve personal goals. I know I speak on this topic every time a contest rolls around. I don’t have the biggest antennas or the loudest station during any contest, so there is a very good chance I won’t even compete to be top in any category. I don’t have a problem with that. As long as I achieve the personal goals I set I see my seat time as being successful and hopefully along the way I have learned something new.

Reading the Forums at QRZ this morning, Bryan, AC4BB is trying to achieve something never accomplished by another ham. He is attempting to work all US counties (USA-CA) using PSK31. Unfortunately, as Bryan says, “The County Hunters have all but refused to acknowledge what I’m doing because I’m using neither SSB nor CW to accomplish my goal.” Sad, but when Bryan achieves this distinction and all 3077 are confirmed I don’t believe any organization to deny him this achievement. That would not be “promoting the hobby” in my opinion.

Thankfully I have a close tie to PSK31 since it was the first mode I used to exchange my first QSO. I have even confirmed Bryan twice using PSK31 in 2008 and 2009. I wish him all the best and hope he keeps the amateur community updated on his progress.

The recent NCCC meeting got me fired up for ARRL Sweepstakes and CQP. In fact I was looking at setting a goal of operating from all 58 California counties, but as I continue drawing my route I find I am not even half way up the state before we are some 21 hours into the contest. Looking at it realistically starting in Northern California and driving south would give you a better chance of working in more counties than starting in San Diego and driving north.

While I don’t think this CQP attempt will come to fruition, it is something interesting to consider, after all this is CQP. Mobiles and county expeditions are part of the enjoyment during this contest. Add to that the “XYL Factor” that comes into play being gone for nearly a day and a half.

Setting goals is a great way to get added enjoyment out of amateur radio. There are some big contests coming up, BARTG RTTY this weekend and the CQWW WPX SSB next weekend. I might be able to put in a few hours this weekend for the BARTG, I am possibly going to work as part of N6RO in the team effort for WPX. Set your goals and let the chase begin.

Great Radio Weekend

I had to take advantage of the time off from work due to the continuing problems in my right knee and right foot, so what better way to spend the time than off my feet and in front of the radio! It was a very enjoyable radio weekend with three separate QSO parties as well as a county hunters contest and a DX contest.

The main objective this weekend was to log states on SSB, CW and digital that I did not have as I work my way towards the ARRL Triple Play. Still have a way to go, but I was able to lock up a total of 9 QSOs between CW and SSB. As luck would have it I spent most of my time giving out points in the ‘7QP‘ which was then entire 7th call district. Activity was plentiful, but damned if it was rare to see a call from Nevada. I think I logged one, the entire time, a SSB QSO with N7UR.

Luckily later in the day the Indiana QSO Party started up as well and I only needed a SSB contact and K9SG was a strong ’59’ into California, so I locked up another needed contact. While these two QSO parties were going on the New England QSO Party started .

I was in need of some contacts in the New England states and aside from a digital contact from Maine I was able to finish up many needed QSOs from that geographical region. Forgive me, I thought Delaware was in the New England states. Silly me. Of course I still need Delaware for my WAS. *sigh*

The other contest going on was the MARAC, which centered about mobile (and fixed) stations logging counties in the USA, especially for those chasing a USA-CA (worked all counties 3,077). I was able to get some needed states (as well as counties) like West Virginia, which I had not contacted in 2009. Thankfully I knocked out a SSB contact with a mobile unit.

DX was solid as well, but I am at a bit of a disadvantage due to the antenna situation, but if I can hear a station I SHOULD be able to work that station. I did log my first contact with Italy, IQ9PA as well as Brazil, PT7CB, both on 20M SSB. Later that evening KH7XS was a solid “30 over 9” into the west coast.

So it was a very relaxing and enjoyable radio weekend. I was able to work SSB, CW, RTTY and PSK31 during all the contests, which hopefully helps me as an operator. I still seem to have some issues with the ALC with transmitting CW macros from the computer, which I will need to look into. Now to do all the paperwork…