2011 7QP

Contest: 7th Area QSO Party
Date: May 7-8, 2011
Mode: Mixed
Period: Starts 1300 UTC Saturday, ends 0700 UTC Sunday

BAND/Q PH / Q CW / Q DIG
40 / 10 / 43 / 1
20 / 38 / 65 / 1
15 / 3 / 25 / 0
TOTAL: 51 PH / 134 CW / 2 DIG QSO / 77 Mults
SCORE: 39270 (TIME ON: 11 H 12 Mn)

SOAPBOX: First off, thanks to the organizers and participants of the 7QP. This is only the third year I have participated and like the previous two years, it was a blast! While I did not make my minimum goal of working 12 hours I still improved upon last year’s score. My only issue I have with this contest is that Win-Test 4.5.1 does not support the 7QP, so I loaded up the Texas QSO Party and used it for all three QSO parties (InQP and NEQP) during this weekend. All scoring then is manually computed, I have not made the decision to switch to N1MM.

I was able to start the contest at 1300z and went right to 40M. I was not expecting much but was able to put up my best hour of operating with a 37 rate to start the contest. Things were looking up early and I was very pleased with the activity until about 1430z when I decided to move to 20M. After about 90 minutes I put together 57 QSOs on 40M. I had hoped this was a sign of things to come. Unfortunately on the back end of the contest, I had already made the decision I would not operate into the night, so I would miss 40M/80M when the sun went down.

The next 2 hours were spent on 20M and even though I was able to add another 20 QSOs to my overall activity, it was nowhere near what 40M was earlier. Still, I was able to keep contacts filling the log at a steady rate. In fact all activity in the 7QP was done S&P, I did not attempt to run on any frequency on any mode.

Just after 1600z I decided to check 15M CW and was able to log a few quick contacts, but I spun through the CW and SSB recommended frequencies and activity was just not there, so it was back to 20M. I picked 15M back up about an hour later on CW, where I was able to add another 5 QSOs in quick succession.

Starting at 1800z I would tune through 20M CW and 20M SSB, followed by 15M CW and 15M SSB, alternating between the two bands for the remainder of the contest. Occasionally I would check 10M, but never did hear anyone call on either CW or SSB.

All in all it was another great time in the 7QP. Must say thanks to the guys at NK7U, who I ended up working 6 times. I did notice more activity out of Utah this year than last. The same can be said for Wyoming. I believe I logged 4 WY stations. Unfortunately Nevada was non-existent, with the exception of W7RN, my lone NV contact on 20M SSB. As for Montana I followed K7RE and K7BG, both operating mobile. Still the activity for MT was better than I expected.

Compared to 2010 I saw a 68% in my total score. I increased my CW activity from 53 to 134 QSOs (60% increase), but saw only 5 more phone QSOs this year (51 vs 46). Mults were also up 35% from 2010 with 77 this year (50 in 2010). Of course these numbers would have been even higher IF the decision was made to work into the night, but family responsibilities and my job prevented me from going after sundown. Still, I am very pleased with the operation during 7QP. Thanks to all who heard my “chirpy” CW, see you in 2012!

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2011 Virginia QSO Party

Contest: Virginia QSO Party
Date: March 19-21, 2011
Mode: Mixed
Period: Starts 1800 UTC Saturday, ends 0100 UTC Sunday

BAND / Q PH / Q CW / Q DG
20 / 4 / 8 / 1
TOTAL: 13 QSO / 9 Mults
SCORE: 698 (TIME ON: 3 H 30 Mn)

SOAPBOX: I found myself wanting to work the VAQP more than the BARTG RTTY Contest, not quite sure why. Part of the reason was hoping there would be a good amount of participants on for the VAQP, but I found it somewhat discouraging that I only finished with 13 QSOs after some 3 hours spinning the dials.

This was just one of 3 contests I was playing in at the time, but I did have some good fun in the contest. I just wish conditions were better. I had some poor propagation to the East Coast, which did not help. No one was on 15M and 20M was really the only frequency I picked up my contacts on. I would switch between the CW and SSB “suggested” frequencies and could usually find a quick QSO.

I was able to log K4NVA, the club station of the Sterling Amateur Radio Club, which brought in 500 bonus points. My last QSO was a PSK31 QSO from N8RGQ, who was operating QRP. All in all it was enjoyable and just another new QSO party I can say I have participated in.

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2011 Russian DX Contest

Contest: Russian DX Contest
Date: March 19-20, 2011
Mode: CW, SSB
Period: Starts 1200 UTC Saturday, ends 1200 UTC Sunday

BAND / QSO / DXC / OBL
20 / 16 /4 / 3
15 / 21 / 8 / 2
TOTAL: 37 QSO / 12 DXC / 5 OBL
SCORE: 2703 (TIME ON: 1 H 32 Mn)

SOAPBOX: Second year I had participated in the RDXC and I use the term “participated” lightly since I only need to improve on 8 QSOs from 2010. Unfortunately this year I didn’t read the rules and I missed seeing the ‘SSB’ portion of the RDXC, so all 37 of my QSOs were CW. Nothing wrong with that, but I seem to usually have a good window into Asiatic Russia from time to time, as well as to JA, where a majority of my QSOs came from.

Regardless of that minor detail I did log 37 QSOs running only 100 watts this year, as opposed to 1000 watts in 2010. I also picked up 5 oblasts (KT, YA, PK, SL & HK) compared to the zero I logged last year. Aside from all the JAs, I also logged JT5DX on 15M, first call and there were no takers. Second time I have had a QSO with him. I also logged South Korea on 15M.

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2010 RSGB IOTA

Contest: RSGB IOTA
Date: July 24-25, 2010
Mode: Mixed
Period: Starts 1200 UTC Saturday; ends 1200 UTC Sunday

BAND/SSB/IOTA CW/IOTA
40 / 3 / 3 / 7 / 5
20 / 20 / 8 / 34 / 15
15 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 1
TOTAL: 23 / 11 / 42 / 21 = 603 points
SCORE: 19,296 (TIME ON: 10 H 33 Mn)

SOAPBOX: I decided to participate in the RSGB IOTA Contest. While I was not going to active any island, it was still an enjoyable contest to participate in. I was not making anything resembling a serious effort. It was a chance to work some DX and log some new IOTA. I did record 23 DXCC entities on CW and SSB.

Conditions were not ideal, obviously. I found quite a bit of noise on 20M when I started working that band from 40M at the start of the contest at 1200z. I think this contest coupled with the NAQP a few weeks back just reinforced what I already know. I need to get the hex higher. Still it was a good time, working to make a contact. Some of the stations in the Pacific I worked were a definite challenge. Oddly enough I did not work one KH6 station on 15/20/40M. I did see a spot for K6NA on 15M, but when I got there the frequency was quiet, then again 15M was not great.

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