#150 N3ME Confirmed!

Tonight I confirmed #150 in my chase for the ARRL Triple Play Award. For those who are not hams (amateur radio), this is making a contact with someone in every state on SSB (phone), CW (Morse code) and RTTY (teletype). The award has been available since January 1, 2009 and I have been chasing it since. With the LoTW confirmation today of N3ME, Tony in Delaware I have achieved this award sponsored by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

For me, Delaware has always been a challenge to log when chasing states for a WAS or Worked All States award. While I had worked Delaware 21 times, only 6 of those contacts were on phone, one of which was confirmed in eQSL and by QSL card. Unfortunately to apply for the Triple Play Award all the QSOs (or contacts) must be confirmed by ARRL’s Logbook of the World, meaning electronic.

The end of 2011 was not great for me when it came to operating. Along with radio problems, I suffered some antenna problems and didn’t put as much effort into my hobby as I probably should have. The contact with Tony, N3ME occurred during the 2011 ARRL Sweepstakes (Nov 20-22) on 10M. In fact I e-mailed him yesterday to inquire about the confirmation of our contact because I saw he had uploaded his logs to LoTW. The problem was on my end, as I forgot to upload my log from that contest. If I did that at the conclusion of the contest, I would have been granted this award before the end of last year.

I e-mailed Tony this evening to explain my mistake. His response, “Grin – glad I am not the only one who “goofs” from time to time – congratulations!!!” No sooner did I finish that e-mail, I applied for the award through the ARRL website. Hopefully I receive it before the end of the month.

DXCC Achieved!

Back in April I wrote a piece called 99 and counting… that left me one confirmed QSO short of my initial ARRL DXCC Award. Just 3 days ago, YT8A confirmed our 20M RTTY contact from last year and that gave me the coveted #100! Just a day later I confirmed OM3LK as #101 and today I submitted the paperwork electronically to the ARRL for my wallpaper.

It’s real exciting for me, as I have now achieve my initial WAS and DXCC. Look at my totals it should be before the year is up that I submit paperwork for my 5BWAS or 5 band worked all states. I have 4 bands that each have 43 or more QSOs already. Hopefully 10M picks up as I only have 13 QSOs on that band.

As for the ARRL Triple Play, I am still stuck on 149 (out of a possible 150) contacts. I am still in search of Delaware on SSB. I might look to make a scheduled QSO, just to knock out the award. This was the recommendation from a member of the NCCC who had good luck with a few operators from DE. I would assume come NAQP in July and August I should be able to work all 50 states on RTTY, CW and hopefully SSB.

99 and counting…

Some amateurs contest. Others chase DX. While many more ragchew. Regardless of what you decide amateur radio holds for you, one area that thrills me is chasing wallpaper. Maybe it was the fact my father had a nice collection of awards, as well as QSL cards in his shack as I was growing up.

I still remember my thrill when I finally had all 50 states confirmed for my Worked All States Award (WAS) in March, 2009 after working Vermont and submitted the application to the ARRL. Now I am one confirmation away from my initial DXCC. My current total sits at 99 confirmed, while I have worked some 129 countries not all of them use LOTW. For some it’s the thrill of the chase and logging “a new one” in your logbook as opposed to chasing wallpaper.

Two of my more recent DXCC entities have been the Philippines and Nigeria, both have been worked multiple times the past few months, but neither have confirmed. The other award I am on the verge of submitting is the ARRL’s newest, the Triple Play Award.

This award has an operator confirming all 50 states on CW, Phone and Digital. My current total sits at 149 confirmed. The last state, which comes as no surprise to me is the need for Delaware (on Phone) to confirm our QSO. I have worked numerous contacts using this mode, but to date none of the have uploaded their contacts.

Nonetheless I am excited about the prospects ahead. Much like participating in a contest, the only one I am competing against is myself. I continue to enjoy what limited time I get operating and always have fun working states and countries.

The Waterfall

It has been nearly a year since I ceased using the operating mode, PSK31 and decided to focus on RTTY as my main interest.  With recent band openings on 20M I have decided to get back into the PSK31 arena on 14.070.15 MHz and start working domestic (mainly) stations. Although the past two days I have worked Canada, Mexico and France. Along with those DX stations I have worked new stations or states I need for the ARRL Worked All States award using PSK31.

I have also started to send out QSL cards again, some that are nearly 3 years old, already filled out and just sitting in a shoebox waiting to be mailed. I decided to spend $100 on one dollar bills and $40 worth of stamps to send out a few groups of QSL cards. This too stems from my early start on HF working only PSK31 stations.

Since I have gotten into contesting, it is nearly impossible, time wise and financially to send out cards to EVERY contact. While I would like to, it is not really an option at this time. So I will continue to pick and chose and send cards as I see fit. Of course any cards received are immediately answered and sent back (no SASE required).

As it sits now I am about 12 stations short of the WAS using PSK31, there seems to be some good sunspots coming into view, hopefully that will buy us some good propagation for the time being in order to work more PSK31 stations.

VT Brings WAS!

If there was one reason to operate in the CQWW WPX -SSB Contest it was to chase the last state I needed for my ARRL Worked All States Award. While I was able to participate at the start of the WPX on Friday afternoon, I only played for about 60 minutes on 20M. But on Saturday after about 90 minutes I was able to contact, NV1N