Sunday, August 6, 2017

NA QSO Party

Last night I went over to the the home of Ivin -W9ILF to participate in my first CW contest, the North American QSO Party. Wow, I've never heard that much CW traffic on a band at one time since starting this adventure, it was awesome! I did learn one lesson after listening to the band for just a few minutes though... my copy speed is still very slow. I now know what the Coyote felt like after all of those years spent trying to catch the Road Runner on Saturday mornings!

"Beep beep" or should we say "Dit dit"

Not wanting to be the guy slowing everyone down by sending at 10 words per minute, it was suggested to me that I park on a frequency and listen to a station's exchange several times, picking out characters that I could hear, and then waiting until I had the complete exchange to then answer the CQ. I thought that was a great idea and really gave me great opportunity to practice my ability to copy very fast CW. I am able to send much faster then I can copy at this time, so once I got the entire exchange I was able to complete QSO's with two stations, both on 20 meters.

My first QRP CW QSO was with Bud - N7CW from Prescott Arizona, which is over 1,400 miles away. If that's not a great way to start I'm not sure what is. Bud, thanks for the QSO and helping me with my Work all States effort by adding the state of Arizona to my list.

My second QRP CW QSO was with Niz - K0NM from Sugarland Texas. Niz builds and designs PET scanners used to detect cancer. Niz has also written several articles for QST on antenna building. I'll have to check them out.

Completing the two QSO's sure did help me work up an appetite, so Ivin grilled us up some brats and burgers on the grill. After eating I was able to relax while watch Ivin rack up the contacts on his end. Contesting may not be my thing at this time, but I did have a blast learning! Field Day 2018 will be here before we know it. 

Until next time, 72 de W9ODX

1 comment:

  1. Good morning Mike, great to hear about your first contest adventure. I used to do the same as you spoke of and thats listen and get the whole exchange and then call the station. I can remember taking part in weekend CW contests and at the end of it all on Sunday I could still hear the CW ringing in my ears long after the contest.
    Have a great week