Sunday, December 11, 2011

ARRL 10-meter Contest

Call: VE8EV
Operator(s): VE8EV
Station: VE8EV

Class: SO CW LP
QTH: Inuvik, NT
Operating Time (hrs): 14

Band QSOs Mults
CW: 322    63
Total: 322 63 Total Score = 81,144


Just 100 watts and a vertical for this one so I decided to go CW only. The marginal antenna, low power, aurora, low SSN and lack of time all conspired to keep the numbers low. Given my limited CW prowess it was probably just as well. When I had time to get on the radio I'd find a quiet corner at the higher end of the band and run callers with only an occasional foray to S&P the loud guys. I got up early Saturday and CQ'd away for four hours without a single caller, hoping for that mythical morning opening to Europe. It didn't appear and I suspect that from this part of the world in December it never will. Still, the band was open to everywhere in North America for at least five hours both days so I certainly can't complain.

My ability to copy CW is still a bit ropey and I was kind of nervous at the very beginning. Wouldn't you know the very first answer I get to my cq was 7K4QOK! Once I got through that the rest was fairly smooth sailing. The rate meter actually hit 100 for a few short bursts so I guess I'm starting to get the hang of it. Worked a pretty good cross section of W/VE, a handful of Asians, VK/ZL, and a few South Americans (although not as many as I remember from the old days on 10m).

Lots of giggles in this one for some reason. The best was working the W8 with the drifting TX. He was zero beat at the start of each call but his frequency would increase with every key stroke until he was out of my passband. After three tries I finally opened up the filter to 3K and got him in the log. For some reason it sounded hysterically funny and I chuckled about it all day long. I also found it very amusing that it took me three tries to figure out why the KH7 station was laughing at me instead of sending his exchange. Is this what normally happens to people after listening to beeping for hours on end?

Happy Holidays and hope to hear everyone in the RAC Winter Contest next weekend!

John VE8EV

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