Saturday, October 31, 2009

KL5O Wrap-up from station KL8DX

It was great to be part of such a grand event as the statewide KL5O operation. My station is small so of course, my contacts were not many but I had fun for those that I did make. I tried to make some contacts on 10 meters but from the interior of AK, I would have have been more successful digging for gold in my backyard.

My 285 contacts consisted of the following band breakout:

3.5 CW - 28 QSO's
14 RTTY - 29 QSO's
14 SSB - 201 QSO's
28 SSB - 0 QSO's
21 RTTY - 27 QSO's

I recorded some audio from the Alaska side of things. I don't operate SSB very often but enjoyed a small pile-up while operating KL5O. So to hear what it sounded like on my 2 hour stretch on 20 meters, take a listen to the following wav files;

KL5O from KL8DX


The final numbers I believe were over 5K QSO's but check the website at KL5O for the final numbers when they get posted. You will also be able to look up your QSO's at that site.

Again, lots of fun and I hope you logged KL5O during the operation. It was a privilege to operate with so many great AK operators.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

KL5O Begins with a Bang!

Come join in on the fun! It's Alaska Day! 50 Years of Statehood for the 49th! KL5O is operating CW, SSB, & RTTY from 1800z on Sunday thru 0600z Monday! Many stations throughout the state of Alaska are participating. If you need Alaska on one of these modes, now is your chance. Help us celebrate this grand occasion!

Monday, October 12, 2009

County Hunting

I have not actively started to hunt counties but I have always thought that someday I will see how many I have left to obtain that award. Knowing nothing more than me needing to confirm contacts with all the counties / boroughs in the United States, this is one heck of an accomplishment and for many people, it takes years to reach such a goal.

I know at least a little about county hunting due to my long time friendship with Ed, K8QWY. Ed has chased counties for many years so I have always had somewhat of an interest in the award, but nothing close to serious.

A few years ago, I received a certificate in the mail called the "MARC LAST COUNTY AWARD". This award is apparently given to stations who give the very last county to those on that hunt. It appeared to have been generated by a contact that I had with W9MSE back in 2006. I set the certificate aside but I kept it out to remind me to look deeper into the award.

Then it happened once again but this time, I received a "Red Seal" which was generated by a contact that I had with K8OOK in 2008. I got to looking at the certificate and I saw where there was room for a Red Seal, Gold Seal and finally a Blue Seal. This is not an award that I nominated myself for nor did I chase this award. It just so happened that I was able to help a few hams out with their last county and this appreciation was recognized by them and the MARAC organization.

One of the true highs for me is being able to confirm Alaska on a certain band or mode for anyone chasing awards. I enjoy reading or printing (digital) their excitement when they work me. There are plenty of stations active in Alaska and it always puzzles me to know that I was a first for somebody, little ol me!

And just tonight, I received an email from WB4KZW regarding his last county. I was probably as excited as he was about the request. After a couple brief e-mails back and forth, I sent along a frequency and just as I landed and got settled there, his big CW signal was heard calling me. We had a short QSO and afterwards, I got to thinking even more about this "county thing". My thoughts were how much of an accomplishment this feat is, working and confirming all 3077 counties! My hats off to Gene, WB4KZW and to all the others who have accomplished this great task. And to those who are chasing them now, either for the first or tenth time, good luck!

Someday you may find me checking into one of the NETS or maybe just chasing the mobiles as hams go out and operate counties with their own time and funds. Mobiles I'm sure, make a large part of this possible, hams driving thousands of miles just for other hams. For this very reason, this is why I love ham radio. I will always try to do my part but I had the easy job, giving out their last county. I now proudly hang this certificate with my others on the shack wall as this like many, do NOT belong in a filing cabinet someplace.

Thank you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Contest season is just ahead!

Job and life have kept me pretty busy this Fall and now that Winter has arrived, hopefully I can spend a bit of time working some contests. I totally enjoy the CW and digital contests but I will be doing some SSB contests, too. But lately, it's home improvement projects that have taken a front seat to most everything else. Fear not my DX'ing friends, my little signal will once again be trying to find contacts around the globe. Even though I have not been extremely active (only 23k contacts in 6 years) I try to get on a few times a week. Not sure if I have a main focus for this year. New DXCC countries? New modes? Better scores? Only time will tell and as we lose daylight, I normally gain shack time. It's a sad day when the sun hardly shows itself in December and January but the warm sound of DX does the body good!