Monday, January 11, 2010

Jan 2010 NAQP CW Contest

North American QSO Party
, CW - January

Call: KL8DX
Operator(s): KL8DX
Station: KL8DX
Class: Single Op LP

QTH: Alaska
Operating Time (hrs): 8

Band QSOs Mults
40: 20........... 8
20: 392......... 52
Total: 412....... 60.... Total Score = 24,720

Club: North Coast Contesters

The NAQP CW contest format is one that I like. It's 12 hours long but as a single operator, you can only operate 10. It's a great weekend contest without taking up your entire weekend. The rough part about NAQP is the low power rule, nothing more than 100 watts. Rough to us northern folk with small stations but maybe not so rough on the lower 48 crowd.

20 meters for me, I would rate as fair. There were several stations on but some states had very few participants. I parked and called most of the 8 hours that I operated the contest on 20 meters. Toward the end, I tried a bit of 40 meters but me working 40 meters on low power is like shoveling a fresh six inch snow from your 300 foot driveway with a spoon. Yep, you don't get anywhere fast.

I'm thankful for the internal filters on my IC-756PRO as on more than once, I had a station just show up and park right on top of me running stations. I know he heard me (VE3) but I was not moving. I normally operate in the nosebleed section of the CW band and even though there seemed to be lots of activity, the band was not that crowded. But, that's one of the pains of contesting I guess, especially when running low power.

It was obvious in this contest there were a few dedications to silent keys. Bitter sweet, as it's great to hear the dedication (same name being used by so many stations) but always a sad though as to why. And then you have those that make things interesting and use a nickname or something off the wall.

One of the other things I like about this contest is the lack of exchanging a signal report, which are 99.9% bogus anyhow (yes, I use the industry standard canned contest report of 599, too). Just like the non English versions of instructions in manuals on any piece of electronic equipment, it means nothing to me.

As usual, 20 meters was my strongest band but I missed several easy multipliers to my surprise, those being HI, NV, WV, SD and SK in Canada. I need to rethink my strategy for this contest when it comes to multipliers. I did honestly check 15 meters but nothing was heard on that band at all!

All-n-all, it was a fun weekend as I then moved onto the SKCC K3Y event on Sunday (more on that later). Now that winter has moved back into the Interior of Alaska, it's great to have these weekend contests to distract us from looking at the thermometer. Logs will be uploaded to e-QSL and LOTW soon and QSL cards are always welcome following my QSL rules.

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