Sunday, June 17, 2012

2011 ARRL 10 Meter Contest Results & Overview

2011 ARRL 10 Meter Contest Results - AK
I just picked up the latest QST from the Post Office and I was excited to see the 2011 ARRL 10 Meter Contest  results had been posted. Looks like I was not the only one who enjoyed the great propagation last December! Lots of records fell, worldwide! 10 meters is probably my most favorite band of all. Lately, there has been little to no propagation but then again, I have not been active for the last few months due to it being summertime in Alaska! The "shack" is at the bottom of my priority list in the summer months and my family and I have been enjoying the summer camping season. Summer is in full swing and temperatures have peaked into the low 70's here for highs with lows still in the upper 30's. There is plenty of sunshine with the return of the midnight sun. Alaskan's are called outdoors to thaw out and enjoy our short summer and we've joined them!

KL8DX Claimed Score 2011 ARRL 10 Meter Contest
In looking at my claimed score, I thankfully did not lose any multipliers but obviously I lost a few QSO's, 7 to be exact. Since moving to Alaska in 2003, this is in the top 3 of my most memorable contests. Most of the time, propagation is predictable but with 10 meters, like 6 meters, you just never know! I just checked my DXCC on LOTW (Logbook Of The World) and I have 65 countries confirmed on 10 meters. My 10 Meter WAS (Worked All States) award shows I have all 50 states confirmed on 10 meters with CW, 17 states with JT65, 12 with PSK31, 44 on RTTY and 48 on SSB. 

I want to personally congratulate Larry, N1TX for his outstanding performance at KL2R! Also, congrats to all of the other AK stations for a super job! I've been lucky enough to personally meet and know several on the list above and I can tell you, Alaska has an outstanding group of driven and talented operators. I've learned lots from these operators and friends who I look up to. Even after my days in Alaska are long gone, these are experiences and advice that I can carry with me no matter where I operate from. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

BIG Wildlife

Tree Breaker and Guy Wire Shaker
We have had this moose frequenting our yard for the last few days and she has been pruning the trees around our house and garage. Of course, the guys for my wire antennas and towers are always a concern. Not so much during the summer as we experience almost 24 hours of daylight and fewer Chinook systems, but more so during the dark winter season. I use plenty of black Dacron and it can be very hard to see in the dark. Thankfully, I have never had an entanglement with wildlife but it is something I consider when hanging antenna's. I try to get my guy wires above moose level but when I crank down my Hazer to lower my antennas due to high winds or weather, they all become a potential hazard for local wildlife. These moose are much taller than us humans and I'm sure they can make short work out of pulling down wires and even towers.  These are big beautiful animals and we enjoy seeing them in our yard. Not only do we need to be inspecting for electrical hazards when putting up antennas, we need to always consider that welcomed surprise guest(s) that may be roaming around the neighborhood.