Saturday, April 19, 2014

A-1 Official

A-1 Operator Certificate
Recently the Straight Key Century Club (SKCC) honored their members of the American Radio Relay League's (ARRL) A-1 Operators during the April Weekend Sprintathon (WES). I sadly was not able to participate due to weekend conflicts but it got me to thinking about my nomination and entry into this prestigious club. I remember receiving a few congratulatory emails and saw my name on the A-1 Operators list but never received anything "official". I dropped a note to the ARRL and inquired about the certificate. My email was answered in short order and after receiving a response, 48 hours later our postal carrier hand delivered this certificate. I feel very honored that a few of my now fellow A-1 operators, felt I was worthy of nomination and award. 

I have always tried to be the best operator possible, from casual operating to contesting. I think good operators are products of good Elmer's. Even though I've been a ham radio operator for over 26 years now, I'm still learning! And the beauty of ham radio and the internet, you don't have to physically be in someones shack to learn to be a better operator. I learned so much from the Alaska Contest Group and a few, I never even personally met. Group emails, forums, blogs, simple research, Youtube and magazines, there are so many great resources to educate any ham on all aspects of our great hobby. Just because a person does not have this certificate does not mean that they are not a good operator. My plan is to pay it forward and nominate those who I feel should be on the list, those who's callsign are not currently there. 

For me, the pressure is even greater now to continue to live up to the standards set forth by the A-1 Operators Club. Will that be a hard thing to do? Nope, as long as I continue to do what I have been doing. Continue to learn, educate others, run clean equipment, by only using the minimum power necessary for the QSO, helping other hams where and when I possibly can and finally, learning from my mistakes. I think the most important aspect of this hobby is to have fun! Being an A-1 Operator is not attached necessarily to a callsign as much as it's attached to the person behind the callsign. Even though I have changed my call since my nominations and entry and now live in at a new QTH, my values remain the same. For any ham radio operator, the DX Code Of Conduct is a great foundation to build upon. I dedicate this award to all those who have helped me in this great hobby over the last 26 years. This speaks more highly of them as I'm only operating as I've been taught. I hope they are as proud of this achievement as I am.     

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ARRL DX CW Contest - 2013

ARRL DX Contest 2013
I received what I would consider a participation certificate from my 2013 ARRL DX CW Contest effort. In reading my old 3830 post, it was a rough weekend due to a solar flare but things apparently did not go any better as the weekend progressed. 

As the wallpaper trickles in, there should not be much left from my Alaska operation. It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year that we left the 49th in our rear view mirror. It was a sad day for sure. We do plan on returning in the future but until then, I have many fond memories of our life in the 49th. A career is like a river, it will flow via the path of lease resistance. I've done very little radio since landing in MA but I don't have a shack to draw me in either. Here, life is much faster than it was last year and with temperatures already in upper 60's and low 70's, we are drawn outdoors enjoying what is for us, a much earlier spring than we are used to. My 3830 post from the contesting archives from the contest. 

Call: KL8DX
Operator(s): KL8DX
Station: KL8DX
Class: SOSB/15 LP
QTH: Alaska
Operating Time (hrs): 13h 1m
Location: Other North America
Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:56853Total Score90,312

Club: North Coast Contesters
Comments:     [email]     2013-02-18 11:46:26
Decided to do a 15 meter SO/SB entry on this rather than my
continued 20 meter SO/SB from previous years. The solar flare
put the damper on any great numbers for Sunday. Saturday
started out slow but picked up later in the day nicely. When
it came to Sunday, my longest CQ between QSO's was 27 minutes!
Rough to say the least.


A little more than annoyed at what seems to be more folks
just landing on a frequency and calling CQ without as much
as a "QRL" or ?? to see if the frequency was in use. I was
chased off my run frequency on more occasions by this poor,
what seems to be, growing practice.


Lots of great friends encountered and lots of great DX heard
that I obviously could not work, being DX myself. Saturday
picked up in the afternoon and 15 meters sounded like a typical
contest weekend, wall to wall signals, stretching pretty high
up the band. I missed DC, WV, SD for lower 48 and as normal, I
only got a handful of VE sections missing, NS, NF, LB, QC, NT,
YT and NU. I was extremely excited to have W3MLK (DE),
VY2OX (PEI) and N7NG (WY) call in for final stretch mults!

If they were all easy, it wouldn't be contesting!

Thanks for the QSO's!

Phil KL8DX
Denali National Park, Alaska