This is one of the major annual worldwide contests, and since it is scored by ITU Zones instead of countries/entities, it has a more level playing field than an entity-based contest. Plus, there are additional score multipliers available from stations that represent the headquarters of the various national affiliates of the IARU. This year the contest was simultaneous with the quadrennial World Radio Team Contest held in Germany this time. However, the teams are all limited to 100 watts and basic antenna systems, so that was a non-entity here. The contest is only 24 hours, 12UT Saturday to 12UT Sunday (5am to 5am MST). Continue reading
It’s been a while since I posted because I keep getting into the mindset that I need to make all the posts highly detailed. But, I’m going to try to post smaller things more often.
With such low solar fluxes this year, activity above 20 meters has been fairly limited. While working the second day of the Texas QSO Party, I saw on the DX spotting sites that 15 meters was open across the Atlantic from the eastern US. The better news was that the opening was actually extending out West.
I finally finished off the 6-meter Yagi project and got it on the air. I’ve actually been using it for a while, but needed the ARRL VHF contest to get enough activity on the band to shoot video in a reasonable amount of time showing me making QSOs. I was running 50 watts into the 4-element Yagi and worked sporadic-E clouds to 30 different Maidenhead grids, including two in New Hampshire, which were my first double-hop sporadic-E QSOs. Enjoy!
There’s only about one opportunity a month within a half-hour one-way drive to take an amateur radio exam around here. Combined with wanting to take the studying seriously, it took a while for me to get around to taking my Element 4 exam to upgrade to Extra. But, Saturday morning that finally happened! Continue reading
For this episode, I shot about 2 hours of video of me casually working the 20-meter band on a Saturday with a contest and two state QSO parties in progress, editing the video down to under 30 minutes. I comment on what I’m hearing, make a few domestic QSOs, one QSO with France, and unsuccessfully work Italy. All with 80 watts into a homebrew magnetic loop antenna. Enjoy!