Completed the North American QSO Party CW August version at 1 AM this morning. My bottom line score was 260 QSOs for 27,820 points for 9 hours. The contest conditions were challenged due to the CME events on the Sun over the past few days. Ten meters was barely there, or at least the activity was limited. Fifteen meters is usually my bread and butter band but it also had limited activity. Twenty meters was the big money band for me from the contest start at 1 PM Central until well into the evening. As evening approached, 40 meters also came alive and I was able to build it to a close second in terms of QSOs. Eighty meters was noisy and many stations had trouble hearing me. Still, it worked reasonably well in allowing me to collect more multipliers. I don’t have a 160 antenna, so didn’t spend any time there.

I did try running in this contest, but for the 30 minutes I was running I had one person stop by and call me. Managed to work them but it wasn’t a productive experience. Went back to search and pounce mode after that. The 30 minute minimum off time rule and the requirement for two hours total off time, played nicely at my house. I was able to get dinner in and take care of a couple of items. Even snuck in a quick nap in the evening.

This was my first team effort. I was a member of the DFW Contest Group. It’s a small group of DFW contesters that have started to get together once a month for dinner and discussion around contesting. I sure enjoy sharing experiences and observations with the group. This was our first effort at entering a contest. We’ll see how we do.

I’ll also note that Bill Myers, K1GQ, added the NAQP to his Skookum Logger contest logging software for the Mac at the very last minute. I went to set up things on Thursday evening and found that NAQP wasn’t supported for the software’s latest version. He graciously agreed to add it, had me test it on Friday evening, and by Saturday morning it was in the production version of the software. Fantastic service, and the logging software worked flawlessly during the contest. If you’re using a Mac for contesting, I heartily recommend Skookum Logger.

All in all, it was a good contest. I enjoy the 12 hour format.

 

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

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