Put my new ICOM ID-31A into use this weekend for the D-Star QSO Party. The objective is to work as many countries as possible. All entrants names are put into a drawing. If you work five countries you earn another entry into the drawing, ten still another entry, and with twenty you max out at four entries into the drawing. That’s it. No scores, just a drawing for neat ICOM gear, in this case the new ID-51A.

With an off and on effort I managed to work 16 countries out of 30 QSO’s. Since the goal is to work as many countries as possible, I did a lot of listening and called just the countries that I needed. Of course, once on the air, I did get a few return calls. There were a few frustrating moments as a wanted country would come on the reflector, make one QSO, and seemingly move on while a number of USA stations worked each other. Lost a few countries that way. Even so, I managed to work Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, England, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Germany, Greece, Norway, Argentina, Namibia, Denmark, Brazil, and Hawaii.

I did hear of one fellow with somewhere above 30 countries. Fun contest and learned a bit about D-Star.

What do you think?