I thought I was going to have to miss a few hours of this but it turns out one of my daughters events is today, Sunday, and not Saturday, so I was able to put in a full time effort. It was another very cold day (20 degrees or less) like the previous week, but no snow and no wind.
I started out on 20m when the contest got going at 1pm local time and stayed there until the sun started to set. I bounced back to 20m from time to time even after the sun went down to see if there were any new stations I could hear. I logged 3 Alaska stations but I didn’t hear any Hawaii stations. I operated without using packet cluster so if they were spotted I wouldn’t know. I checked 15m a few times and normally made a contact or two but there didn’t seem to be much activity there. I even checked 10m twice just for giggles but didn’t hear a peep. I was on 20m from 1:00pm (1800z) through 4:15pm (2115z).
Besides missing Hawaii, I didn’t see Nevada, North Dakota or Nebraska and locally I didn’t see any Vermont or Maine stations. I was able to work 44 of the 50 US States and 8 of the 13 Canadian Providences over the course of the contest.
As the sun started to set I went over to 40m and spent two hours there tuning up and down the bands. There was minimal noise on 40m and conditions seemed to be good. Other then a quick scan of 20m/15m I was on 40m from about4:15pm (2115z) until about 6:15pm (2315z). I popped over to 80m and spent 30 mins logging stations there before heading back to 40m until about 8:15pm (0115z)
At 6:15pm (2315z) I switched to 80m for 30m and logged 27 stations. At 8:15pm (0115z) I came back to 80m, started at the bottom of the band and worked my way up. It was pretty noise so I had the RF gain down a lot so I could stand listening but that didn’t matter as all the signals were strong. I was able to work about 1 QSO per min moving up the band and logged 67 Q’s in 70 mins by the time I hit the top of the band. Each slight turn of the dial yielded another station to work. A quick pop back to 40m to check if there was anything new and a few stations were logged including Puerto Rico. I then went back to 80 and dialed up the band again to work any other stations I might have missed or that came on after my last scan, but that first scan was pretty wall to wall.
Here’s a screen shot of my desktop after scanning up the 80m band the first time. You’ll be able to see the band map on the right showing all those stations worked. If you click the small image it should open a larger image of the screen. In the center you’ll see DM780 which I use to help interpret the incoming CW. All the other windows are part of N1MM from the list of multipliers by band on the top left, some basic stats under that, the main entry window under that and the packet window under that (which is blank since I’m not connected). At the middle on top is the count by band and under that is the check window for call signs entered in the main entry window. On the right side at the top is the list of QSOs made and the far right is the band map which in this case shows everything worked already since the call signs are all light gray.
Here’s my score summary for this years NAQP CW ham radio contest:
Band QSOs Pts Sec NA 3.5 131 131 37 1 7 128 128 39 1 14 99 99 24 1 21 8 8 5 0 Total 366 366 105 3 Score : 39,528
Next Saturday is the NAQP SSB (Phone) contest but I am pretty sure I’ll be away from home for most if not all of the contest. If I get on at all it will be late so likely 80m and maybe some stragglers on 40m is where any activity will be.