Sunday, August 6, 2017

NAQP CW contest.

On Saturday the NAQP CW contest was on and it's a great what I call "mini contest". For me it started at 2pm local time which is great as it allows me to get some things done before I get on the air. This is a 10 hour contest unless you are a multi-operator station then you can work  the full 12 hours. As I said the contest began at 2pm local time but I never got started until around 2:30 as I was BBQing lunch for Julie and I. I entered this contest as QRP and with it being basically a North American contest even with the propagation conditions being low there was lots of contacts to be made. Most of the code is sent at a decent contest speed but there were there those that were just pounding it out. I just skip by those and look for slower speeds (15-25 WPM) I find the time I take to figure out their call and exchange I could had made at least 2 other contacts, so I opt to make the other 2 contacts and let the high speed CW contester work those who can copy them. This year I only spent an 1.5 hours in the contest and netted 12 contacts. With my setup here at VE3WDM I'm thrilled to just get on the air and make some CW contacts. For this contest I used N3FJP's contest program and it was great, in the past I have always used N1MM+. Nothing against N1MM+ it is a great program and by no means did I stop using it because of any issues. I found N3FJP's contest programs easy to navigate since I have been using his logging program for ages. With my simpler station since I had moved I really don't need all the bell's and whistles N1MM+ has. So with my 12 contacts all on 20m my humble score was 120. I still submitted the score cuz you never know!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Oh those Eqsl cards

Last evening I was reading Paul PC4T's blog regarding Eqsl cards and that when he logged in he found 60 Eqsl cards that had to be answered. This made me go Hmmmmm I have an Eqsl account and I too have not checked it for some time as well! I have Friday off I and I will use some time to look into Eqsl and checking my account may allow me to pass some time. It's now Friday and I had my morning walk and took my position at the desktop and checked my Eqsl account. I will say not being on the air all that much when it comes to Eqsl has an advantage.....:). I had about 15 QSO's that needed my attention and it really seemed to have to do with UTC times not matching. That made me think to maybe not filling in the times in my log. But then again I could then get flagged for no time at all!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Flight of the Bumble Bee QRP contest

Setting up 
This is the first (but not last) year I participated in this contest, I have Larry W2LJ to thank as his blog posts regarding this contest inspired me. Both Julie and I made plans for this day, for me it was contesting and she hauled along all her cameras and gear and had a blast with her hobby photography.  The weather was fantastic with it being 31C in the shade but we were right on Lake Ontario with a nice breeze off the lake made it pleasant. I operated from Humber bay shores park which is just outside our condo. We brought along camp chairs and a portable table as we knew the park would be very busy and finding a picnic table would be out of the question. The contest started at 1pm local time which gave Julie and I time to pick out something to eat. (fruit crepes with maple syrup) Once we found our spot in the park and setup we sat and enjoyed the crepes as one has to fuel up before the contest.
The view from the op table
The rig I used was my Elecraft KX3 on external battery power, the antenna was the Chameleon CHA P mag loop antenna and my key was the Palm mini paddle   I was very happy with the Chameleon CHA P antenna, it only took me 5 min's to setup. It was very easy to tune but it was not until 1/2 way through my outing that I realized the KX3 had the preamp off! Once I put the preamp on finding the noise peak was much easier. I was very pleased with the setup and performance of the antenna. I was only able to operate for 2 of the 4 hours of the contest as Julie and I had dinner guests we had to be back home and prepare for. I only operated on 20m as this band was open and the QRP contacts were being heard. I was pleased that I made 11 contacts and I did have about 5 folks stop and ask questions about what I was doing. One gentleman told me that his dad was a ham and one of the young people that stopped told me she read about morse code in her history class! The band was in great shape and I was able to hear and work QRP stations all over the U.S. I made 2 contacts into New Jersey and for some reason I have never in the past made it to that state when doing portable field op's. I really enjoyed this contest and am looking forward to it next year.
Setting up the loop
The outdoor shack.
Chameleon CHA P 
Fuelling  up before 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chameleon CHA P Loop 2.0 antenna 20% discount!!

Carl from Chameleon antenna left a message on my blog offering a 20% discount to their CHA P Loop  2.0 antenna  for my blog readers and it's available until the end of July! 
Below is the comment:

I've added the information to our website and also added a CHA P-LOOP 2.0 20% OFF discount for your readers, at the link below. The discount will be applied at the check out. The discount is valid until the end of July 2017.



This is a new and improved version over the one that I have been using. The up to date spec's of this antenna can be found here. This is very generous of Carl and if you have ever been considering a portable Mag Loop antenna this is a great find.