I did not work this event nearly as hard as last year. (Last year was not much effort
either... but my son operated it last year with me.) My 40m dipole is acting flaky
in the 25mph wind. The repair will need to wait until spring when I can lower the
tower to the ground. So 40m contacts were pretty much nil for me.
My original plan for today was to operate my Icom 756 @ 100w on 20m and 40m and then
operate my Elecraft K2 @ 10w on 80w. I figured I would operate most of the day. The
K2 idea was more of a shake-out than anything else as I had not made a single contact
on it since I built it earlier this winter. Wow... did my plans change.
All of the 80m contacts were made @ 10w on the K2. The radio was awesome and the contacts
were not too hard either. (My 40' tall VHF/UHF tower is shunt feed for 80m.) I kind
of wish that I had gone QRP and run 5w for the whole event. I did make a few
160m contacts @ 100w with the Icom 756 in the last 45 minutes of the event which
was kind of fun. (My HF tower is shunt feed for 160m)
I have spent most of the 2008-2009 winter radio season building radios & kits
instead of operating. Even today I probably only spent about 3.5 hours actually operating
the radio in a casual fashion.
My score is about half of what was from last year.. go figure. On the flip side I
ran 1/10th the power and spent 1/3 the time operating. I made my first Q on the
K2 and was able to test out the new KAT2 tuner that I installed late last night. Overall
it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon.
Goals for next year's event:
1. Be able to RUN on CW vs. S&P with the computer.
2. Operate QRP. 5w on CW is plenty loud enough to have some fun.