Monday, August 28, 2023

Back to School (CW Ops Intermediate)

Well, .. back in school again.  CWOps.

Pencil sharp and key primed up.

Roy KK6M is going to teach the course and it's looking like a good start.

I got a lot of work to do because I do not copy general QSO very well.  

Best quote of the class:

Student>  "Is this the CW class?  Cat Worship?"

Sunday, August 27, 2023


I gotta hand it to those Kansas QSO party organizers.   They pull off a great event.

I didn't hear too many regular KS stations, but whole lot of 1x1 special event call signs.

That rover K0A, I think it was was just killing it with 3 and 2 county mults.


It makes me want to get better organized for next year.  For sale of explanation this is what I mean:

Print out the rules.  And study them.

Print out the county prefix list.  Read the map and get familiar with the layout.

Sort out the "goal" file used by N1MM.
Not just counties but the special event call signs.

As far as the special side goal in KsQP, the postage stamp challenge was great.
I think I managed to get enough Q to spell out all of the magic words; KANSAS, SUNFLOWER, and YELLOWBRICKROAD.

I hope you had a good time.

Off to the side I also worked the Hawaii QP and think I got all of the CW ops there who were on the bands for a significant time.

Shout out to KH6KO, Stan from CW Ops and KH6KW, Craig from ANZANet.

I was also glad to hear some acquaintances WA7CPA, Robin and K4BAI, John.  Nice to hear them on the bands scooping up Q's along with me.  It seems they were everywhere I was.


Thursday, August 17, 2023

CWOps / Salmon Run / PNW DXCON

Salmon Run is happening in September the weekend of September 16-17.

The WWDXC is the host of the contest and I will be working from Rusty's station (W6OAT).
He and I are going to work just CW and make a good effort to WAS and all the counties in WA.  If we're really lucky we'll get to work the counties in WA that are sometimes operated by rovers who loop through the remote side of the state.   Plus there's also a real chance we can get the Canadian prefixes too.

It will be a really fun time.  I am excited to operate again from W6OAT QTH soon.


The PNW DX Convention in New Westminster is over and I've been home now about a week since that ended.

I really cannot express how much I appreciate the event and the kindness from the hosts from the ORCA DX Club in Vancouver -- they put on a wonderful event and the venue was awesome -- right on the water front (river).      I made a lot of new friends and heard many presentations about DX-peditions and other details from those who went "over there".

The final dinner presentation about AI (artificial intelligence) was done by Guy Immega, VA7GI.  A tremendously gifted speaker and a pleasure to listen to.   A good talk that created a bit of a buzz and a slew of questions -- all about AI, the risks and benefits.  It had a lot of people raising their hands.  A nice way to cap the weekend filled with DX technical talks.

I was so glad to see my friends from WWDXC -- especially Rusty W6OAT who has made introductions to some of his friends and helped me become aware of a wider world of DX and CW operations.   

As the year winds down, I don't think I will be travelling much at all until next spring when it will be tine for Visalia, CA  IDXC.   I believe it will be the 75th anniversary of that convention.

At any rate, I have a lot of practice to do before Salmon Run.  I need to catch up a bit on my homework with head-copy.

Friday, August 11, 2023


Arrived at the Quay.

New Westminster, British Columbia.

Looking forward to seeing friends and making new ones.

Beautiful setting.

INN at the Quay..

Thursday, August 3, 2023


 A brief recap.

The goal was to work from Mark (K6UFO) station on Vashon Island NN7SS for the full 24 hours. The other goal was to average at least 1 Q every 2 minutes. I had been able to keep that rate in MST over the last few weeks as practice. I arrived at the QTH NN7SS Friday evening and settled in. Mark showed me the station and we worked out how the Flex operated. A lot of automation and good organization on his part made that straight-forward. I can appreciate those "remote stations for hire" much more now. At 4:00 am I woke, got ready and shuffled into the 'shack' to get the radio ready. On the dot, at 5:00 am (1200Z) I was on the air. Then I dropped the call and began working stations.. It was a flurry and I appreciate all of the patience from those who had to do a AGN? now and then. Highlights were to work some new and old friends.. K4BAI (on three bands), Dan N7SS/M, Tim W7EEE, and Joe AA2IL from CWOps, as well as some others. If I left someone off the list, forgive me. I'm just off the ferry and home.. Unpacking. Anyway, back to NA-065 --- At around 11.5 hours into the contest I started to fade and I hadn't not taken any real break. My mind was going to QRN. I couldn't copy too well and it was creating too much stress. I didn't want to disappoint the operators with my disfunction, so I bid a QRT and several TU before closing down. 24 hrs at 2Q /min would have been 720 Q. Since I threw in the towel at 12 hours, that would have been 360 Q. So my 200 Q was shy of my goal by an amount. But on the plus side -- it was all 'head copy' and I probably got most of the S/N right... I was having fun and I was glad to give the IOTA NA-065 to all of those who took my CQ. The NN7SS station worked flawlessly. The 50+' tower was racked with a multi-band beam and the station control let me work the propagation changes. There were some things that I should have planned better for. - I need to make an inline switch to adjust which paddle is dit/dah. I'm really used to my paddle and it was difficult to adjust to a new one. - My headphone cable was a bit too short and I should have brought the extension and a AF amplifier bus so I could hear a bit better. But no complaints. Mark kept me fed and watered. I had a superb dinner and breakfast. The donut was enormous. A gracious host and in some breaks we had a chance to chat. Before and after the contest, great eyeball-QSO about all sorts of things involving DX. The key -- The coffee was always just a moment from being poured and I was for want of nothing. Last words: Contesting CW builds character. It builds confidence and there is nothing quite like trying to unpack a pile up of stations and provide everyone the Q they deserve. The more contests I work, the more I appreciate the skill and dedication real DX'p people put in. I have a long way to go. My next big challenge is Salmon Run. But between now and then is a lot of MST to do. Thanks. Be well.

Things happening

It has been a busy few months since I hung up my software-spurs. On deck -- DX'pedition for Lord Howe Island Lord Howe Island (July 202...