Back in the saddle at VE7NSR. Single-op operation this time round. Amazing conditions with lots of complimentary signal reports from other stations. Stuck to my plan to do mult hunting and just missed out on DXCC on 10m and 15m both with 93 countries!

I think this is the biggest CQWW DX contest score from this station in a long while. I pushed myself quite a bit and would imagine that if I didn’t have a nagging headache on the Sunday I would have crept closer to 1 million points.

In the end a personal best for me in any contest, excluding PJ2T of course, and a real sense of accomplishment. Operating at VE7NSR is always a challenge, especially over all the local RFI in our urban location, but the score proves that it is great station especially on 15m & 10m.



The realisation

It has been many months since I have made QSO’s and even longer since I have posted about them here. Over the summer months I have had a clear realisation of how radiosport and ham radio in general fits into my often hectic schedule.

For me now radio has become a seasonal pursuit, much like skiing or biking. I will never abandon it but at the same time I will not fight to make it fit to my schedule. When this happens my frustrations grow and I lose interest.

So I have decided to focus my energy around the good propagation season from September to March. My little gun station means I have to fight for QSOs and in the summer that is just not possible here. Analysing logs from the past two years has shown that I make more QSOs and work more DX in October, November and December.

If I have time I’ll still fire up the rig at other times of the year, for dxpeditions and what not, but I won’t lose faith when the log remains empty.

Now for the first of the season…bring ‘em on!

Some practice…

Slip on some headphones, open up notepad on your computer and get some practice in…

The Joy of 10m

Here is a recent report from my DXKeeper log of activity on 10m from my high-rise condo QTH in downtown Vancouver…all in the last month or so.

VA7DXC DXCC Progress 05-Dec-2011

Band = 10M, Mode = MIXED, Status = Worked or Requested or Confirmed

001: 6Y Jamaica
002: 9M6 East Malaysia
003: BY China
004: C6 Bahamas
005: CO Cuba
006: CX Uruguay
007: D4 Cape Verde
008: E5-S South Cook Is
009: EA Spain
010: EI Ireland
011: F France
012: HI Dominican Republic
013: HK Colombia
014: HL Republic of Korea
015: HP Panama
016: HR Honduras
017: JA Japan
018: K United States
019: KH0 Mariana Is
020: KH2 Guam
021: KH6 Hawaii
022: KL7 Alaska
023: KP2 US Virgin Islands
024: KP4 Puerto Rico
025: LU Argentina
026: P4 Aruba
027: PA Netherlands
028: PJ2 Curacao
029: PJ4 Bonaire
030: PY Brazil
031: T32 Eastern Kiribati
032: TG Guatemala
033: UA0 Asiatic Russia
034: VE Canada
035: VK Australia
036: VP2-M Montserrat
037: VP2-V British Virgin Is
038: XE Mexico
039: YB Indonesia
040: YV Venezuela
041: ZF Cayman Islands
042: ZK2 Niue
043: ZL New Zealand

The Condo DXCC 100

Outgoing QSLs at VA7DXC

Outgoing QSLs at VA7DXC

Ok, so we’re getting close. I’ve worked 84 DXCC, 49 confirmed with about a dozen or so outstanding QSL requests. There will be two milestones I guess, one once 100 are worked and obviously much later, when 100 are confirmed. 100 verified is something I’m not even thinking about at this stage. Last weekend’s CQ WW DX CW test was a boon to my totals even for a puny station like mine. New ones included 6Y, CX, HP, J7, PJ4, TG, VP2M, and VP2V. My CW is improving but I still need ‘assistance’ hi hi.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a true CW op though. I’ve grown up with computers all of my life and a mode like CW, that for most can be sent and decoded much more easily by computer is just another digital mode to me. The fact that it can be sent by hand and heard by ear is to me beside the point. If it were physically possible to send RTTY or PSK by hand does it mean we should do it that way all of the time too? Just because it is physically possible to do something doesn’t mean it is the best way to do it though, why make it harder for ourselves?

However I truly appreciate the personal enjoyment factor in sending by hand and decoding by ear, it is a pure hobbyist pursuit, much in the same way people restore old automobiles etc. There are obviously more efficient ways to restore the automobile but the enjoyment is garnered in the act of doing it by hand. However in situations where accurate communications is paramount i.e. contests, then sending and decoding by computer is the future. CW is the ultimate ‘digital’ mode, with extremely narrow bandwidth and a concise shorthand all of its own that allows a quick exchange of information. If CW was promoted more as a digital mode to new hams then you might actually eventually coax some into being ‘true’ CW ops. Automobile hobbyists don’t start with the most complex of restorations, they start with their love of automobiles. Lets just love CW, regardless of what way we send or receive it.