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Monday, January 20, 2014

AWA Linc Cundall Memorial OT CW Contest

Between 80 and 40 I managed twelve contacts using my National HRO Sr and TZ-20 transmitter with a low hung inverted L antenna. By contesting standards not a lot but still better than any of my LC QSO counts going back 20 years.

I worked nothing to the west but I did manage Qs to Canada, the east coast and southwest. I heard N2BE a lot. Too bad I could only work him once per band. I was surprised to not hear many of my MN friends on the air. Of the eight I worked in the BK I only heard three on for the LC.

I have grown to depend on the Reverse Beacon Network to help me decide if the band is dead. If I call CQ and I don't get a lot of feedback from the RBN with reasonable signal strength it's time to change bands or go to bed.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Straight Key Night

Last night and today was the ARRL Straight Key Night . This 24-hour event (00:00-23:59  GMT, January 1) is not a contest; but a day to get on the air and simply make enjoyable, conversational CW QSOs. There are no points scored. Hand sent CW (either straight keys or bugs) is preferred and, in fact, helps identify those in the event. SKN certainly fits my operating style.

I did need to wire up a cable to plug a straight key in to my KX3 but, with that, I was on the air. 20 seemed to be fairly active this afternoon. Running my usual 5 watts I got a 589 from WA9ZWA, Terre Haute, IN, a 559 from W2LG, Leesburg, FL and a 599 from AE1T, Plymouth, NH.  No DX but with the outside temperature hovering around zero today it made for a relaxing time in the basement with my radios.