CQ WPX 2012

CQ WPX 2012

I could not spend much time with this contest because I was busy all of the Sunday and most of the Saturday (on Ham-Ex in Brampton).  However, night of Friday was very hot with many QSO and many fine stations on air.

I stopped at 120 QSOs
80m: 3
40m: 40
20m: 28
15m: 42
10m: 7

Prefixes: 97
Score: 11,640

Some highlights: Japan, Ukraine and Serbia on on 15m. Yukon (first time in log) on 20m.

Kudos to all those great ops that pulled my 100w into a vertical wire out of the noise and put me in their log. Hopefully, I didn’t blow too many exchanges and I’m in all those DX stations logs.

Approximately 25% of the QSOs are already confirmed by LOTW.
I wish I chose VE3 rather than VA3 when I got my callsign.

 

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Ham-Ex and Hamvention 2012

The Ham-Ex this year did not look as crowded as it was last year. However, I still met many fellow hams there. It’s hard to say what caused less people to show up – unusually warm weather for mid-March, or the CQ WPX contest.

Nevertheless, the hamfest was a hit. Amateur radio club of Peel (P.A.R.C.) had a booth with some cool and useful hamshack gadgets  they build in the club on Saturdays. The fleamarket did not have many vendors this year, however, this resulted in less junk and more good offers. Some of my favourites:

  • Kenwood TS-520S in great condition – $150 (why I didn’t buy it?)
  • Kenwood SP-520 (speaker) – $30 (welcome to my shack!)
  • Brass straight key in great condition with very heavy base – $12 (thank you to Stan VE3STN)
  • Ten-Tec electret mic (powered) – $35 (will be tested soon)

I plan to drive to Hamvention in Dayton, Ohio in May this year. That must be fun but haven’t found a company yet as it would be boring to drive alone for 7 hours.

ARRL DX SSB Contest 2012

It is amazing how many DXCC entities came to life this weekend. Every turn of the dial opened new countries. And unlike us usually seeking those DX stations, they were seeking us instead. Amazing.

Equally amazing, the bands went quiet on 00:00Z. Just a minute ago, it  was an intermixing sound of voices, calls, and interference – and now – all of a sudden – it became a dead silence all over the bands. Surreal.

My setup for this contest was very basic – just a 31′ vertical (wire) antenna – no yagi or something…. I wish a had a directional antenna with some gain – hopefully the stacked loop I’m building will fill the gap.

Nevertheless, thanks to great ops and huge Yagis on the other end, my occasional work during this weekend netted 74 new QSOs, 38 DXCC entities, and 6 continents on my log.

ARRL DX SSB Contest 2012

The map was compiled using ADIF to MAP converter by K2DSL.

Logging in Linux

I use Linux at my computers and I was looking for a good freeware logging software for my self. So far I tried four available in Debian / Ubuntu linux logging programs:

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