Thursday, November 12, 2009

Contest Season 2009 Mid-point

How's your contest season going?

This is the saddle of fall activity; CQWW SSB and CW SS are behind us, SSB SS and CQWW CW are just ahead. Then there is the holiday flurry of ARRL 160m, ARRL 10m and the Stew Perry before we collapse into the end of the year. Oh yeah, we gotta stay awake or wake up long enough for Straight Key Night. (No, it's not a CONTEST, but as an operating activity, it serves to keep us humble to once a year pull out the J-38 and make an unmitigated abomination of Mr. Morse's code by trying to send something other than 5NN)

Our CQ SSB effort wasn't too awfully different from Dash's. But Cousin QRM usually finds Gummi Bears when he shakes the rig rather than pretzels. It's funny how for months we've bemoaned the lack of sunspots and poor conditions only to find 15m hopping during the world's biggest DX contest. Years ago someone once told me that a dead band was composed of thousands of operators listening for the band to open. Or maybe we just got lucky. Macho Cuesew and Leche Dinero are still trying to steal enough network bandwidth to get their worldwide network of remote receivers to work properly. Maybe by the CW contest.

Sweepstakes is always a blast, even if the cw event serves to re-enforce our humbleness even more than SKN. Cousin QRM keeps trying for that elusive sweep, and Lord knows he needs the broom to clear off the cracker crumbs from the shack table. Rusty Key pointed out that if all the LIDS lived close enough, we could enter the club category and whup all them other big contest clubs, east and west. But our wide flung membership only fits within the 'circle' that is Mother Earth. (So far, none of the astronaut-hams have expressed an interest in being one of the LIDS, but we welcome inquires.)

So this last 'free' weekend of the year will be devoted to repairing antennas and raking leaves around Dr. DX's Lab of Mad Sciencery. Get the voice keyer files recorded and polish the D-104. Polish the beam with Dr. DX's Antenna Wax, and chill the Beveridges. The rest of the year, and contest season, are coming fast.

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