Category Archives: Illinois QSO party

Illinois QSO party

I had a great time last weekend working the Illinois QSO party. I wound up with about 375 contacts, and a good number of multipliers, so I should end up with a respectable final score. But what’s more important, I had a great time doing it.

Everything seemed to work — I spent most of my time running frequencies (calling CQ and having people call me) on 40 and 20 cw, and when things were slow, I moved up to 40 SSB and did about 120 contacts, and picked up a bunch of new multipliers in counties that just weren’t on CW.
One of the highlights was having a European station call me on 40 cw at 3:30 in the afternoon. Working Europe at night on 40 is no big deal, but I’ve never worked Europe on 40 that time of day.
In the end, I worked about 10 different Europeans on 20 and 40, which was nice and gave me six additional multipliers.
The Illinois QSO party is always about three weeks before cw Sweepstakes, and gives me a good warm-up for it. I’m ready.

Old friends

Tonight I heard an old friend, N9HAL, calling CQ on 80 meters.

I ran into a guy named Bob from Wisconsin a few years ago on 40 cw. We started talking and trading personal information. It turned out we were both originally from Nebraska. Then he asked me if I used to be WA0QMZ. It turned out he used to be WA0ODM, we went to junior high and high school toghether and were both helped along by the same group of older hams in Sidney, NE, the small town we grew up in. Small world.

Bob and I have had some random schedules, but most often we just hear each other on 80 or 40 once or twice a year, and then spend some time catching up. It gives me a nice bridge to the past, plus we have a lot in common today and talk about fixing up old radios, operating CW, and some random things. Contacts like that are why this is such a nice hobby.

In other radio activity, I did operate the Illinois QSO party last weekend and made roughly 200 contacts. I had hoped to do more, but wasn’t feeling 100 percent and quit to take a nap. It is only a hobby after all. It was still fun, and I’m looking forward to contest season this winter.

Early morning DX

This morning the Oceana DX contest was on, and there on the bottom of 40 were quite a few Australians and New Zealanders calling CQ. I worked everyone I heard. Nice to start the weekend with a little DX on 40.

Gearing up for Illinois QSO party next weekend. I plan on hitting it hard from the home station. I’m not exactly in a rare county — DuPage — but looking at last year’s results I didn’t do bad. It would be nice to break into the top 10 this year.