Category Archives: NAQP

Winter contests, winter noise

Last weekend was the winter North American QSO Party, CW. I usually operate this contest, but came down and discovered S9 (that’s very high for you lay-people out there) line noise on all bands. I’ve had this intermittent noise since I moved to this house, generally when there is snow and ice on the electric lines, like last weekend.

I have good enough radios that I can filter much of it out, but it’s still bothersome and keeps you from really hearing well, which is a real disadvantage in a contest. Despite that, I made 388 contacts on 20, 40, 80, and 160 meters, and had a good time.

The SSB version of the contest was this weekend, but the line noise is still here, despite the weather warming and ice melting off the lines. I didn’t want to battle the noise, so took a pass on the contest.

I hope the noise goes away. Otherwise I have to start fighting with Commonwealth Edison again. I’ve had them even come out here a couple times, but of course, when they come, there is no noise..Oh well, stay tuned.

Summer activity

While summer is not the traditional best time for ham radio — noisy bands and too much outside activity — there are a few contests in the summer and that’s been most of my activity as late. Last night I ran the North American QSO party, with a respectable 340 contacts in about six hours of operating. The bands were noisy, but workable, so I had a good time.

A couple weeks ago I operate he IARU contest for a few hours working a nice range of DX, with even a few contacts on 15 meters. Maybe the bands will come back. I had a nice surprise in the mail right after that contest — I got a certificate in the mail that I had placed first place in CW only High Power in Illinois in the 2008 contest. That is kind of a fluke, as the big guns in Illinois all entered as low power and had many more contacts than I, but I’ll still take the first-place finish. It show why to send in a log, even if you think you have no chance of ever winning.

That’s been about the size of my activity. We have a road trip coming up next weekend, so look for me /m on Friday and Monday on 20 CW.