Slow sweepstakes

Last weekend was the CW Sweepstakes, probably the biggest and most challenging of North American contests. I had planned on making a major effort to work a clean sweep — all 80 sections — but discovered I had an old friend and his wife visiting over the weekend. It was hard to tell them “No, don’t come, I have a ham radio contest.”

So instead I did a very modest effort — in about 2.5 hours of operating I made roughly 140 contacts. I had a good run going on 40 meters Sunday morning, and did some search and pounce just to listen around the bands. Actually, it was a little liberating not to have to try to beat last year’s score and make that clean sweep. Maybe next year.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other contests coming up this winter. Maybe I’ll make a big effort on the 160 meter contest next month. Phone Sweepstakes is two weeks away, and I’ll dabble in that a little, but I just don’t see the challenge of working a phone contest. Maybe if I had a better microphone and a foot switch I could run the frequency….