On Saturday, I didn’t make a single contact–at least not any radio contacts. I had plenty of face-to-face contacts at the ARROW monthly breakfast, including a nice chat about getting back on the air and working CW with a guy whose call I forget now (sorry about that!). He was telling me about a psychiatrist named Fred S. Keller who actually Certificate of Merit by President Truman for his work during WWII which led to improved methods for teaching the code. He’s a guy I never heard of before, and it would be interesting to know more about his findings.
Other activities–including a visit to the Michigan State Univ. Kresge Art Museum and installing Linux on a ‘new’ old computer–occupied my time for the rest of the day. Somehow, I simply couldn’t fit in a QSO.
Today was a different story, however. I finished up the Linux installation around 11:30 am, and ate lunch. I puttered around the office until about 1:00, when I decided to head down to the shack. After turning on the rig, I discovered that it the NC QSO Party was in full swing. I didn’t have much choice but to jump right in, especially considering that I was the highest scorer from the state of Michigan last year. I joke about this because while I was indeed the highest scorer from the state of Michigan, I accomplished this feet with seven contacts, scoring a grand total of 155 points.
This year, I was determined to do better. After downloading and installing N3FJP’s NCQP logging software, I got down to business. In the next two and half hours, I racked up about 2,500 points, working 27 different counties. About 60% of the Qs were on CW and the remaining 40% on phone. At that point, I stopped to make and eat dinner.
The bug had hold of me, though, and I couldn’t resist heading downstairs again after dinner. I spent another hour and a half or so, working another 13 counties (making it 40 out of 100), and pushing my point total to over 6,000. Not too shabby, I don’t think.
I also fit in a little DX while working the contest. I took a short break around 6:30 pm, switching to 30m to see what was happening there. I caught 8P9NX calling CQ and had a short QSO with him. Also, at one point, I was calling CQ NCQP de KB6NU/MI. I got calls from both F6EVN and CU2TJ, who were also trying to make NC contacts and misunderstood my call.
Finally, I checked into the Univ of Michigan ARC net at 8 pm. It’s spring break week at the U and some of the guys have said they’re going to use the time to improve their code speed, and they’re going to take me up on my offer to work with them. I have a sked tomorrow after the ARROW net to work KG6URI on 2m CW. It will be interesting to see how well my dual-band ground plane works on the lower portion of the band.