This Weekend on the Air at KB6NU/WA2HOM

This weekend, I got sucked into two contests. The first—the MI QSO Party—I operated on Saturday down at the Hands-On Museum.

I got to the museum around 10 am, and the contest didn’t start until noon, so I fiddled around a bit, trying to figure out how the bands were. I made three contacts on 40m and a couple of contacts on 20m, so it looked like band conditions were going to cooperate.

When noon hit, I was off and running. Switching back and forth between 40m and 20m, I made a total of 90 contacts in the next two hours, including three DX contacts. Not stellar, but not bad, either.

Having my WinKeyer certainly helped. As I’ve mentioned, the Omni VII doesn’t have a built-in memory keyer, meaning that in previous contests, I had to bang out the CQs myself. The WinKeyer improved the process immensely.

When Pigs Fly…
Sunday evening, I participated in the Flying Pigs QRP Club’s monthly “Run for the Bacon.” This is a two-hour “sprint” that takes place on the third Sunday of every month. Since my KX-1 was already set up (my IC-746PRO is still in the shop), it was easy enough to get into this contest.

Band conditions on 40m were great! I was able to camp on a frequency and even run stations for a while. I worked as far west as Nebraska and South Dakota and all up and down the East Coast. In just more than one hour, I made 18 contacts, scoring 616 points.

Scoring is on the honor system and is done online. You enter your data into a Web page on the Flying Pigs website. Contacting members of the FP-QRP Club counts for three points, while contacting non-members counts for one point. After you’ve entered your data, the website automatically calculates your score and ranks you. As of 2 pm this afternoon, I’m still in the top ten, even though I only operated the first hour, and because my KX-1 doesn’t have 80m capability, only 40m.

I really like operating in these smaller contests. They’re way less chaotic and intense than the big contests, and can be just as much fun.

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