The Radio amateurs of Canada (RAC) winter contest has come and gone for 2022. This contest is both CW, AM, FM and SSB. As for me, it was the same old same old just CW. The propagation gods were smiling on this contest and conditions were great. I operated 7 hours on Saturday they were 1-hour sessions with about a 10 min break at each end of hour. I find this works best for me and I set in a lunch and or dinner time as well.
The radio, software and antenna worked great no complaints at all. The system I find works best for me is to start out searching and pouncing contacts. This gets in the log those who are only running in the contest and also it gets my ears warmed up to the code speed. I then move on to running which in this contest I did about 90% of the time. The participation was great and while running my best 1-hour count was 91 QSOs which kept me very busy and the hour flew by.
There were nice openings on all the bands my Hustler 4BTV provided for me 10,15,20 and 40m. The settings I find that work best for me on the Icom 7610 are;
Filter set to 400Hz so I can hear those that call a bit off frequency I find that 250 or less a bit too narrow. Now having said that during the "biggy" contests 250Hz is required due to the close proximity of signals.
I keep my APF (audio Peak Filter) on and set it to wide.
I keep the NR (noise reduction) on and set it to a low range.
I use the CW full break in and it does take some getting used to. As you transmit dits and dahs your rig goes back and forth from receive to transmit. This allows me to hear if anyone is trying to contact me while transmitting. You would be shocked at how many times I hear someone. Also when searching and pouncing as you call a station it allows you to hear if another station is also trying to make contact. In that case, I just stop transmitting as it would be just a mixed mess being sent to the station. Also, it allows you to hear if the running station is contacting someone and then you just stop transmitting as you don't want to QRM.
Below are the end results of 7 hours on the air I am very pleased with the numbers and I am getting more confident in my contest running abilities.