|A great way to close out 2022 |
I can't say this year just flew by it was more like a consistent movement in the right direction. Once again for another year, we managed to avoid getting COVID. We are all up to date with our COVID booster shots, flu shot and our first dose of 2 of the Shingles shots. Very thankful for no major health issues in our family.
I became a grandpa for the first time to a beautiful healthy girl. I am heading into my 4th year of retirement and I can finally say the retirement gig is kicking in for me. Last year at this time I thought I had made the shift but looking back the shift was still in progress. Over the year I was able to responsibly manage home chores, renovations, exercise and ham radio. I have come to the realization I am not as young as I used to be and that slow and easy wins the race.
Let's move on to ham radio....my major hope at the start of 2022 was to move in a CW direction. I had worked very hard learning the code as it was a requirement when I went for my licence. I very much enjoy contesting and toward the end of 2021 I started to run in CW contests. I am pleased to say that I ran in the majority of the CW contests in 2022.
The best way to learn is to do I always say so I did a nose dive into CW! Being confident in your CW speed is important when you want to run in major CW contests, I started small and fast! The CWops group has in my time zone 2 mini 1-hour contests a week held on Wednesdays. The minimum CW speed is 25wpm and up and I mean in some cases way up! For increasing your speed and more importantly your accuracy live CW work is the best. I do use computer programs like G4FON contest trainer but there is nothing like live training.
My first CWops mini-test earned me 14 contacts and a score of 196. I was thrilled I copied that many calls and exchanges. In 2022 I took part in 61 mini CWops 1-hour contests and my best score was 54 contacts and a score of 2754. I am now consistently in the mid-50s to high-40s in contacts. In this contest I am still doing search and pounce and who knows what 2023 will bring maybe running in the CWop mini-tests?
A new 1-hour contest was launched on May 2 2022 called the MST or medium speed CW contest. The maximum speed is 25 wpm. This contest is run by ICWC and is held in my time zone on Mondays. This is a great contest for me to run in as it gets me real-time practice. I can run at a low relaxed speed (under 25 wpm) and I have taken part in 17 of these mini 1-hour contests.
Finally, on Fridays and Sunday evenings the K1USN CW club runs a SST or slow speed test. The max speed here is set to 18 wpm and it is a 1-hour contest. This is a great contest for me as I can slow down and give back to upcoming CW contesters.
In short, some of the 2022 VE9KK's ham highlights are:
- At the end of June, I finally migrated my blog from ve3wdmblogspot to ve9kkblogspot.
- In the spring I purchased and installed a Hustler 4BTV vertical antenna.
-I was asked to join the CWops group which requires 25wpm, being nominated by a member and sponsored by 3 other members. I was asked earlier in the year but I declined as at the time my contest speed met their speed but not my QSO speed and I wanted to make sure I had both before accepting a nomination. I did just that later in the year and received club member number 3265.
- I entered 18 large CW contests and ran in all of them. My contest score improved over 2022 from 227 contacts and a score of 44,721 to my final large CW contest of 1,134 contacts and a score of 454,030.
- It would seem I have all my RFI issues under control in the shack (famous last words).
- One of my highlights is at the top of the post my CW count for 2022. My plan was to only operate CW for the year and that was done. I also had the most ever CW contacts in a year.
So what are the plans for 2023 you ask well that is going to be another post as I have gone on way too long in this one?