Commonwealth contest – and my QRPP contest QSO…

As readers of this blog will know, I've been letting HF and particularly HF contesting take a bit of a back seat recently. No particular reason, but it's just one of those ebbs and flows in my interests in the hobby - it's happened before and I'm sure it will happen again.Last weekend was the RSGB's Commonwealth Contest, often known as BERU. This contest is quite an individual one and one that you either love or hate. Anyway, that's by-the-by, I love it and many of my Canadian friends, especially John, VE3EJ take part in it, so I always like to support their activity.I found a few minutes on Saturday evening to make some QSOs, mostly on 7MHz, where I worked John VE3EJ as well as a handful of others including 8P9AA, VY2SS, VE3JM, VO1TA and ZC4LI. I half intended to look at sunrise the next morning, but didn't get around to it.And then my QRPP contact. QRPP is very low power - generally considered to be less than one watt. On Tuesday evening, I'd heard someone mention that it was one of the 80m CW Cumulative Contests. I tuned around quickly to see who was on and the very loudest signal was John, G3VPW who is about 3 miles from here in a village to the south of us. John was about 40db over 9! I turned the rig down to as little power as I could manage, around 100mw. Although it took me a few calls, I worked John - probably my lowest ever powered contact on HF!
Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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