My 2013 Radio Summary
John Smithson, Jr., N8ZYA, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from West Virginia, USA. Contact him at [email protected].
How has the radio year 2013 been to you? Have you made additions to your shack? Did Santa bring you unexpected toys this year?
The year 2013 has been good to me with the beginning of the new WV Chapter (October) and a lot more activity with my QRP station. I’m totaling up my contacts for the year and am amazed at some of the statistics.
Firstly, I added a new Vibroplex Standard Iambic Paddle to the shack this year which increased my speed a bit. I also have a magnetic action Vibroplex Iambic Paddle which I like very much. I’ve found them both to be excellent keys, and maybe I’m just getting old and my eyes are seeing things from a different perspective, but I’m proud to say they’re made in the USA. I can now comfortably work many more of those long distance DX stations.
I also added a 50 ft indoor random wire antenna which I can tune on all bands. And speaking of DX stations, I worked a DX station for 146 continuous days before missing a day due to bad propagation conditions. The DX contacts picked up again soon afterwards, and as I look at the current log book, I see 426 DX contacts for this year.
Considering that I worked a total of 723 stations in 2013, the percentage turns out to be almost 60% in the DX category. Working DX has become an obsession for me although I still enjoy a good chat with my fellow NAQCC members on any band.
I made some great contacts this year. I’ve worked both Alaska and Hawaii, two stations in Japan,Nigeria; and my longest distant station yet with a contact in Oman. (7,429 miles)
Although the month of December has been both too cold, and too busy, to spend much time operating outside on the radio; I’ve enjoyed meeting new members, as well as seeing old friends, and operating outdoors when the weather is co-operative.
I doubt January and February will be an active “field” time for the West Virginia Chapter of the NAQCC Club but we still continue to meet on the second Wednesday every month for breakfast and will continue our weekly nets on Tuesday nights on 40 or 80 meters.
Fill me in on your radio activity for the year 2013….
I find it absolutely amazing, to accomplish so much, with so little, in the QRP realm. I can work distant stations regularly with only a few watts and a simple wire antenna.
I know you can do the same thing with your QRP station. Morse code only requires a few watts to work the entire world.
How has the year 2013 been to you?
I had a very good year in Ham radio. I got my OCF dipole up another 10 feet to fifty feet (almost flattop). I worked a lot of digital stations this year, but I did have a good share of CW and sideband. I bought a new tube for the rarely used Heathkit SB-1000. I use the amp mostly for SSTV and RTTY, and work sideband barefoot mostly. On digital it’s the rare occasion when I exceed 30 watts. I had some success transitioning from the straight key to my new paddle, and I’m still practicing. In all I had 2524 contacts, mostly the US, Europe, and a lot of transequatorial. I seem to have a pipeline to South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. My biggest regret is that I don’t have an antenna for the low band, buy my resolution for the new year is to get up a 1/2 wave dipole for 160 meters. I have the room for it, but I’ve just let it slide. It’s nice to be retired! I turned 70 today; a milestone in anybody’s book.
Thanks for letting me comment.