NAQP SSB – Jan 2010

QRV 9.5 hours out of the 10 hours permitted for single-op class, all search & pounce. Started about 45 minutes late and took 3 breaks. By contest’s end at midnight I was pretty exhausted, not sure how people do single-op in the 48-hour tests.
Worked 20m for about 40 min, then switched to 15m for about 30 min to see if the band was open (not so much, only 4 Qs). Spent the next 3h 45m bouncing between 20m and 40m, then took a 30 min break. Came back on 40 for an hour, took another 45 min break, worked 40m for another 15 min. Took a final 30 min break to run to the QuikiMart for contest supplies (cigarettes, donuts, bottled water for coffee, important stuff like that…), then spent the remaining 3h 15m of the test on 80m.
That last stint on 80 was the most enjoyable contest experience I’ve had since… well, since the last time I worked 80m with a sense of purpose. That would have been back in New Jersey in the late 90’s when I had a dipole and 600 watts; now I run 100 watts to an 12′ mobile screwdriver antenna that doesn’t tune better than 3.0:1. Little pistol station? Hell, it isn’t even a .22 target gun! Yet I had a blast. The guys I worked were great and very patient as I repeated my call and exchange countless times. And some QSOs were so easy I almost forgot I was on 80m.
I hit the triple crown five times, working K7RL (WA), N6ML (CA), NC4KW (NC) and NK7U (OR) on 20/40/80, and K4SSU (GA) on 15/20/40.
I’m still not ready to make the big leap to flat-out contesting (trying to work every station I can hear, rack up as many points as I can, sit at the mic/key/computer for the duration, etc.). I’m still in it mostly for the QSLs and ulterior award-chasing motives so I still skip a lot of possible QSOs if the station is in a state already confirmed. But I gotta tell you, each time I play in one of these tests I get sucked in a little… bit…. more…
The numbers in the “worked” column for WAS-Phone went from 19 to 43 in a hurry, and just 12 hours after the contest LOTW has more than doubled the Phone confirmed column (currently at 34 and counting). Doing the search/pounce thing limited me to working only those stations who were running so I missed many needed states that I heard who were strong but also in S&P mode. On 80m, my WAS-Phone count went from 0 to 25 in less than 4 hours.
  • QSOs: 154
  • US States: 37
  • VE Provinces: 3
  • Total Mults: 84
  • Score: 12,936 pts.
Band-by Band Breakdown:
  • 15m: 4 QSOs, 3 states
  • 20m: 46 QSOs, 23 states, 3 provinces
  • 40m: 64 QSOs, 30 states
  • 80m: 40 QSOs, 25 states

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