North American CW QSO party contest

Oliver keeping a close eye
I was able to take part in the North American CW QSO party contest on Saturday, it was only a part time effect with only putting in 5 hours. With the solar conditions in the downward turn I like the local contests as the DX is just south of the boarder. I was operating single operator, QRP power at 5 watts and with no spotting assistance. The two bands I operated on were 15m and 20m, the reason for this was... my MFJ 1788 loop does not go up to 10m and on 40m it's like a wet noodle. Starting on 15m was a very slow go it took me 25 minutes for the first contact! From 1800 UTC to around 1930 CW op's south of the boarder we just above the noise floor at times and when they popped up to S7 it was only for a very short time before fading. Switching over to 20m around 2000 UTC proved to be more fruitful. The conditions on 20m were much better and I was able to work my 5 watts into Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Bermuda as well as all through the U.S.
Part time summery
The P3 in action
Contacts          31
Sections            8
Multi                 4
Total points    372
My setup for the contest was as mentioned the MFJ 1788 loop antenna, The Elecraft K3 the rig has the 8 pole inrad filters 500,400 and 250 which I installed. These filters work great in contest conditions when signal are very close to each other. The Elecraft P3 Pan-adapter   , my new Elecraft K-pod which allowed me to have VFO control right beside my keyboard and as well programed macros.  My key is the Begali contour a very smooth key and  makes CW even more of a pleasure to send. The Win4K3 rig control software, N1MM+ contest software and finally MRP4064 CW decoding program for when the CW is at 40+.
software was
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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