The weekend of radio

Russian CW contest was Rockin the band
Another weekend passes and another QSO party in the bag! This past weekend it was the Virginia QSO Party. In this QSO party, you had to pay a bit closer attention to the contact information as it was not the standard 599 and county that was sent. In this contest, you had to listen for a QSO number and the county. In other QSO parties where the exchange is 599 or 5NN (cut numbers) and their county if you miss the county just listen to his next contact and you are golden. When QSO numbers are involved if you miss it or part of it and ask for "NR?" and they are lost in the mud.........well then it's a matter of counting his next contacts and listen to the number you can hear and then subtract from that number to figure out what your number is. Believe me, I have been there done that and it can be a challenge!
So how was the Virginia QSO Party you ask.........well on 20m things were really hopping but not with the QSO Party but the Russin CW contest. The band was packed with DX and very tempting to just jump in BUT I wanted to keep up with my goal of working all the QSO parties this year, I jumped up to 40m and worked a few Virginia station ground wave from my location. I was able to get 4 in the logbook only on 40m as I did have some "to do" items that needed to be done around the house. I checked in again on Sunday and went back to 40m but the strange thing was on Sunday I could only hear the stations making contact with stations in Virginia?? Oh well, propagation can be a funny thing at times.
Other related radio adventures were I was able to work fellow blogger John AE5X from Texas. John was working POTA and activating location KFF-3054. I was not able to hear John at all on CW but it was great he grabbed his laptop for the trip as we made contact on FT8. On Sunday I checked out the POTA cluster to see what was up and I was able to contact KB3WAV and at the time I did not realize it until I went to the POTA website and found that Kerri is a top leader for POTA activations.
His stats are:
Activations       1266
Unique parks      446
Total contacts   4730 Now this is an old number I would believe after this past weekend activation.

I also noticed on Sunday 20m was dead again as the Russian Contest had ended but it goes to show propagation is alive and well.
If you are like me and trying to work all the QSO parties this year by taking part in ARRL's State QSO party challenge make sure your seatbelt on during the weekend of April 3-5. The QSO Parties for the weekend are Nebraska, Missouri, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana! 
Finally, on a lighter note, today is a milestone for me.........I'm 60 today! My car dealership sent me an email birthday wish bright and early this morning way before anyone would have been at work. Darn computers programs just don't sleep...:))
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “The weekend of radio”

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Hi Mike,

    I am behind on my reading and other things. I just noticed I had not read this latest one of yours adventures.. That was when I spotted you had a birthday. Well I might be late but I wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday anyway.. Better late then never I guess. Hope it was a good one.

    Sounds like you are having fun. Ham radio these days seem to be the only real safe way of meeting others. Sure glad we have it in our lives. I jumped into the CQ contest last week just to give points, switch between two wire antennas and my beam to see who made the better nice and get into the Kenwood TS-990S more. I know from the past that the FTdx5000 was on hell of a great contest radio. Seems the TS-990S is even better. With the filter feature that this radio has I was pulling station out I have would have been able to before. Also learned a few thing I did not know before and a couple of items I plan on learning to make me sound even better. I would say this by far is the best trade I have ever made.

    As far as the IC-9700 I have not had time to learn how to make satellite contacts. I have heard a few. I also got FT8 running.. Ran the radio for 3 days and nights straight to see if I could decode anyone.. Nope not one decode and I am running Dimension 4 so I do know the clock is accurate. I will have to wait until summer or the next meter shower to see if I can get some scatter contacts. Living 3 to 4 hours in all directions from any big city and with tons of mountains blocking them is making FT8 on vhf/uhf something that might not happen..

    My next project is making a Pi-Star hot spot as seen in QST a couple of months ago. I just ordered a Raspberry Pi Zero and I have the MMDVM top board already. In about 3 weeks I will be attacking that one.

    Hope you and your wife are safe from this nasty Kung Flu virus. I am in a area we have not had a case as of yet.. However the Navajo Res, which is above us in this State now has 9 cases. So far so good here. Hoping this will blow over soon..

    73 to you and yours.. Take care my friend.

    Happy contesting and dxing


  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good afternoon Harry and always great to hear from you, as for my birthday it was just how I like it nice and quite! Up this way everything is closed down except for grocery stores and pharmacies. We have social distancing in full force with fines if you are seen not doing it. Anyway……you sound like you are going to keep yourself very busy for the next while. As for me I am hoping on and off the radio and once the weather gets better up here (snowing outside at the moment) I can get busy with doing some outdoor activities. I want to spin the EndFed antenna around so the UNUN is at the low ground end and add the counterpoise I purchased and place the other end up in the tree. I want to see how this will improve things…..maybe not but it’s all about trying things.
    Great to hear from you and stay safe as well from this virus.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: