WB8YVI 34,428 points, 302 contacts, 57 sections, 11 hours, low power
This year, I did:
CW: 7,052 points, 86 contacts, 41 sections, about 5 hours, low power
Phone: 18,594 points, 166 contacts, 56 sections, about 12 hours, low power
So my goal for the 2009 Sweepstakes is to make 35,000 points each weekend.
So, what's it going to take to do this? There are some simple things:
- More time: if I was able to put in a few more hours in each contest, that would help a lot.
- Better use of time: I tried to operate the first two hours of the Phone contest, and for a weak station like mine, I think that time would have been better used on Sunday afternoon, when all the loud guys have worked each other. Given that I'm not going to have anywhere near 24 hours to spend, allocating the time better would help.
- More skill: For example, I can be a lot faster at Search and Pounce, if I practice. I often listened to a full exchange or two before calling a station, even if I knew he wasn't a dupe. I'm sure I'll pick up lots of pointers on the NCCC reflector.
- Computer logging and station automation: My CW weekend was all hand-logged. For Phone, I got N1MM, but was still learning my way around.
- Call CQ: I never did! Ok, well I did a couple of times, but got discouraged. I've now got my K1EL Winkeyer working with N1MM, and I plan to get things hooked up so I can use N1MM's digital voice keyer. That should make calling CQ less tiresome.
- Better antennas: Currently, I have:
- A G5RVjr on a mast attached to the chimney at the rear of the house (top of the drawing). The vertex is at about 22 feet. The antenna runs E-W, so on the upper bands, the major lobes are pointed north and south, and therefore this antenna doesn't put much of a signal where I want it for domestic contests.
- A stealth 40M 1/4 wave vertical in a tree, with the feed point at 5 ft. There are currently 6 radials in the yard. This antenna worked surprisingly well in the SS on 4OM and 15M. Also, for some reason, this antenna picks up a lot less local noise, which suggests that the noise source is closer to the G5RV.
- I think I need:
- Something that will radiate on 80 meters - probably a low NVIS antenna - that will let me work close-in stations (I put up a temporary NVIS antenna for Phone SS this year and it turned out to be my most productive band)
- Something that radiates well to the east on 20, 15, and 10
- I have a tiny, tiny lot, so this is going to be a challenge!
- Fix my local noise problem: I've got at least three different types of local noise that are causing me grief. I need to track those down and kill the source, and/or look into some sort of noise suppression.
- Practice, practice, practice: I'll try to find opportunities to get on the air as I can, and practice with Morse Runner.
- The blog posts are in reverse chronological order.
- Each blog post can have labels that identify the topic of the post. The navigation bar on the right side of this page has links to posts having a certain label. I've been tagging posts with the labels "antennas", "noise", and "skills" to categorize the various things I've been thinking about.