The weekend of Oct 3-4 was my first-ever California QSO Party, and man, what a blast. I set a couple of personal bests:
- My first 300+ QSO contest (in 9 hours, for an average rate of almost 35/hr)
- A new one-hour rate record - 65 contacts
It really helped that it was allowable to work a station once per band/mode combination, so it might be optimistic to assume that I'll be able to equal these in the November Sweepstakes, but hope springs eternal...
I was able to get a few nice runs going, and even managed a run of 7 contacts on 80 meter phone, which I would have never thought possible with 100 watts to a dipole at 60 feet.
- It was really instructive to listen to the real pros like K6XX and N6TV. I'd love to be a fly on the wall of their shack while they're operating.
- I couldn't believe it when I was running on 20 CW and was called by DL5YM.
- My best hour wasn't solely running - there was a lot of S&P as well, so I'm apparently getting better at S&Ping quickly.
- I was only called by 2 dupes the whole contest. I was pretty impressed with the quality of the operators.