Saturday, December 13, 2008

PSK 31/63 To The Death ... Match

Well I had every intention of working the ARRL 10 meter contest this evening. Unfortunately, upon arriving at dad's (KU4ME) house, I quickly learned that 10 meters was pretty much deader than a door nail. I heard a couple of stations in there but no sooner than I would hear them, they'd fade right back out again. So after a few calls, I gave it up.

It was at this point that my lovely XYL Robin (AJ4IJ) suggested checking the digital modes. So I fired up Ham Radio Deluxe and launched DM 780. We tuned to 3.580 and found a nice strong waterfall coming in. Within seconds we picked up that there was a PSK Contest going on. CQ PSK31/63 DeathMatch ran across the screen. Of course Google is our friend and we rapidly found out that the Annual Michigan DX Association's PSK 31/63 Death Match contest was on tap for this weekend.

Happy that Robin found me a contest, I quickly set up some macros and dad walked me through tuning up the radio, setting my power on the USB Signal Link, and testing our power output. Within mere minutes I was calling CQ PSK31/63 DeathMatch de AJ4JD. I worked 80 meters for quite a while using PSK 31. After almost 20 contacts, I jumped over to 40 and worked a handful there. After a few of no one coming back to me, I decided to check 20 but it was completely dead so back to 80 I went.

On 80 for the second time of the evening, I switched modes to PSK 63 and continued calling CQ. I picked up a few more contacts and a couple of those were previous contact from earlier on PSK 31. It was around 2:30 a.m. when I wasn't getting any more takers and I decided that I was done for the night. I had been run through and gave in.

It was definitely a fun evening, and I look forward to working more of the contest throughout the weekend. That's right, the Death Match runs all weekend so I have more of a chance to push up the totals. If I remember correctly, I've made around 35 contacts in 17 different states and one Canadian province.

Well it's late now and I must go recuperate from the evening's battle. So with that I will say 73 to all, good DX, and happy contesting.

AJ4JD - Tim

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