Saturday, November 21, 2009

Got Contest?

Today starts the ARRL's Annual November Sweepstakes SSB contest. The objective is to work as many ARRL and RAC sections as possible. Work all 80 sections and you've made a clean sweep. The contest starts at 4:00pm EST and ends tomorrow at 10:00pm EST (2100z Saturday Nov. 21 - 0300z Monday Nov. 23).

I will be working in the contest from my little gun station, in the SOLP category so be on the lookout for my signal and make a Q with me on the different bands. Propogation seems to be on the upswing as of late so the contest should be interesting and fun.

I've been contesting for a very short time compared to many in Amateur radio, and daily I'm discovering new things on the internet about contesting. For example I've just recently joined up with the Tennessee Contest Group and found a plethora of information about contesting on their site and their Google Group Page. In so doing, this has led me to where I have found a couple of lists of interest to keep up with and some very helpful blogs when it comes to contesting. I've even found some rather hilarious blogs on contesting. Just yesterday I came across the Fi-Ni report. I must have busted a gut more times than I can count reading the exploits of Cousin QRM and the members of the Lost Island DX Society. A must read for those with a sense of humor and especially to those who take things a little to seriously sometimes.

Anyway, my journey has just begun in the realm of contesting and I find it to be one of the funnest things to do in Ham Radio, that and chasing DX. So I'm sure I have lots more to learn and experience. While I may never be a Big Gun, I will always put my little pistol on the air and in so doing I have tasted the sweet taste of victory. Everytime I beat a previous score which I officially done during the Tennessee QSO Party (the results for 2009 are now posted on the site), and plan to do this weekend during the November Sweepstakes. Also, I've managed somehow to win a contest this year, which was pretty darn cool if I may say so. The PODXS070 80 meter Jay Hudak Memorial Sprint was held back on September 11 this year and I put my little pistol station on the air, and after 6 hours of operation I put in a worthy effort. To my surprise I ended up Top Dog by a mere 3 points.

If you've never contested before, what are you waiting for? It's a lot of fun, there are many contacts to make, whether you like to search and pounce or run, there's something for everyone. Get on the air this weekend during the Sweepstakes and give it a shot. I'll listen for you there.

73 es Good Luck de AJ4JD,

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