Monitoring 147.270/R and 145.670/S(FM/DV) and 442.750/DV in Toledo, Ohio

November 2011 Sweepstakes

Eeeek....I did it again.  I participated in another contest.

I didn't think I'd do it, but I actually found it very addictive.  I DON'T HAVE A CONTEST SETUP.  But I reached my personal goal of 100 contacts for my first real contest....It happened like this....

The contest is a CW and Phone contest, and the CW contest is earlier in November - I don't do CW, but the phone/voice contest is in the third full weekend in November (November 19-21, 2011). The contest period begins at 2100 UTC Saturday and runs through 0259 UTC Monday.  You are only allowed to operate for 24 full hours out of the total.

When the contest started I very quickly and easily found somebody call "CQ Sweeps" and I keep trying to hunt him down.  HF is just so weird can hear a station plain as day, but the other end may/may not hear you, or the other end may be working a pile-up of stations that are overpowering your station.  Which was probably a lot of the case since I was again running 100 watts and a long wire about 5 feet off the ground strung up between two baby trees.

About 1 hour goes by and I have a whopping 4 contacts.  I give up - I must be getting blown away by all the higher powered "B", "M", "U" powered and better antenna setup stations. I go on a beer run, then check the coax out to the antenna, watch the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Game and settle down a bit.  I'm going to try it again...another couple of hours and I'm still only at 9 contacts and still having troubles busting through - I'm hearing other stations on 160 meters, 80 meters, 40 meters, 20 meters, etc....and they are already in the 100+ QSO number...I quit, end up watching a movie and going to bed discouraged.

Another day and I'm going to give it a shot again.  Let's see if 15 meters is open.  For some reason I like 15 and 20 meter frequencies.  They are pretty good for early and late day for me no matter what.

Now things are starting to happen.  I know I'm not going to "win", but I'm having fun doing it.  I take a few breaks here and there, each lunch, was away from the radio Saturday night to go to Toledo Walleye ECHL Hockey game, but then get back on the radio.

It took until early Sunday evening to get my 100 contacts - and I could have easily kept going.  But I decided to stop, and just settle with my 100 - I only spent 12 hours "in the chair".  It was fun and I got a lot of states (Alaska - which is pretty tough to get - so I was happy).  I also did hear Hawaii - but just couldn't get I'm going to get all these submitted and also send it up to the ARRL Logbook of the World.  I'd like to eventually get my Worked All States (WAS) Award.  Then might try for Worked All Countries (WAC).  Hah! Hah!  But hey you never know.

As you can tell, I did pretty good - I've just got to figure out how to get more of the "local" and surrounding states.  Getting the antenna up in the air is really the only way to do that.  So that's my goal for next year.  My other goal is to stop "camping" on a station.  It's probably better just to work as many stations as you can and forget about the pile-ups and stations that don't hear you after 3-4 calls.  Just move on and keep going, eventually, you'll get them.


Zack - N8ZAK

Quick Links