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QRP Streak
Updated for 20 years on August 4, 2014

Once upon a time (well, isn't that how all good stories start?) there was a ham operator who had been licensed for many years, but had become inactive for several years due to other committments in life such as earning a living. In 1993 though after retiring and supposedly having more free time, he became active again mostly because of a neighbor's interest in finding out about the hobby.

OK, let's switch from third to first person now for the rest of the story. The neighbor was Eric, who is now KB3BFQ, and of course the ham radio operator is me.

When he expressed an interest in ham radio after seeing my collection of QSL cards and various awards I had garnered in my previous active days, we thought it would be nice to get my station together again and get back on the air so he could see firsthand what the hobby was all about.

I dug out my old gear from its resting place in the attic and the corner of my unused shack. It took a little bit of doing, but with Eric's help, we did get it up and running again. At that time, it consisted of my homebrew transmitter originally built back in 1963 when I got my Novice license and subsequently modified several times over along with an ICOM R-71A receiver. Originally it was a 75 watts (input) rig which probably put out about 50 watts or so. When I got back on the air a second time in the early 1980s after a first layoff of about 8 years or so, it was modified to about 30 watts or so input and maybe 20 or so out. This third time it was resurrected as a QRP 5 watts or less output rig. That was the beginning of my operation as a QRP operator according to the current definition of 5 watts output or less for CW. Actually when I was licensed in 1963 and for some years beyond that, the definition was 100 watts input or less. I don't know exactly when the change in definition took place.

Anyway moving on now. With Eric in the shack with me, my first QSO of my third major period of activity took place on February 15, 1993 when I worked K3DQ in MD. That really got Eric hooked. We continued to make QSOs including contest QSOs which Eric enjoyed very much. He would help out with some multiplier checking, a bit of spotting when he got better with Morse Code, and one other thing I remember was using a map in the state QSO parties to track the mobiles to try to figure out what their next county would be.

Let's move on now to the streak itself after that prelude. The streak started around a year and a half later. It was suggested by Eric when we were in my shack talking about sports records. Many sports records are for doing something consecutively such as getting one hit or more in consecutive baseball games. That record belongs to the great "Yankee Clipper", Joe DiMaggio, who did so in 56 consecutive games. We wondered what kind of comparable record could be attemped in ham radio, and Eric came up with the idea of making a QSO on consecutive days. It would have to be done using my minimal station setup consisting of QRP, CW, and simple wire antennas.

Looking back in my logs at the time of the idea, I found the first day going backward without a QSO was August 4, 1994 so the first QSO in the streak turned out to be with Chuck KG9N/C6A on August 5, 1994. Many years later, KG9N read about the streak on my web site, and very kindly offered to send a belated QSL card to commemorate the beginning of the streak.
pix_qsl_kg9n_c6a (22K)

The rules for the streak were simple. Just make at least one QSO a day using QRP, CW, and simple wire antennas. I decided to use UTC days rather than local time days since UTC is the generally accepted system of dates and times used in ham radio. That meant my search for a QSO began each evening at 7 PM EST or 8 PM EDT which was a generally active time on the bands enabling me to make my QSO near the beginning of a day. I have gotten my streak QSO in the 0000-0200Z period on the vast majority of days.

Before long the streak took on extra meaning. It showed, and continues to show, that such a minimal setup as mine really does work, despite the skepticism of some hams who believe you must use as much power and as big an antenna as possible to work anyone, especially DX stations. It has encouraged many hams who live in situations where they can't use high power or big antennas to get on the air anyway with their own minimal setups and enjoy this wonderful hobby. Of course, what makes the success possible is the extreme efficiency of Morse code. With other modes you may indeed need the skeptics' QRO and big antennas to succeed, but definitely not with CW. That is the most personally satisfying aspect of the streak for me. I'm delighted it has brought happiness to so many people.

A major change in the streak as well as in my ham radio career came on September 1, 1999. On that day I purchased a Kenwood TS-570D transceiver - the first time I had ever used a commercial transmitter, as well as being the first transceiver. As soon as I unpacked it, I did two things. I put the microphone away in a drawer where it remains lost to this day. When I turned it on, I set the power to 5 watts output where it and all my rigs have remained to this day except for 3 experimental or accidental QSO's that I don't count in my streak totals. I used the 570 at QRO just to see how easy it was to work DX on 80M with high power. It was so easy, there was no satisfaction to it. I learned from those 2 QSO's what I had always known. QRP is the way to go in ham radio to derive maximum satisfaction from the hobby.

Early in the 2000s, a mailman delivered some QSL cards to me. It turned out that he was also a ham radio operator, and we bacame fast friends. Along the way I gained a convert to CW and QRP. Previously most of his activity had been on that phone(y) mode of SSB with higher power. Now with a few exceptions for emergency work, he is a very dedicated QRP/CW/simple wire antenna operator also. I'm talking about Mike KC2EGL who is often mentioned in my diary and who in fact, has written a few diary entries for me.

In April 2008, Mike loaned me his TS-480SAT rig after he bought an Elecraft K2 as his main rig. The 480 became my main rig until October 10, 2011, but I'm getting ahead of myself. More about that later. The 570 was relegated to backup or standby status for a while, and now with a K2 as backup it resides in another room should it need to be called upon again. The 480 gave me another band to play with - 6 meters. It was on that band that my 3rd QRO QSO happened. As with the 570, the power was set to 5 watts on all bands immediately. However, Mike and I missed setting the power on one of the three 6 meter positions. So my very first QSO on 6 meters with a VE2 station was done unaware at the time by me at 100 watts. Before making another QSO there, I noticed the LED power meter was lighting up a whole lot more segments than it should, and I set the power correctly back to 5 watts. End of my QRO confessions. HI.

My antennas consisted then, and still consist of a 110 foot end fed random wire for 160-30M mostly in my attic with a short extension down to my tiny back yard, a 20M dipole in the attic, a 15M vertical dipole on the side of my house also used for 17 and 12M, a 10M sloping dipole on my porch roof, and a rotatable 6M dipole in my attic. That's it other than my occasional portable operations with Mike KC2EGL and/or Don K3RLL at the local Kittanning Community Park and a couple other locations. There my antenna of choice is a multi-band jumper based on a design by K3RLL. Also I've experimented at the park with a couple other antennas such as an end fed random wire similar to my random wire here at home.

Although some days it was hard and took some time to find a QSO, the streak continued on and on. When my friend Mike, AB5XP answered my 30M CQ on April 30, 1997, that brought the streak to 1000 consecutive days.

Conditions were now getting better and better as the sunspots were starting to increase, and more and more DX QSO's started showing up in my log. By the time my streak reached 2000 days on January 25, 2000 when Bill, N4QA answered my 40M CQ, the bands were really alive and hopping. In fact the streak took on an extra aspect around that time. That same day marked 64 straight days I had worked at least one DX station. The DX streak would continue for 17 more days, then I missed working DX on February 12, 2000, but picked up the streak again on the 13th and that lasted 154 days. Both segments of that streak were ended by severe geomagnetic storms. I won't say more about the DX streaks here since they are covered in detail in a separate report.

My interest in ham radio suffered a blow early in 2001 when my mother passed away after a six week battle in the hospital and a nursing home. She was 95 years old, and we'd lived together for all my life. For the past several years she had been in good health, but needed me at home to take care of her, which I gladly did. I did not want to see her spend her last years in some uncaring nursing home. So her passing affected me quite a bit. One of the things that happened was that I lost some of my interest in hamming. I don't really know why, unless it was because my mom always supported my hobby and she loved looking at all the DX QSL cards I would receive, especially those from her native Italy. For most of the rest of 2001 I did not enter as many contests as usual nor did I chase as much DX as before. However the streak still continued during all that time.

I started to get back into the bigger contests in earnest at the end of 2001 and set personal records in such contests as the RSGB 10/15M, Ukraine DX, OK/OM, ARRL 10M. Then in early 2002 I really hit some of the bigger contests quite hard. In the January NAQP I had a rate of 51.4 for the full 10 hours of the contest. The February ARRL DX contest saw me break the 600 QSO barrier for the first time ever with 633 QSO's (and every one passed the ARRL log checking procedure of which I am proud). I continued to set personal best marks in many other contests in 2002 even though I still was not entering as many nor putting in as many hours as I once did.

Another goal was reached during the streak when I worked J45RW for my QRP country # 200 on July 27, 2002. New countries had been coming very slowly and continue to do so since I still don't devote all that much time to searching the bands for new ones. I do mean searching, because I NEVER use any kind of spotting to find the stations I work. However I'm proud to have made it to 200 with just 5 watts and simple wire antennas.

When I worked a whole bunch of you starting with AA1SP on October 21, 2002, that extended the streak to 3000 consecutive days. Now I set my sights on making it to 10 years, and on August 4, 2004 I reached that goal. Helping me complete the ten years with QSO's on that day were: K4IR, N4CU, NB6M/MM, WE8UP, WD9F, WB5BRD, KS4OY, VE3AIJ, VA3RE, N4FI, & K3DQ (whom I just realized while typing this was my first QSO when I became active again on February 15, 1993). Thanks to all of you.

In November of 2003, my cousin Virginia whose health had been declining a bit asked me to stay with her a few days after Thanksgiving while her husband was away on a hunting trip. It happened that included the weekend of the CQWW DX contest. I thought I'd try setting up there for the contest as well as for my streak QSOs. She lived outside the river valley in which I live, and I was curious to know how conditions would be there without the surrounding hills. It turned out there was a world of difference. The QSOs came much easier there even with just a simple end fed wire about 70 feet long running down from 'my' bedroom to a grape arbor in their back yard. The story of the contest can be found here so I won't dwell more on it here except to say that my streak QSOs from 11/29 through 12/2 all came from Virginia's house.

About a month before the 10 year point of the streak I got a request from a reporter for the local newspaper to let him write a story about my ham radio activities for the paper. As with the start of the streak, I didn't realize that this event would also be the start of something. It turned out the reporter was also a ham radio operator. I had read his articles in the paper, but never knew he was a ham until we talked about the article. I'm talking about Tom Mitchell, KB3LFC (now WY3H). Tom and I quickly became fast friends since his interest in ham radio was also CW, QRP, and simple wire antennas. He had been inactive and was just getting back into ham radio about that time. That was why we had never worked each other on the air despite our similar interests.

Not too long after the article was published, I again was contacted by Tom. This time he asked me if I was interested in helping him start up a new QRP club. To be honest, and Tom knows it, I thought there were too many QRP clubs already. However Tom said this would be a QRP CW club and would place emphasis on minimal QRP operation, i.e. using simple wire antennas and only using CW, no other modes. Well, that immediately piqued my interest and I said I certainly would be interested if the club stuck to those ideals. He agreed it would, and the North American QRP CW Club (NAQCC) was born in October of 2004.

Tom was the President, and I assumed the post of VP. Although my duties with the club which included being webmaster for the club website, processing awards and contest results, etc. took away from my on air time, that was countered by the club activities encouraging me to get on the air more. I felt the club, dubbed "The QRP Club With A Difference" was doing things that other QRP clubs were not, and I really enjoyed the club awards program, the monthly sprints, and something I think is unique, the monthly Challenges. An example of a Challenge is making 30 QSO's on 30 meters in a month. Another is to 'get' all 26 letters of the alphabet from the call letters of stations you work or to make up a pre-selected list of words about a certain theme the same way. Each month we try to come up with something different but all have the bottom line of just trying to get more CW activity on the bands to help preserve this wonderful mode.

That's all I'm going to say about the club here. If I've piqued your curiousity and you want to know more, visit the club website at http://naqcc.info/.

Shortly (18 days) before the 11 year mark was reached, I hit 4,000 consecutive days. I had planned to work as many stations as possible that day, but the death of my cousin Virginia that very same day changed those plans. I did work VE1XW, HI8RV, WZ2T, KC0TLN, and NB9D on the 4,000th day, but I would have liked to have worked a lot more of you since so many have expressed such an interest in the streak and followed it closely over the years.

During the 12th year of the streak, my activities consisted mostly of just continuing the streak, some contesting, the aforementioned NAQCC activities, and a little DXing when conditions permitted. My DX total entities remained at 204 as limited time and poor conditions kept me from working any new ones.

As the streak continued to get longer and reached the 15 year mark, it continued to provide an incentive for me to be active on the ham bands. That activity provides continued satisfaction and thrills for me.

There were many highlights from recent years. Working Desecheo Island meant I now have all North America DX entities worked except for Navassa Island.

Another highlight along the way was working VK6DXI near Perth in Western Australia on 40 meters via long path while the sun still hadn't set here. I had to email VK6DXI to find out for sure it was a legitimate QSO, and he confirmed it was. The QSL from that contact is displayed on the main page of the DX section of my web site.

Perhaps one of the biggest thrills was working Hawaii on 80 meters not once but twice, and almost three times in the 2009 ARRL DX contest. Our 50th state became my 49th state on 80 meters. I still need Alaska for an 80 meters WAS.

The streak took on yet another aspect on May 1, 2010 because of one of the previously mentioned NAQCC challenges. During May club members were to make as many QSO's as possible using milliwatt power. A couple years prior I had finally made an RF attenuator with some carbon power resistors I had on hand so I could get back to mW or QRPp work again. The 570 and 480 rigs had a minimum power output of 5 watts so they couldn't be used for anything lower than that without modification. I really didn't want to mofify the rigs so an outboard RF attenuator seemed the way to go. The resistors I had on hand cut the 5 watts down to 930 milliwatts so that would be my mW power for the challenge.

I wanted to do something a little extra rather than just trying to get as many mW QSO's as possible during the month. I decided to try to get at least one mW QSO each day - sort of a mini-streak within my main streak. Well, that turned out to be easy so near the end of May I decided to see just how long I could continue the mW streak. It turned out the streak lasted 447 days through July 21, 2011. It ended not because of any failure of QRPp or CW, but because I was simply too busy that day to get on the air for the mW QSO. I had been wanting to end the mW streak anyway because it was taking up quite a bit of my spare time on certain days now and then when conditions were a bit rough for mW work. Getting a mW QSO is not quite as easy as getting one with 5 watts, but it's not all that much harder, and on most days the QSO came very easily. However some days did prove a little more difficult, and I had to wait till the morning or even afternoon (local time) to get the QSO because I just couldn't get one in my favorite 00Z and 01Z hours. Some days with various other activities here, it proved difficult to find that time and that is what finally ended the mW streak.

In 2011, another two streaks came in to play as more or less 'sub-streaks' of the main streak. On February 7, 2011, I made more than one QSO, something of course I did on the majority of days in the streak. However this time I decided to see just how many days in a row I could add a 2nd QSO to the streak, naturally with QRP/CW/simple wire antennas like the main streak QSO. I intentionally ended that 2nd QSO streak after 365 days on February 6, 2012 since it wasn't proving anything more than the main streak, and was taking up more time each day from other things.

I also had another fairly good-sized DX streak in 2011. Beginning on March 27 when I worked OZ1GML, and continuing for 122 days, ending on July 25. It ended mainly because of some very strong local man-made QRN that was present for most of the day on July 26. At least it was there every time I tried for a DX QSO.

On October 10, 2011, I had another major change in the streak. From that day on for about a year until something even better came along, virtually all my QSOs came on an Elecraft K2 which I used on loan, and eventually in early 2012 purchased from Mike KC2EGL. The fantastic receiver in the K2 made a big difference in my battle against local man-made QRN. I could now dig out much weaker signals than before. I also got Mike's KX1 and have used it for portable operations. That's the one I helped him build as a NAQCC project back in 2008/2009.

In 2012, Mike bought a KX3, the latest (and in my opinion, greatest) of the Elecraft rigs. After using his and seeing how good it was, I had to have one of my own. I purchased and assembled it in October 2012, and have used it virtually exclusively since then, even for portable operations since its small size makes it ideal for both a home rig and a portable rig. Its excellent filtering helps in eliminating my local noise as well as separating stations in crowded conditions. In fact it is so good, it's hard to tell there is a strong station just a few dozen Hz or less away from the station I am working. The ease of setting up for split operation when chasing DX is another great feature among many more that I won't go into here. One thing I will add though is the computer interface which allows the firmware to be updated regularly. It's like buying a new rig for free every so often. Also the computer interface allows use of a panadapter to scan the ham bands. That is a tremendous time-saver when you can look at a computer screen and immediately see all the activity on a large portion of each ham band. No more laborious tuning across the band and listening for activity. Since I started using the panadapter early in 2013, it has saved me countless hours while continuing my streak.

One particularly enjoyable aspect of the streak was doing what Mike KC2EGL and I christened 'tag-team' efforts. That is where one of us would work a station in my shack with our own call, then switch operating positions for the other one to work the same station with his call. Eventually we also simply set up dual headphones and keys to eliminate the jumping around in the faster paced contests. We did that for many contests and for working many DX stations outside contests. I'm not sure just when we started that, but it peaked in early 2013 when Mike was off work recovering from a shoulder operation.

Summing up now. All QSO's in the main, DX, multi-QSO, and mW streaks came without any special arrangements. No skeds or regular net check-ins were involved in extending the streaks. I just got on the air each day and called CQ or answered someone's CQ for my QSO. Even if I did have a sked with someone to give them Armstrong County or some other reason, I'd always make it a point to get another random QSO that day. The readers of my web site diary tell me it would be OK to make a sked with someone to insure the streak continues, but I'm hesitant to do so. One other thing requires mention. I never signed /QRP after my call to attract attention to the fact I was using QRP. I don't believe in doing that anyway. I'm just a normal ham operator who happens to use QRP.

I don't know if a streak this long could be maintained under the same conditions using another mode than CW. At least I'm sure it wouldn't be as easy. I've never come seriously close to missing a day, although on a few days here and there it took a lot of listening and/or calling CQ before a contact came along.

Most of the time I got that first QSO of the day during the first hour of the day. The 0100Z hour provided the second highest total. The latest time to get that first QSO was 2311Z back on 14 Feb 1995 when I worked EA8/DJ1OT on 30M. That was the only first QSO that came in the 2300Z hour. 12 came in the 2200Z hour. Most of those late hour QSOs came before the streak was all that well established.

Now on to some statistics for the first 20 years of the streak. Notice I said the 'first 20 years' which means I have no intention of ending the streak just yet. It will continue to go on until some unforseen circumstance brings it to an end.

First a couple of notes on the stats. There are some minor discrepancies in the totals caused mainly by my not being sure about the location of /MM stations. Also Aves Island was worked before the streak started and not since, so my overall and streak DX entity totals are one apart.

Significant number of days in the streak and who I worked those days start off the stats:

Day             Date       Worked (band)
0001            08/05/94 - KG9N/C6A (30,40), FS/DL8WAA (40) 
0365 (1 yr)     08/04/95 - VE3LOE/3, N5ION (17), KG8IT (40), W8RJW (30)
0500            12/17/95 - K4HPP, KE4AUN (30), VF5AAD (17), NG3H (160)
0731 (2 yrs)    08/04/96 - 68 stations in NAQP contest
1000            04/30/97 - AB5XP (30)
1096 (3 yrs)    08/04/97 - KB0RGU (40), K1AF (30)
1461 (4 yrs)    08/04/98 - KB0JTS (20)
1500            09/12/98 - W2BJ (30)
1826 (5 yrs)    08/04/99 - WN9U (40), 9A0DX (20)
2000            01/25/00 - WA3WSJ, N3AO (80), N6NF (15)
2192 (6 yrs)    08/04/00 - K4PTU (40), 6W/DK8YY (20)
2500            06/08/01 - AA3CT (40)
2557 (7 yrs)    08/04/01 - WJ4P, IT9ESW (30)
2922 (8 yrs)    08/04/02 - 45 stations in NAQP contest
3000            10/21/02 - 29 stations (various)
3287 (9 yrs)    08/04/03 - KN4PR (30)
3500            03/04/04 - N1PVP (40)
3653 (10 yrs)   08/04/04 - 11 stations (20,30,&40)
4000            07/17/05 - VE1XW, HI8RV, WZ2T, KC0TLN, and NB9D
4018 (11 yrs)   08/04/05 - VE3GXU, KB3LFC
4383 (12 yrs)   08/04/06 - WA2VQV, VA3RKM, VA3CBE, W3PM, and KB2JWD
4500            11/29/06 - N2JJE (160)
4748 (13 yrs)   08/04/07 - 83 stations in NAQP contest
5000            04/12/08 - WA8REI, W2JEK, W9ILF, WB4YZA, KB9BIT,
                           W4HAY, N1WSD, N0NBD
5114 (14 yrs)   08/04/08 - K0KP, NS9I, N1BUG, WY3H, NN0Q, K4LRX
5479 (15 yrs)   08/04/09 - WD4EKB
5500            08/25/09 - KA4RUR, WY3H
5844 (16 yrs)   08/04/10 - WY3H, N1EAV, N9SKN
6000            01/07/11 - K1IEE, KQ1P, W8LQ, AF4LV, KF8R, N2ESE, WA8REI,
                           W4QO, W2JEK, WY3H
6209 (17 yrs)   08/04/11 - V44KAO, S52F, W2BPI
6500            05/21/12 - KW9R, K7M, CP4BT, HA4FF
6575 (18 yrs)   08/04/12 - AF4PD plus 108 NAQP QSOs
6940 (19 yrs)   08/04/13 - 57 NAQP QSOs plus EO73U
7000            10/03/13 - K4JPN, WP4L, K8JD, K3PSD, N5GW
7500            07/30/14 - AM08BLV, W1AW/4
7503 (20 yrs)   08/04/14 - F5PLC, VE1OMI 

Following stats as of 08/04/14 (date of updating this page):

Total number of QSO's: 62,434
Contest QSO's: 48,607
Other QSO's: 13,827
USA / VE QSO's: 43,165
DX QSO's: 19,269 
Unique stations: 18,001

Most QSO's by Date:
11/7/99 - 416 (SS)
2/16/02 - 370 (ARRL DX)
2/17/01 - 342 (ARRL DX)
11/2/97 - 341 (SS)
11/5/95 - 341 (SS)

States worked: All 50

Most often worked:
Pennsylvania - 3,513
Wisconsin - 2,240
California - 2,143
Illinois - 2,101
Virginia - 1,882

Least often worked:
Wyoming - 59
North Dakota - 72
Nebraska - 82
Nevada - 93
Idaho - 91

QSO's by Continent:
Africa - 555
Antarctica - 15
Asia - 524
Europe - 13,245
North America - 47,994
Oceania - 256
South America - 1,493

Countries worked: 218 (219 counting Aves Is. worked before the streak started)

Most often worked of the 218 (excluding W/VE):
Germany - 1,659
Italy - 926
England - 798
Hungary - 768
Czech Republic - 729

Top Countries by Continent:
AF - Canary Is. - 182
AS - Japan - 215
EU - Germany - 1,659
NA - Puerto Rico - 291
OC - Hawaii - 174
SA - Aruba - 279

CQ Zones worked: 36 (need 22, 24, 26, 28)

Most often worked CQ Zones:
 4 - 21,277
 5 - 19,743
15 -  6,367
14 -  5,503
 3 -  3,735
 8 -  2,344
 
Percent of QSO's that were DX by year:
1994 - 10.7
1995 -  9.3
1996 -  5.9
1997 - 13.6
1998 - 30.4
1999 - 37.0
2000 - 54.4
2001 - 55.3
2002 - 50.0
2003 - 31.3
2004 - 29.9
2005 - 19.2
2006 - 15.0
2007 - 12.0
2008 -  6.7
2009 -  7.5
2010 - 11.3
2011 - 36.5
2012 - 42.1
2013 - 61.0
2014 - 66.6 (through 8/04/14)

QSO's by Band:
160 -  3,391
 80 - 10,395
 60 -     27
 40 - 16,710
 30 -  3,161
 20 - 13,032
 17 -    816
 15 -  8,044
 12 -    362
 10 -  6,468
  6 -     28 

QSO's with 5 watts: 60,197

QSO's with less than 5 watts: 1,775

QSO's with less than 1 watt: 1,415

QSO's with less than 1/2 watt: 62

Highlights of the Streak:

1994:
Aug  5 First day of the streak - worked KG9N/C6A 30M
Aug  6 First USA QSO after 5 DX QSO's - AA9JY
Aug  6 First Europe - UR4QBL 40M
Aug 18 First South America - OA4FW 30M
Aug 31 Country # 25 worked - YV4DDT 40M
Sep  9 First Africa - ZD8OK 30M
Oct 20 Country # 50 worked - HB0/HB9NL 15M
Dec 23 KB3BFQ received his ham ticket - he was the one who suggested
       the streak idea to me.
Dec 28 Worked KB3BFQ on 10M - My first 10M QSO ever

1995:
Jan 16 First of 17 straight days with one or more DX QSO's
Jan 18 First Oceania - KH6AK 40M
Feb 14 34 minute rag chew with EA8/DJ1OT
Feb 15 Worked K3KLC in MD on 160M - My first 160M QSO ever
Feb 17 Country # 75 worked - 9A3MA 40M
Jun 28 Worked K0OSW in MN on 12M - My first 12M QSO ever
Jul 30 First Asia and Country # 100 worked - RW0A 20M

1996:
Jan 24 Worked P49I with 70 mW on 30M
Mar 16 Worked EA6BH with 500 mW on 30M
Apr  6 First Antarctica - EM1KA 30M
May 10 VK6HQ answered my CQ on 30M - most distant QSO of the streak
Jun 12 Worked W4HG in NC on 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, 30, 40, & 80 meters
       in 31 minutes
Nov 24 Solar Flux rises to 100 for the first time during the streak
Nov 24 JA3ZOH & JH0ZHQ show up in my log - My first Japanese QSO's

1997:
May 24 Country # 120 worked - RW2F 20M
Oct  6 Worked RA9CKQ to complete 15M WAC
Nov  2 Near clean sweep in the SS - missed YT & NE
Nov 30 Worked WAC in a single day within 5h 22m

1998:
Jan 29 Country # 130 worked - ER10A 15M
May  1 Country # 140 worked - 4Z5AX 20M
Nov 28 Country # 150 worked - 5V7A 20M

1999:
Jun 19 VK6HQ again answers my 30M CQ
Aug 26 Country # 160 worked - NH6D/KH3 30M
Sep  1 Purchased a Kenwood TS-570D after many years of wanting a xcvr
Sep  1 First QSO with the Kenwood was KO1C on 40M
Nov  4 Worked EA8CN to complete 17M WAC
Nov  7 Busiest day with 416 QSO's
Nov  7 537 QSO's in the SS - My most QSO's ever in a test
Nov 23 First of 81 straight days with some DX worked
Nov 27 Busiest DX day with 273 DX QSO's
Nov 27 Worked CT3BX to complete 10M WAC
Nov 27 Worked 25 JA's in a couple hours
Nov 28 500 QSO's in the CQWW DX test - Best DX test ever
Nov 28 6V6U on 15M is country # 100 with my new Kenwood
Nov 30 Worked 5C8M to complete 12M WAC

2000:
Jan  1 Worked my friend of 30+ years, VA3RJ for first QSO of the 2000's
Feb 11 UA0ABK worked - 81 straight days with a DX QSO
Feb 13 After missing DX on the 12th, started a new DX streak with KG4KO
Feb 19-20 512 DX QSO's in the ARRL DX test
Mar  4 JT1DA is my first zone 23 QSO
Mar 18 Worked country # 100 in the year 2000 - VP2VI
Mar 21 Made 23 DX QSO's including new countries EX2X and SV0LK
Apr 21 WAC in 6 straight QSO's on 5 bands - RV9CP-20M, VK4XA-17M,
       UX1MM-10M, W5UJA-15M, YV6AZC-12M, and EA8ALP-20M
May 22 100th straight day with a DX QSO - RA2FBC + others
Jun 20 First zone 37 - 5H3RK - country #181 overall
Jul 10 TT8JLB is country #184 in the streak
Jul 15 154th straight day with a DX QSO - FP/AI5P
Nov 25 A61AJ in the CQWW DX test - 190 countries worked overall

2001:
Jan  1 Lots of fun as usual in the ARRL SKN event
Jan 13 457 QSO's in the NAQP - best contest rate at 46.9/hr
Feb 17 558 QSO's in the ARRL DX test - most QSO's ever in a test
Feb 20 Worked D68C for country #193 overall

2002:
Jan 12 514 QSO's in the NAQP - best contest rate at 51.4/hr
Feb 16 633 QSO's in the ARRL DX test - most QSO's ever in a test
May  5 IK2PFL is DX QSO #10,000 in streak
Jul 27 Worked J45RW for QRP country #200 overall (199 in streak)
Nov 24 Worked S9MX for QRP country #201
Dec  4 Worked 4J6ZZ for QRP country #202 (also #150 on 15M)
Dec 21 OM3RM is DX QSO #11,000 in streak

2003:
Jan 11 Second year in a row with a 51+ hourly rate in the NAQP
Feb  1 Approximate beginning of a major decline in conditions from
       the superb propagation of the past 3-4 years
Feb 16 DF0LI is my QSO #1,000 with Germany in the streak
Nov 29-30 Worked the CQWW DX contest portable from my cousin's house.
Nov 30 Worked SU9NC for country #203 overall (202 in streak)
Dec 27 Best ever RAC contest with 222 QSO's

2004:
Jan 10 Declining conditions show up with 109 less QSO's in NAQP
Jan 25 VE3PN is QSO #39,000 in streak
Feb 21-22 367 QSO's in ARRL DX - down from 633 just 2 years ago
Feb 22 F5RRS is DX QSO #12,000 in streak
Mar 14 Best ever WIQP with 143 QSO's
Aug  4 The streak reaches 10 complete years
Sep 18 WD5GXO is QSO #40,000 in streak

2005:
Feb  8 K5PTC is QSO #41,000 in streak
May 28 4L8A in Georgia make 204 DX entities worked (203 in streak)
May 30 Worked Hoot Owl Sprint in field with KB3LFC
Jul 17 The streak reaches 4,000 days
Aug  2 W2LJ is QSO #42,000 in streak
Aug  4 The streak reaches 11 complete years
Dec 26 KU3G is QSO #43,000 in streak

2006:
May 29 Second time in the field in the streak - Hoot Owl Sprint w/ KB3LFC
Jun  2 For the third time VK6AU (ex-VK6HQ) answers my 30M CQ
Jun 14 W9FNB is QSO #44,000 in streak
Aug  4 The streak reaches 12 complete years
Aug 25 Have a QSO with WA8REI 40 years to the day after our first QSO
Dec 16 4J6ZZ's QSL card makes 198 countries verified

2007:
Jan 13 K4RO is QSO #45,000 in streak
Feb 18 5Z4/9A3A is country #204 in streak (205 overall)
Jul 14 KU1CW is QSO #46,000 in streak
Aug  2 5Z4/9A3A's QSL card makes 199 countries verified
Aug  4 The streak reaches 13 complete years
Oct 10 I win my 14th NAQCC sprint - SWA category
Dec  2 W4DR is QSO #47,000 in streak

2008:
Jan 28 Worked W0BH in Kansas to complete Kansas all bands 160-10M
Feb  6 OH0R's QSL card makes 100 countries verified on 40 meters
Apr  3 The 45th anniversary of my Novice ticket - KN3WWP
Apr 12 The streak reaches 5,000 days
Apr 14 KC2EGL gives me a Kenwood TS-480SAT which becomes my main rig
Apr 29 FJ/DJ2VO is country #205 in streak (206 overall)
Jun 29 First ever 6 meter QSO - W0GKP - MN first state worked on 10 bands
Aug  4 The streak reaches 14 complete years
Aug 12 First 6 meters QSL received - WY3H - PA 1st state veried 10 bands

2009:
Feb 15 K5D is country #206 in streak (207 overall)
Feb 16 First QSO with KC2EGL's KX-1 built as a NAQCC project
Feb 22 KH6MB is new state (#49), new country, new zone on 80 meters
May  1 KH6MB's QSL card received for state #49 veried on 80M, first
       Oceania veried on 80M, first zone 31 veried on 80M
Jul 26 VK6DXI worked in daylight (8PM EDT) via long path on 40 meters
Aug  1 K0JPL is QSO #50,000 in streak
Aug  2 W9TTT is unique station #15,000 in streak
Aug  4 The streak reaches 15 complete years
Aug 18 Get KL7J on 30 to complete 30 meters WAS - finally

2010:
May  1 The beginning of a mW 'streak within a streak'
Aug  4 The streak reaches 16 complete years
Aug 15 403T is country #208 in streak
Oct 19 PJ6A is country #209 in streak

2011:
Jan  7 The streak reaches 6,000 days worked K1IEE KQ1P W8LQ AF4LV KF8R N2ESE
       WA8REI W4QO W2JEK WY3H
Feb  7 The beginning of a multi-QSO per day streak
Feb 19 PJ4A ('new' Bonaire entity) is country # 210 in streak
Feb 19 PJ2T ('new' Curacao entity) is country # 211 in streak
Feb 19 Worked T30YA for overall country # 212 in streak
Mar 19 Get R0QA and RW0CWA with mW to complete mW WAC
Mar 27 The beginning of a DX streak
Jun 25 10 and 6 meters open for Field Day - 82 QSO's in 31 states on 10
Jul  3 Portable N3AQC op with KC2EGL and K3RLL at Kittanning Community Park
Jul 21 Last day of a 447 day mW QSO streak
Jul 25 Last day of a 122 day DX streak
Aug  4 The streak reaches 17 complete years
Oct 10 My first QSO using what would become my K2 when purchased later from Mike KC2EGL
Nov 14 Worked MU0FAL for band-country # 1,000
Nov 19 Worked VE4WI for last province for NAQCC WAVE award
Nov 26/27 Made 296 DX QSOs in 93 countries in the CQ WW DX contest
Nov 28 Worked PJ4/K4BAI for country # 100 on 12 meters

2012:
Mar 16 Worked PJ7PT for overall country # 213 in the streak
May 26/27 Made 291 DX QSOs in the CQ WPX contest
Jun  7 Worked D3AA for overall country # 214 in the streak
Jun 24 Worked NI0DX in NE to complete NAQCC mW WAS and Elecraft WAS
Aug  4 The streak reaches 18 complete years

2013:
Feb 16 324 QSOs in the ARRL DX contest
Mar 16 108 QSOs in the Russian DX contest for a new record in that one
Feb-Apr Tag team contests (16) with KC2EGL including the two above
Mar  1 The beginning of a DX QSO per day streak
Mar 31 Worked T2YY for overall country # 215 in the streak
Apr 13 Worked A71CM for overall country # 216 in the streak
Jun 22 257 QSOs as part of a N3AQC multi-op FD operation at the QTH of WY3H
Aug  3 222 QSOs (20/15M only) in the NAQP
Aug  4 The streak reaches 19 complete years
Aug 28 Worked 5T0JL for overall country # 217 in the streak
Oct 19 106 QSOs in the WAG contest - personal best in that contest
Nov 16 45 QSOs in the LZ DX contest - personal best in that contest
Nov 23 421 QSOs in the CQWW DX contest

2014:
Feb 15 480 QSOs in the ARRL DX contest - most in a contest in several years.
Feb 28 DX streak within the streak reaches 1 year - 365 days
Mar 27 Worked TX6G for overall country # 218 in the streak (219 including Aves Is wkd b4 streak started)
Apr 12 74 QSOs in the GA QSO Party a new record for that contest
Jun 28 213 QSOs in a portable FD operation as N3AQC (with KC2EGL)
Jul 23 DX streak within the streak reaches 500 days
Jul 23 Worked W1AW/9 in Indiana leaving only ME in late August to complete a W1AW/# WAS in 2014.
Aug  4 The streak reaches 20 complete years

To reiterate, the purpose of my giving all this information about my streak is simply to show anyone who reads this that QRP does work well, even with simple wire antennas and a less than average location, especially with CW. If you are in a situation where you can't use high power or put up huge antennas, maybe my results will encourage you to get on the air with a simple setup and give it a try. I guarantee that you will succeed and be able to enjoy the finest of all hobbies. Give it a try - you may never go QRO again.