Questions, DXCC, & Streak - Keynote # 9, 2002
When I was going to an electronics school back in the 60's preparing to get my commercial license to go into broadcasting work, we had a teacher with some interesting concepts of teaching. One time he had each pupil in the class ask a question about some facet of electronics. Everyone had to participate. To show that my interest then was still strongly in CW, my question was how fast it was possible to send and copy code using an Aldis Lamp.
I'd like to do something like that. If you have a question dealing with some facet of QRP CW, please ask it to me, and I'll try to answer it in the column for Keynote #2 of 2003. Ask about operating, equipment, antennas, my opinion of something or other, anything you like. I'm sure there are many things I haven't covered in the 54 columns I have written so far. Perhaps there is something I haven't made as clear as I could have. Just ask something.
And now for something completely different. Yes, I'm a Monty Python fan. Here's an addendum to my DXCC columns of the past two issues. The next couple paragraphs give some specific countries and stations to look for in contests. Most all of the specific stations I mention are stations that have great 'ears' for hearing your QRP signals and are also stations that are very good QSLers.
Countries that I've had between 50 and 100 contest QSO's are the following, with some specific stations that come immediately to mind: Alaska (KL7Y - who unfortunately has become an SK since this article was first written), Austria (OE2S, OE5OHO), Bahamas, Cayman Islands (ZF2NT, ZF1A), Denmark (OZ1LO, OZ5W), Latvia (YL8M), Mexico (6D2X), Netherlands, Norway (LA8W, LA7MFA), Scotland (GM3POI), Turks & Caicos, Virgin Islands (WP2Z).
Other easy to work countries in contests are: Aruba - P40W P49V and many other expeditions. Kaliningrad will usually be represented by RW2F with great ears for copying tiny QRP signals on any band. Tunisia often has 3V8BB. Many hams operate from the Canary Islands, EA8CN and EA8EA being the two I've worked most often. A61AJ has been in several contests recently and is easy to work. Many top Russian operators will operate from Cyprus. CT1BOH and other top Portuguese operators make Portugal easy although there is not a lot of operation from this country. Belarus can be worked easily from EW8EW. Belize often has V31TP and V31JP. HC2SL provides Ecuador to many hams. One of the best of all contest operators, Trey Garlough often puts the Galapagos Islands into contests with HC8N. CN8WW is often active from Morocco. V47KP covers St. Kitts for the contesters. GW3YDX puts Wales into many contest logs.
With this information plus that from the previous two columns, you should be able to snag your DXCC award in no time. If conditions are good, and you are reading this before November 23rd, be sure to enter the CQWW contest the weekend of the 23rd. If you're just starting to work for DXCC, that will certainly give you a good start, and if you're near your 100 countries already, it's a good place to perhaps catch the few you still need. I'll be there trying to increase my total of 200 countries worked, hoping some of the rarer countries are active with some good conditions also.
Now jumping to something else. I recently reached 3000 consecutive days with at least one QSO using QRP and simple wire antennas. The actual totals are 35,521 QSO's from all 50 states, 7 continents and 199 countries (one of my 200 - Aves Island - was worked before the streak and not again since it started). 10,548 of the QSO's are DX (non-W/VE). As I've said before, I think that definitely proves that minimal QRP does work and work very well. I'm delighted at the constantly increasing number of QRP operators on the ham bands, and more than a few have told me they've tried QRP because of this column or my web site. That makes everything worthwhile for me. I want folks to realize there is more to ham radio than talking to their neighbor on those 2 meter hand held rigs. You can work the world by using CW with only 5 watts or less of power and a hunk of wire in the back yard or even in your attic or apartment. With the 5 watts, there is virtually no problem of angering your nearby neighbors with TVI, RFI, etc. The small antennas will be inconspicuous. You'll have no trouble with RF exposure, and you'll have a lot of fun and be very successful on the ham bands.
I mentioned wanting your questions earlier in the column. Here's how to contact me. Via email or regular mail reaches me at John Shannon, 478 E. High St., Kittanning, PA 16201-1304. My web site at home.windstream.net/johnshan/ has many mailto's that you can simply click to send me an email. I hope to hear from you one way or other. 73 -30-