The North American Qso party was once again not a disappointment. In this contest the goal is to contact as many North American stations as possible in 10 hours. (12 hours if your a multi-operator two transmitter category) The first time you contact each State and Canadian province it's called a multiplier. The scoring goes like this, you multiply the total contacts by the sum of the number of multipliers worked. The highest score wins the race so multipliers are very important. Your output power is limited to 100 watts and in this adventure my operator skills were put to the test by digging out weak signals and copying their code.
Well how did I do? I love the fact that this contest started at 2 p.m. local time. (Eastern daylight time), not having to get up early in the morning is a bonus. Wanting to try something different I entered single band QRP (low power) category at 5 watts output and started at 2 pm sharp. The antenna is a 20 meter dipole in the attic of my townhouse. Starting out the noise level was around S-2 which for me is great, there was lots of action on 20 meters as well. Search and pounce is my method and works very well for me. The first two hours I was able to work many of the strong signals. I stopped for dinner at 4 pm. I was back at it at 5pm and 20 meters was still very busy but now the S-9 signals would drop to S-2 close to the noise floor. This made copying more of a challenge and I missed out on lots of contacts as they would just fade into the noise. Making things more challenging was a lightning storm somewhere in our area, so this added static crashes that had to be dealt with. There was also the challenge of pumping out 5 watts and being heard.
The contest for me ended at 10 pm which amounted to 6 hours of contesting along with dinner and breaks. As was stated earleir I chose QRP single band. Below is the breakdown of the contest.
Band QSOs Multipliers Points
20 71 21 1540
By far, this is not going to be the score that stands out in the contest but I accomplished my goals. The first being to enter single band QRP category and use my 20 meter dipole antenna in the attic and see how it performed in a contest situation.
Last but not least to have fun and enjoy contacting fellow hams and not loose that fun with going over the top keeping track of multipliers.