During the slow times working on my Elecraft KPA-100
The ARCI Fall QSO party is over for another year, this is first time I took part in this contest as well as the first time I did not use N1MM macros. I gave my Bengali Contour key a workout and it was not to bad at all. I found in this contest the code speed was comfortable. Not like in some of the major contests were the speeds are sometimes out of this world. The photo above shows my operating setup. I had printed out what to send for reports just in case I had the deer in headlights syndrome. It worked out very well and as the contest when on I was able to add to it. As well I prepared some 3x5 cards with notes on regarding scoring and some memory setups on my K3. I used my main PC to operate N1MM logger, Power SDR and a software program for my Telepost LP-100A. The other screen to the right is hooked up to my Laptop on that I ran QRZ.COM, a propagation website as well as the home page for QRP ARCIgroup. The antennas are a 20 meter dipole in the attic and a High Sierra Sidekick outside beside my deck. I operated for 3 hours on Saturday, I found this being my first all QRP contest I had to have the filtering just right. If not I would miss some of the contacts that were close to the noise floor. There was some slow times in the afternoon I was checking 15 meters at the top of each hour. I found just a few contacts there and at the bottom of each hour I jumped down to 10 meters. I ended up not hearing any stations on 10 meters at all. As a side note I was using the K3's Diversity reception (this uses one antenna for reception and the other for transmitting.) to do this hopping around. In the past when I did this I would have to re-tune the screw driver antenna I am using and re-tune it back to 20 meters. Now with Diversity I was able to band hop with ease and no re-tuning. As I said there was some down time and I used that time to work on my very much ongoing Elecraft KPA-100 project. The time was spent winding 11 toroid's. After this project and waiting in line to be assembled is the Elecraft KAT-100 antenna tuner. I was only on for a few hours on Sunday had some running around to do as well I found the bands to have high levels of QRM not sure if there is something in the area that is bother me though. Mind you I do have 44 KV hydro lines out the back in a field. For the whole contest I made 17 contacts and a score of 1066 I did have a very enjoyable time. It was great seeing how I could do with low (4 watts) QRP power. Thanks to all of you for the contacts and the understanding during my CW foo pa's.