ARRL Sweepstakes SSB

What? a new post? aren’t you respecting the time-honoured tradition of starting then letting your ham radio blog die?

Yeah, yea.. been a while, I know.. one of those things.. I’ve done lots of radio stuff (and acquired new gear) since the last post, took pictures and everything, with the full intent of blogging about it. Then , life takes over , and if you don’t make the time… well, nothing happens.

In the spirit of trying to reverse that, I’ll try to start again. I’ll post some of the older stuff too, as this is a reference for me as well, and if it can help others who are really lost, well that’s good too!

This past weekend was the ARRL fall Sweepstakes contest. One which I did one time before, but since I’m “antenna-challenged” (who isn’t?) I never did that well. This year, at the last minute, I built and hung in the most temporary way a short “Cobra Antenna” after hearing about it at a club meeting some time back. A swimming pool extendable pole and some rope probably made my neighbours wonder what I was doing, but it let me actually USE 40M and 80M from the QTH for the first time.

I was really glad I did, since my old standby of 10M didn’t prove to be the beast it once was. Here’s what I ended up with:

map Capture score Capture

Not too shabby considering I was running without spotting assistance, and low power to boot!  I’m very pleased with the outcome, and the fact that 40M is where I got most of my QSO’s. As this was North America only, getting most of the North Eastern USA was a treat.. (Except for you, Rhode Island.. .why do you torture me?)

A fun, friendly contest, with a ridiculously long exchange. I’m looking forward to the next one, and trying to find a way to hang that Cobra back up in a more permanent way..