Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012 Virginia QSO Party

I've written about the Virginia QSO Party a number of times in the past, so I'm going to keep this posting relatively short. I needed to spend some time getting my gear together for my trip to Florida later this week (where I plan to activate IOTA NA-034), but that left time for some contesting. There were a number of contests this weekend, but I decided to jump into the Virginia QSO Party (VaQP) as I've always had a lot of fun. I'm going to re-post my "soapbox" comments from my posting to the 3830 contest scores list. (That's an email list where folks post their "claimed" scores after a contest. It's not authoritative, but it gives you a quick chance to see how well you did as compared with other a lot fast than the official scores.)

Here's what I wrote:
The VaQP is one of my favorite state QSO parties,and I'm glad that I had time to participate this year after missing the last couple of years. Given my location in northern NJ, the only bands that are usable are 40 & 80 (I've made a couple of contacts in the past on 160, but I don't really have an antenna and it's usually not worth the effort). This year, I had plans that kept me out Saturday evening so I didn't get on to 75/80 at all. Late Sunday afternoon I tuned around for a bit on 80m but decided that instead of trying to work just the couple of stations that I could hear, I'd stick with 40 and submit as SOSB/40 (mixed mode).

I like this contest for a few different reasons: First, there's enough activity to keep things going, but not so much that it's a fight for a little-pistol station like me to have to work to make contacts. I could work everyone I could hear, and I appreciate the nice signal reports that I got from many stations. (Just 100w into a G5RV at about 35' here.) Second, this is one of the few contests where I can get on and actually hold a run frequency for pretty much as long as I'd like. That's not something that I get in the big DX contests! Third, this has got to be one of the friendliest bunch of of folks in any contest. When I had a small pileup going (for "rare" NJ!) I would move pretty quickly, but most times I had plenty of time to just throw in a quick word or two, and it was nice hearing when I was a new mult, or just having someone thank me for getting on to help give out points. It's things like that the remind me why I like this contest so much.

Thanks to the organizers for putting this on, and I look forward to working everyone next year.
(SOSB/40 means that I operated as a single operator on just one band, which was 40m). That pretty much sums it up.  I spent a total of around 7.5 hours between Saturday and Sunday in this contest, and it really just flew by. Here's my score summary (which is very short, since I only used 40m this time):

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
   40:   26    154       
Total:   26    154      0  Mults = 70  Total Score = 16,950

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