Friday, March 1, 2013

Virginia QSO Pary 2013

One of the big things that Hams like to do is contests. During these contests, the best operators will make thousands of contacts from over a hundred countries. I'm not able to do that, quite frankly. While I have the license for HF that is capable of world wide communication, I don't have the transceiver or antenna for it... Still, I've been interested in doing a competition of some sort. So, what options are there?

Well, for me the best starter option is called the Virginia QSO contest. This is a local competition. I will be talking with local area people, and the multipliers are counties and cities, not countries. Thus, I might have a chance on my 2m rig to at least do decent.

Essentially, almost all contests have 3 ways to get points. The first is to make contacts with a station. Usually, Morse/Digital is given more than voice, but you usually get the most if you are operating a station off of battery power. The second is some set of pre-defined bonus points for achieving something. The last is some sort of multiplier, usually something like the number of countries contacted, basically they encourage you to talk to multiple areas, and not just your own back yard.

So, what are my plans specifically?

1. I want to make my rig mobile. That will get me a whole bunch more points that I otherwise wouldn't be able to.
2. I'm going to try to talk to at least 10 counties, so I can get a decent multiplier score.
3. I'm going to try to move around my base station, so I can get several of the bonus points.

I might actually stand a chance in the VHF division. My goal is to get at least 10K points, which would put me at #2 for the VHF only division last year. If I get adventurous, I might even get a few more points, which would put me pretty far ahead of that.

Bottom line, contests are fun ways to practice your skills, and meet people across the world. Most Hams really live for them. I'm hoping to make somewhat of an entrance this year, which might encourage me to keep going. It should be a lot of fun.

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