Archive for March, 2009

RTTY Contesting

So I’ve received my certificate from Industry Canada, it’s a bit of a let down to be honest. It looks like somebody knocked it up in 10 minutes. I was expecting maybe some nice paper, possibly embossed, maybe a seal or hologram of some kind, but nope. Kids on a summer art courses have gotten better looking certificates, come on Industry Canada!

Anyway I popped along to the North Shore Club this weekend to get an overview of contest operations. They were competing in the British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (bit of a mouthfull isn’t it?) RTTY contest. I do like the digital modes, they are fun to play around with but as far contesting goes I had always presumed it would be a bit ‘dry’ so to speak.

I spend eight hours a day, five days a week working against the clock on a computer, doing it as hobby is the last thing I would like to do. My presumptions were completely bourne out and RTTY contesting is just not for me. I just felt is was more about being a swift computer operator than being a competent radio operator.

The CQ WPX SSB contest is on next week. It’s the one I’ve been looking forward to. Sideband contesting just seems much more fun. You don’t even need a computer on the day, a pen and paper will do. You as the operator do all the work, no computers to modulate and demodulate a signal! Hopefully my presumptions on sideband contesting WILL be bourne out!

Recently licensed….

….let the fun begin.

I need to get my hands on a cheap and simple 2m HT, any ideas? Have seen a few floating around on the Ontario Swapshop but don’t want to pay dollars for what will really be only a stop gap radio until I decide what I want to do.

Attended my first club meeting with NSARC. VA7OJ, Adam gave a very detailed and insightful talk on German World War 2 radar. Apparently some of the larger 3m diameter dish installations & transmitters are in use by some amateurs in Europe, how and what for I do not know.

This weekend is the ARRL Worldwide DX SSB contest. Though obviously not partaking in such events just yet it gave me the opportunity to listen out for a few more unusual (for a Pacific NW SWL with a very small antenna at least!) callsigns. Clearly heard were OX2A, CT1LT and OH8R, along with the more usual torrent of JAs. The paths from Vancouver to Japan on 20m always seem to be good.

Funnily enough I did not have much interest in any kind of contesting up until this weekend. Previously my listening experience of contests has always been RTTY or CW, neither of which interested me that much. This weekend was the first time I spent a whole day listening to bands in a sideband contest, I am hooked.

For a new ham like me even non-participation on a contest weekend gives me a chance to listen to some quality operating. A lot can be learned from listening to an experienced operator working weak or poorly identifying stations, KH7XS was a big standout this weekend.

After this weekend I am itching to get on the air!!!!!