Monday, 25 February 2019

ARRL International DX Contest

Coming up next weekend is the ARRL International DX Contest.  It starts at 0000 UTC on March 2nd and runs till 2359 UTC March 3rd.

I was starting to sweat last night as a huge windstorm swept across southern and Eastern Ontario with winds 90 kph gusting to 110 kph.  With the snow in my backyard, it would have been very difficult to get a new HF antenna in the air in time for this weekend.

Fortunately for me, the antennas manage to survive and it looks like I have no damage even after twelve hours of very high winds.

Always a great contest, with a huge amount of DX stations calling, it's now one of the few contests I will take part in on a competitive basis.  We will have to see how propagation works out for the weekend, but one can hope it will be good.

Rules for the contest are HERE.

Hope to work you in the contest!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

What will the rest of the year bring…

Here we are half way through February and I haven’t really put any solid plans for the rest of the year together yet, and “She Who Must Be Obeyed” has been asking what I’m going to do with all the equipment I have put together……that's never a good sign.

There are a few fixed annual events in my calendar, such as the Rideau Lakes Cycle Bike Tour, and the ARRL Field Day, both held in June. The IARU HF World Championship and the IOTA Contest both in July, and the Lighthouse weekend and Island QSO Party both in August. I also have plans for another trip to New Brunswick in October for the CQ WW DX Contest at the VE9FI contest station.

In between these fixed events will be a couple of islands, and lighthouse activations which I hope this year to do as “micro-DXpeditions”. There are several islands and lights that have never been activated around this area, so perhaps this is the year to get them done. 

Then, as the association manager for VE3SOTA, there will be a couple of SOTA activations to help put VE3 on the SOTA map.

There may be a chance to operate as VE3FI/VE7 in September as I have to be out there for a wedding and you can never waste a trip by taking no radios.

This year I’m hoping to do most of these activations throughout the week to give me a bit more flexibility.

Of course, I’m sitting here planning all this while there’s 70 cm of snow on the ground, and it’s -12C outside without the wind chill factored in.  Perhaps I should re-think this micro-DXpedition idea and just head for Tahiti now and operate there from the beach as FO/VE3FI.