Thoughts on QSO365, modified to suit my lifestyle

Larry, W2LJ is also pursuing QSO365 or the equivalent thereof but missed a day today.  He posted that in a blog, http://t.co/wcdOgVnD, so I replied as follows: Larry, I too am attempting QSO365 (k4wk.wordpress.com) but I have a modified the rule to say “an HF qso a day everyday I am home.” This is necessary for me as I travel overnight sometimes on business or pleasure and don’t have a portable HF rig. With that proviso in effect, I have made my qso365 so far but sorry you missed one of yours.

I run 100w normally so if you are doing it qrp, I tip my hat to you and will gladly grant you a “Mulligan!”

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Plain and Simple Station

My table used to be full of misc gear, books and mags; cluttered and hard to work in.  Then, I had to move everything out of the shack to have the hardwood floors refinished so when it was time to move back in, I “cleaned house,” at least the shack part of it.  Now, it is clean and tight and I could make it even more spartan by removing the signalink I barely use (for PSK) and maybe even the mic since most my work is in Morse.

QSO 365

I am following G6NHU’s QSO 365 Challenge (http://qso365.co.uk/what-isqso365/) to make at least one qso everyday.  Today is Jan 28 and I’ve succeeded to make 28 daily QSO’s so far this year. 

In my time zone, eastern, 0000Z occurs at 7pm, so I’ve been waiting till after 7 to get on the radio every day.  Yesterday and last night I was out of town so when I got back today I had to get on the air before 7pm to make my qso for Jan 27, then waited a bit till after 7 and made mine for the 28th.  #28 was Croatia, calling CQ on 40m CW. 

Thoughts so far: this is both a burden and good discipline.  Most of my contacts are CW and a New Year’s Goal has been to get better at CW.  I don’t have time to actually practice CW but getting on the air daily, even tho just for a short qso, has improved my ear.  I am still solid at 17wpm but shaky at 19 and up.  In the low twenties, the speed of most DX stations, I have to hear the exchange several times to catch the whole call sign and then thankfully all I have to do is send and receive 599.

So much for the good discipline part; the burden is that I have to do this every night, even if I’ve been out for the evening or I’m tired or something else, or have to be darn sure I can get on the air before 7pm the next day. 

Since I’m doing this at night (as I have a fulltime job), 40m and sometimes 80m are all that’s been open.  This weekend I hope to work on 20m and up during the daylight. 

I don’t think I can keep this up for 365 days unless I get a mobile HF rig I can use in the car and take on trips.  Alas, Dayton is too far off to be of help here!