I started the CQ WW RTTY DX contest saying I’d kill for a 100 watts. Problem is at 5 watts I could work everybody I could hear (and the only exception to that was a station in Indonesia who I could print (that’s what it’s called in RTTY) and who sent me a couple of ?? on Friday morning but couldn’t work) and 100 watts would be overkill.
But that’s not to say I didn’t have my challenges and none of them had to do with power.
First my wireless keyboard function keys stopped working. Now that’s weird as it’s worked for a year without issue with Writelog.
Next my rotor stopped working. It is now pointed directly toward Saudi Arabia, which I worked at 5 watts, and is useless for working JAs or anything for that matter to the west. The California QSO Party is next weekend so this issue is way up the urgent and important list.
Finally Sunday morning I got port issues with the SDR interface to the computer. Have no idea what happened but had no xmit switching. Lots of receive and the transmitter worked but no switching from Writelog.
Vapourized the virtual ports and still nothing.
Then I got smart and reset the computer to a restore point back a day or so ago and Ta Da everything is working again.
Finished the contest with over 200 Qs which is barely okay but good enough. Band conditions, especially on 15, were as good as I’ve heard in years (and years). Very quiet with lots of activity. 20 was good and there was even activity on 10 meters.
Most of you are too new to remember the around-the-clock openings on 10 meters where a converted 5-watt CB set on AM could work the world. The sunspot cycles in the late 1950s and late 1970s and 80s were amazing. Cycle 24, the one we’re in now has been called the weakest in 100 years.
So while some may think they need a kilowatt or so to have fun, there’s still lots of fun to be had at 5 watts despite conditions which are unpredictable at best and lousy at worst.