As we enter 2016, I’m excited about the contests that I am planning to be a part of in the coming year. One of my favorite contests of all time are the NAQP contests held in January and August. The January contests are a great way to ring in the new year and start helping build my state/province totals for our local club’s annual Bill Erickson HF Challenge award as well as get the station back on the air after taking a contesting break for the holidays.
Going into NAQP CW this year, my goals were pretty simple: focus on the low bands (40 and 80) and beat my score from last year. This year’s showing definitely achieved those goals, where in 2015 I had 1 qso on 80 as opposed to over 160 this year. Over the 10 hour period this past weekend I managed to work 47 states and a handful of Canadian provinces and even a couple DX stations called in.
For next January’s NAQP there’s a few things that come to mind for improvement: 1) Get over 500 qsos in the 10 hour period, get over 65K points. In order to do that, as the solar cycle continues to fade, I need to get on 160M – any way I can. 160-40 are going to be critical keys in achieving my goals for 2017’s January NAQP CW. In addition, I am already looking at getting a new radio, so throughout 2016 I will focus on learning simple SO2R operation.
73 and see you in the contest!