The end of the year usually means looking back. I don’t want to do much looking back though. Two thousand thirteen was a crappy year. At least in my perception. And on a relative level of course. No one I care about has died. All my pets are doing fine. No one I know lost his job and everyone is in good health or at least doesn’t know he or she is ill. There were plenty of fun moments for sure but the overall impression 2013 left was: things can be better and some things need to change. Drastically. I limit myself here to ham radio related matters so let’s just say that 2013 was a tipping point in my life where I hit several brick walls, also in ham radio and the way I give meaning to the hobby. So let’s see if we can change all that for the better in 2014.
My biggest mistake over the last three years might have been trapping myself in a bigger-faster-louder spiral. In all aspects of life. I’m not a glass half full or half empty type. I make sure the glass is full and then drink it bottoms up. Just like a bipolar transistor or a ferrite core, you reach saturation and when going beyond a certain point, things break. In contesting that meant that trying to put down a big score was more important than enjoying the contest. WRTC selection had a big part in that. And granted: not making it there after all that might bug me more than I’d like to admit. For a brief moment I thought of applying as a referee. Looking at the list of refs I know more people there than on the competitor’s list. But staying awake for 24 hours straight while just listening and not actively doing something seems impossible to me. So exit WRTC 2014. It was a good race though. I now know what my stations is (not) capable of and I learned to squeeze every drop out of it.
I have also neglected casual DXing. That is something that I very much enjoy. But since I spend so much time on the regular bands in the contests, I like to hang out on the WARC bands. I have no interest in working all those fellows yet again on 10/15/20 on a weekday. And since I traded the blown WARC dipole for a 40m rotary dipole, I have no permanent WARC antenna anymore. So I always need to hang it up and take it down. And I don’t always have the enthusiasm to do that. Not to mention WX. A permanent WARC antenna is a priority for 2014.
The bigger-faster-louder spiral has also led me to belief that I can only have fun in a contest when the tower is cranked up to the max. And when the tower is down, it’s no use switching on the transceiver. As a result, if time or WX keep me away from once again playing ‘fieldday’, I just don’t make any contacts. I did so in the past though, where I entered numerous contests and made a few hundred QSO left and right with the antennas nested at about ten meters high. That is still a full wave on ten meters and a half wave on twenty! I regained this awareness and experienced it live last weekend in the RAEM contest.
In the ARRL Ten Meter Contest a few weeks ago I worked QSO # 200 000. That’s in a thirteen year time span.
Numbers! Speak for themselves.
History according to ClubLog. Only from 2006 on (start of OQ5M callsign).