NAHSMS 2008 Geminids Test
S O A P B O X
 
  Much wind here in New Mexico today and the power line noise just knocked me out. It was fun but sometimes I think I was watching grass grow. Random hours are much more fun than a 5 day contest, but that is how life is lived. - WA5DJJ

It was fun, but I wish there had been more activity out there. - K7CW

This was my first MS contest since getting into MS in January 2008. No 2-meter capability, so missed quite a few possible points because of that. Will be interesting to see how I did. Strategically, I operated the contest for the first 23 QSOs in Random mode, then switched to PJ to pick up more multipliers for the last 7 QSOs. Conditions were poor here for the last couple days of the contest because of the severe weather coming through the west, which created a lot of noise. My overall broadband noise level was about 2-3 dB stronger than usual in all directions. In addition, I never detected any enhanced activity due to the Geminids. There may have been some somewhere, but we out here in the west kept a pretty careful eye on Virgo, and we knew when the radiant was positioned such that it should be helpful, but none of us really saw much out of the ordinary. Kind of a bust. A lot of guys are saying that they think participation seemed down this year, along with overall conditions being worse. For me, it was fun anyway. :-) Hope next year is better. - W5WVO

I had extremely high line noise during the entire contest but the superb noise reduction features of the SDR-IQ receiver running under WINRAD allowed me to complete a modest number of contacts. No signals could be copied using my 756PROIII. K3RWR

I enjoyed the contest very much, seemed a little slow over the weekend. Maybe everyone had worked each other hi hi. - KC6ZWT

I noticed a lot of activity the first night but after that it seemed to me that it was a downhill slide. At least out here anyway. Some stations that I missed the first night just never came back. I also noticed a bunch of stations that usually show up never did for some reason. Maybe they were all on 2 meters this year although I thought 2 meters wasn't as busy as normal either. While I still had 2 meters of course. I did much better this year than last so I'm happy about that. A year's more experience certainly helps. Last year I was still in the "newbie" stage, at least as far as I was concerned because I hadn't been active on WSJT and MS for very long. I also only had 100 watts on 6 and 50 watts on 2 meters. Now I am semi QRO on 6 meters with 600 watts and have/had 170 watts on 2 meters. Anyway I had a great time but wish more stations would turn west more often. Those that do reap the benefits. LOL - VE3CDX/W7

I enjoyed operating in the contest this year first time as I was up in Wyoming last year without radios. I operated in the random-only category, and was able to surpass my goal of 1000 points, despite high noise levels all weekend. - KS7S

There were some good conditions during the contest, but also some not so good conditions. Still, this was a fun contest, and working VE5UF provided a new grid on 2M. I just wish there was more activity out west. - KI7JA

One QSO made. Intended to operate more but events conspired against me. I work on the weekend, and one of our occasional snow events came in Saturday. So my agenda was full dealing with that and catching some sleep. Incidentally, this was my first QSO using WSJT. Jer answered my CQ on 50.260. He was beaming SOUTH for the entire QSO! - N6KW

Not the greatest rocks, but being rusty with WSJT timing almost cost me a couple of QSOs. Fun nevertheless, and good to see the activity. - WO9S

Great to see so much activity out west. I believe there are now more 6m ops working random than scheduling on PJ. Set a new personal meteor scatter DX record on both bands with K7CW: 1205 miles. - WB2FKO

Could not put in a true contest effort due to work and other duties. Friday evening saw a cold front move in with 10 inches of snow, winds gusting to 85 Km/hr, and temps dropping to -42 with wind chill! The 6m Yagi had to be turned manually, so made several excursions through the howling wind and blinding snow to work the west coast. Then had south and midwest stations ask for a shot, so back out again to change the beam heading! After a few trips, I learned to wear better shoes and gloves. Glad to have helped out a few with my DN39 Grid. Sorry I could not operate longer! Nice to see some unfamiliar calls pop up on the logger...looks like WSJT MS Operators are increasing! Aside from the frozen fingers and toes, it was a lot of fun. See you all off the rocks! - VE6CPP

Well once again good ol' Alabama Power Co. trumped my best intentions of making a good effort in the test. Real hard to hear pings in S9 noise. Oh well, maybe next year. The effort of the contest team is much appreciated. - K4YMQ

Only one QSO during the contest, the battery that runs my TS-2000 decided that it was time to quit just when I found time to play. Hope to do more next year. - W4FRA

One thing I have noticed for sure: It is much harder to operate un-assisted than it used to be. Apparently many don't listen at all to call freqs during the test, especially on 2m. Not many worked without moving them from 6m. Also many don't CQ there either. I usually can catch several stations on 144.140 by using my bigwheels to RX in all directions, and then once I get a ping from someone just point the beams. Only caught 2 that way. I did get a couple by RXing on different freqs. I would move RX freq up 1 kc about every 10-15 minutes. Many don't listen after a QSO. Heard several to the west that I missed. They worked someone and then immediately moved I guess. On 6m would be working someone and have others call in the middle. I would finish with original station and others would never come back. Missed 5 or 6 that way. Those views from the un-assisted of course. With most using PJ it was just normal operating of course. That's the thing that makes it interesting. Will be fun to see how many un-assisted logs you get. Saw some good operating from several stations. Some handling 2-3 stations calling at same time. QSYing to different freqs by passing info on the air. Was interesting just to watch. Lots of fun !! Had high winds that gave some power line noise problems to my west at times. - N0PB

My antenna crashed to the ground in a severe ice storm a few days before contest. Managed 3 contacts on my 40 meter delta loop at about 50 watts. Got the beam back up and will look forward to next year. - W9SE

Far cry from previous contests for me with the antennas being down. I did manage to get a 6m loop up and worked three and heard and tried several more the last day. Hopefully things will be back in order for the next one. - N5SIX