Happy New Year! Where did the year go?! It was my first year on HF and I loved every minute of it! Seems that I have a passion for contesting and I was able to enjoy that on both ends of the pileups this year…
I tested the waters a little with The New England QSO Party. How can a girl from New England go wrong? I learned Exchanges, frequencies and how a little New England hospitality can go a long way. Loved it!
Then came Field Day! W1Q was my special call station. Hoisting up an antenna, hooking up my radio to a marine battery, and putting on bug spray all proved that a girl with her radio can have lots of fun in the outdoors too! I’m remembering over 500 contacts and no voice left after that, but learned so much about setting up my rig in an emergency situation. Field Day will be on my calendar always! I also learned about some of the great volunteers at the ARRL and QRZ. I was a little unsure of how to go about applying for that special call, and sure enough someone at the ARRL was able to assure me I was on the right path to getting that call. But then I though, heck, why not have a QRZ page too?! But how to do that…hmmm… well, turns out that there are volunteers on QRZ.com that make all the arrangements for that, except I was a little late in submitting for my page. BUT an extremely nice QRZ.com volunteer phoned my at home to work it all out! Ham operators are amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever met one that wouldn’t go out of their way to help another one out!
My final contest for 2010 was The Thirteen Colonies event! What a great time! This was where I was on the other side of the pileup! Calling CQ during Field Day was fun, but The Thirteen Colonies is big business to a lot of contesters and I was invited to participate as one of two Connecticut stations! I’m still getting QSL cards from that event and met a lot of great people. AND, I’ve been invited to come back! Which I am planning to do without even a second thought!
Now 2011 also offered me some other interesting Ham Radio related fun. When my HF rig was in repair, I was introduced to VOIP. That’s Voice Over Internet Protocol for anyone out there unfamiliar with it. Basically it’s Ham Radio over your computer. You need to be licensed to access the servers, but if you don’t have a HF rig, or you’re just a technician without the ability to Ragchew except on 10 meters when it’s open, VOIP may be a fun alternative. What I did was accept a volunteer job with an organization on VOIP that does outreach programs and nets. As Net Manager I ran a thursday evening educational program called Thursday Night Thematic, or TNT for short. I asked some great Hams to come aboard some of those thursday nights and talk shop. Two of those Hams were Joe Carcia, NJ1Q, manager of W1AW about the ARRL’s premier radio station and QRZ.com’s very own Fred Lloyd, AA7BQ! (You can listen to the podcasts of those interviews by clicking on their names!)
So, how was your Ham year 2011? I’ve got some great ideas for 2012, such as a podcast on the blog. Maybe bringing over those great Hams to interview right here! And a few things on the agenda, such as getting that HF antenna BACK UP AGAIN, after the last recent New England storm we had the end of Oct. (Long story why it isn’t up yet). I also need to get my HF rig in the car! I can’t wait for that. Which brings lots of other topics for discussion on the blog- antennas, mobile HF rigs, Contesting, QSLing, etc. etc.
This Girl and Her Radio have lots of Radio fun planned in the future, how about you?!
73, Suzanne…. N1SUZ