Some upcoming events

Now that the Christmas Rush is over and you are resting up for New Years I thought I would mention a few upcoming Amateur Radio Events to think about.

The First event which starts at 0000hrs (UTC) on Jan 1st 2011 is the ARRL Straight Key Night.If you click on the ARRL Logo (above) you will end up at the ARRL Website where you can read up on the where, what and wherefores of the event but basically its a CW Contest where the participants use the Straight Key rather than paddles, keyers, computers etc.

Although I (with my lousy CW Skills) will not be participating in this event I do recommend that you at least give a listen ( I will be) and if you have the necessary skills or think you do try making a few contacts…  I find it interesting that now that CW is not a requirement that the mode is actually gaining in popularity especially with the QRP Portable types as now everyone who is operating CW actually wants to operate CW…

If your not into CW HF but into CW and SSB VHF Work why not give the ARRL Jan VHF Sweepstakes a try.

Click on the above logo to go to the ARRL Contest site for more info.

Date and Contest Period: The date will be announced annually by the ARRL but will generally be the third or fourth weekend in January. Begins 1900 UTC Saturday, ends 0359 UTC Monday (January 22-24, 2011).

With all the various HF rigs that now offer 2m, 6m and 70cm as well (Such as the TS 2000, FT897, IC 7000 just to name a few) most of you have no excuse to at least listen to the contest and give out a few contacts to those who are actively contesting.

Also remember that they do call 6m the magic band for a reason and if there is any sort of opening you can have a blast operating just with the output of your radio and a simple dipole antenna.  But you can’t make any contacts if your not on the air…

I will be there for this one using a simple 1/4w rotatable dipole for 6m with my FT 847 with the rigs 100w and hope at least to get a couple of grid sq

Last but not least The SPAR Winter Field Day event is at the end of the month…

From their website:

The 2011 Winter Field Day will be held from 1700 UCT (12:00 noon EST) Saturday January 29, 2011 through 1700 UCT (12:00 noon EST) Sunday January 30, 2011. The object of the event is familiar to most Amateur Radio operators: set up emergency-style communications and make as many contacts as possible during the 24 hour period. The rules encourage as many contacts on as many bands and modes as possible, because during a real emergency, the most important factor is the ability to communicate, regardless of band, mode or distance.

If you click on their logo (above) you will be taken to the SPAR Website for more information.

I have participated in this event in the past and am looking forward to doing it again this year.  The plan is to set up in a park close to home and operate QRP/P from the great outdoors till I freeze up or I go through one battery pack with the FT817.  Either way I figure that I am good for about 3 hours or so …  Noon till 3 pm or 4pm would be a fun way to spend an afternoon giving out contacts and getting some fresh air at the same time.

So there you have it…  Three events to start off the New Year with…  Hope to hear you at least in one event…

Just remember…  The original Amateur Radio Social Media device used a “Key” and not a “Keyboard”.

73 from Ottawa… Bob

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