New Years 2024

This year I enjoyed working through radio making contacts to start the new year. I had great results making contacts from the backyard with my FT-991A.

As I only got my license in 2022 after passing my General exam on May 4th, and only got my HF rig during 2023, I looked forward to being able to start the New Year off on the air. I did this in between being out driving for Lyft over the New Years Weekend.

I worked this also towards my QRZ 12 Days of QRZ 2023 award as well which included my days working over Christmas weekend and accounted for over half of the days needed. I setup my FT-991A out on the lanai with my custom PREDator vertical antenna I had assembled. This was the first real time working it after aquiring all the parts I needed to assemble it. I had been pointed towards it after a POTA activation where I had a contact just blasting through and we got in contact via email afterwards to discuss setups.

Over the weekend I worked 15m, 20m and 40m bands FT8 and FT4 working 128 QSOs from 37 countries over 3.5 days. My longest QSO was with VK6AS all the way out in Australia over 20m. Overall I found the PREDator antenna worked wonderfully though a bit more complicated to setup than my GRA-7350T. I still take both with me when I do POTA activations as the one handles 10-20m fine while the other gives me 10-80m to work. I find when setting up either my RigExpert is invaluable and well worth the investment. The GRA-7350T being the quickest to setup as I have baselines already for all bands I work and only adjust for the conditions at the time which are generally minute.

I definitely find the N3FJP Amateur Contact Log software is my choice working really well with WSJT-X and GridTracker and being able to upload my logs to both QRZ and LotW. I stil find many that only log to QRZ and not LotW as I can’t submit for credit on some awards if I only get the QSL on QRZ. I also find QRZ reporting differences in the contact logs, most commonly their county, grid or state and I will only edit my log if I find it has been confirmed through LotW and will only edit to match the details in that QSL.

I also was able to start the year off with receiving my CQ Magazine Digital WPX certificate for 300 digital prefixes confirmed along with my North America continental endorsement for 250 NA prefixes confirmed.

The weekend after New Years I was able to make it out to do another POTA activation so I could get my POTA New Year 2024 Activator certificate. With the Park to Park contacts I made while doing so I also managed to also get my POTA New Year 2024 Hunter certificate.

All in all, not a bad way to start the new year and see where I end it!

May 30, 2024 Jan 3, 2024
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