WPX CW Contest

The WPX CW contest was on over the weekend.  I had no intention of participating as my slow speed and deaf ear would probably not have been welcome on the bands.  However out of curiosity I had a listen and it was utter madness – even with my narrow filter I didn’t stand a chance of decoding anything with just my ears.  However I installed CW Skimmer on the laptop and noticed something straight away – all the morse was machine generated.  I suppose who in their right mind would take part in a 48 hour contest doing things by hand.  So I decided that if everyone else was doing it why shouldn’t I?  My Icom IC-746 has 4 keyer memories.  I set up 2 of them – 1 to send my callsign and the other to send the report & serial.  At least the radio has a serial counter with automatic increment.  No need to exchange pleasantries in a contest!  So I managed to work 45 countries.  Yes it was necessary to know the code – occasionally I needed to glance at the waterfall to see if my callsign was coming back to me correctly- CW Skimmer is very good but not foolproof. It looks like I might fork out the $75 when the trial period is up.  Anyway I did manage another ATNO – 9M8K (East Malaysia)  so the efforts were worthwhile.  Now to practice my dits and dahs a bit more!!


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