Contest Blues

January 18th, 2009 by k8gu Leave a reply »

I got on for the CW version of the North American QSO Party last weekend for about 45 minutes.  I did all S&P, although some of it was the fatiguing two-radio S&P.  For some reason, it wasn’t the same for me as it was last year.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t prepare much in advance.  Or perhaps it’s the fact that my favorite 930 is dead.  Shoot, it could be that I’ve patched my antennas so many times that they’ve changed SWR minima from the CW end to the phone end of the bands!  Whatever it was, I didn’t feel the rush of the contest this time.

During SS CW, I suspected that this moment might be coming.  Am I getting old?  Tired?  Lazy?  Or just disinterested.  I don’t know.  Maybe some sunspots would help?  Maybe I should liquidate all of my aging hardware to buy a K3 or an MP and tickets to the Caribbean in February and November?

Perhaps it’s a more personal thing.  Why spend so much money on something that takes me away from my family (wife right now)?  Certainly, it is a social event among friends to get on the air and make some noise.  But, I can do that with one radio and a wire in the trees.  Do I need to keep the KT-34XA’s I plan to stack?  The T2X to turn one of them?  The 402BA-S?  Will I ever be able to spend what it takes to put up a tower that can hold that stuff with a clear conscience?  I used to look forward to having a dominating signal and pushing the state of the art in receiving.  I’m not sure any of that is too important to me today.

I think I’ll wait to see where we land next year before I make any decisions.  But, I may be cutting back.