Its Christmas, or rather it was as it is now all over and done for another year. As I write this on the 2nd January 2013 I can happily look back on a great amateur radio year.
I had great success with the special NOV for the Queens Jubilee and also the Olympics and between both of them I managed almost 200 contacts. This was the first time that I had applied for a special event and I was amazed at how popular you become when you have a special call sign.
The NOV (notice of variation) was requested from Ofcom through the RSGB, of which I am a member.
As someone who likes to get special event station contacts it was great to be on the other end. I also provided event QSL cards (paper) to every contact that wanted one and had a card uploaded to Eqsl for the online users.
I am a big fan of QSL cards and really enjoy the sending and receiving of them, I often spend time checking out the location and profiles of the operators I contact and this gives me a great insight into the people I am communicating with. It really does make it a little more personal.
If anyone has checked my station out on http://www.qrz.com/db/M0GYY you will see that my operating conditions are far from perfect. No twenty meter towers or tall trees for me, but my basic set up works as well as I can expect from my location.
I also operated QRP from Exmoor on a number of occasions and again had some great contacts on SSB using 5w and a home made fishing pole antenna. Its really interesting how many great contacts you can get using low power and basic antennas.
Then the final month of the year arrived and I was fortunate enough to have a few days off over Christmas. I operated most mornings from the 25th December to the 1st January for 3 or 4 hours on SSB but mostly PSK31 modes.
I have as already mentioned below that I have been using a new antenna and it has proven to be very good.
I had some great contacts including two new countries in Paraguay and Turkey and two great contacts in Asiatic Russia. Over the Christmas period I managed 120 contacts which was superb. I operated on 15,17,20,30,40 and 80 meters and had great fun meeting all the new radio contacts from around the world.
The whole year has been one of learning about amateur radio, how antennas work, radio signals and best operating times. Learning to adjust and adapt to different conditions and getting that rare QSO or that new country. This year has been a lot of fun, lets hope the conditions keep improving in 2013 and many new contacts will arrive at my antenna.
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