So, I entered the Canadian Prairies QSO Party last weekend. Also, I installed and used N1MM+ contest logging software for the first time.
We hams love contests. One type of contest we have is the QSO Party. QSO is shorthand for a contact. In our QSO parties, we try to make contact with as many stations in a certain state, province or region over a period of time.
Overall, there are nearly fifty different state QSO parties. You can enter them all and earn awards. This year marked the first of our Canadian Prairies QSO Party, which ran on May 14-15th from 1700Z to 0300Z. Each contact was confirmed with an exchange, namely a signal report and our Canadian electoral district. Hams from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba took part.
I operated on 20 meters low power (100 watts) voice mode. Signal conditions weren’t great and there were only a few participants. But, I had fun for a few hours Saturday afternoon.
To get the most from my experience, I installed and used the leading contest logging software, N1MM+. This software is optimized for controlling your station, logging your contacts and providing automated support. I connected N1MM+ to my Flex 6300 and got it all working in a few minutes.
Because N1MM+ is optimized for contests, it contains files with all the rules and set-up for the dozens of contests it supports.
Canadian Prairies QSO Party – N1MM+ in Action
One of the great features of N1MM+ is your ability to create audio files for commonly used calling and exchange sequences. Then, when you press a function key, N1MM+ will make your calls and exchanges for you. This means, over a long contest, you won’t strain your voice, or wrist in a CW contest.
As for logging your contacts, you just enter call letters and exchange information and hit Enter. You can monitor your progress as you go along and easily switch between different contest modes. Software records the frequency and time automatically.
If you want to get active in contesting, just install N1MM+ and enter a few QSO parties. Contacts are easy and you train yourself in the art of ham radio contesting.