North American QSO Party – CW Weekend
North American QSO Party
The North American QSO Parties are favorites of beginners and seasoned operators alike. The NAQPs are low-power only (no amplifiers allowed) which makes for a lot more breathing room on the bands. Small stations can generate very effective “runs” in the NAQP contests. Multipliers count once per-band, which makes for an exciting format, as multipliers can be “moved” from band to band. The NAQPs allow stations from all parts of North America to be in the running for the top spots. The 12 hour format allows participants to do some great contesting, yet still have time for other activities during the weekend. Participants can enter in the single op or multi-op categories and also have the opportunity to combine up to five separate single op scores into a team score. – from the website
My favorite software for this contest has been N1MM Logger +. It’s free and I can use Fldigi to decode for me when needed.
When searching and pouncing I listen to the other stations callsign a few times until I get it. If it is questionable in my head, I look at the software.
I completed an advanced course in CW this year so I am hoping for improvement on my part. See Learning Morse Code (CW) The Best Way
Icom 7610 or Icom 7300
What I really like about these radios is the Spectrum Scope on the front. The LCD touchscreen is fantastic and I’ll use it to move up and down the band looking for stations. I consider this the old school way instead of using the software spectrum scope in N1MM Logger, which, BTW, is very good.
I set the band edges for the CW portion of the band and that works good enough.
N1MM Logger +
To setup N1MM Logger+ for these radios is very simple. Especially for the Icom 7610.
Have a look at this post if you’re using the Icom 7300: Icom 7300 N1MM Logger Plus Setup
If you’re using the Icom 7610 look here: Icom 7610 N1MM One Cable RTTY FSK CW; How To
Practice, Practice, Practice
Ever since last May I have been listening to CW every day. If I don’t get a chance on the radio I will listen to recordings I’ve made.
Here’s a good one that I listen to on a daily basis. It’s the alphabet with a few CW abbreviations thrown in. 25 WPM actual speed, 15 WPM effective speed. Keep listening until you have instant recognition in your head.
Right click here and choose “save link as” to save it to your computer.
You can follow Mr. B. and myself on our travels using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and/or YouTube.
If you have any questions, please ask them here. I prefer the comment section here or in YouTube over e-mail because your comments and questions will help others as well.
Thank you for subscribing to this website. I sincerely appreciate it.
Please stay in touch and best 73,
Nice blog. I do not have a ‘7300 but I do have a TS-590SG which I truly love. I sometimes use my old ‘7000 for QRP, but on a couple occasions where I could not copy a really weak QRP station, I had to switch to the 590SG to copy (still weak, but now readable). I use to think it was wrong to use a radio not dedicated for QRP to use for QRP, but even some of the so-called QRP radios (i.e. IC-703) have to be turned down to 5w to qualify as QRP. So now I mostly use my ‘590SG at 5w for QRP. Only problem with the Kenwood is it won’t go below 5w, and that’s when I pull the ‘703 out of the closet (hi hi). Str-Key CW only here….
I’m told Kenwood did/does make a 590SG-like transceiver that was rated 5 watts and under ONLY, but that was never meant for export from Japan.
Again, nice blog page…
It’s nice to hear from you Curt and thank you so much for commenting here. I was unaware of that with the Kenwood radios. I have a Kenwood TS-480HX in my truck. Haven’t tried reducing the power much on it. For QRP I use an Elecraft KX2 and I’ve never been disappointed in it. FB on the Icom 703. I hope to get the Icom 705 some day. Very best 73 and DX!