The 1999 PA QSO Party
The PA QSO party is one of the major state contests. It always generates lot of activity on the bands. This year was no exception. I missed last years contest as I up in PA but spent the weekend at my niece's wedding. You have to keep the priorities straight. It was good to get back to the contest again this year.
The stategy was to work the contest as 500 mWatts. I held firm to that even though it cost me a contact with one needed county. I had all the counties worked in the state for USA-CA the second time so there was never any need to go above the QRP power levels. However I did need five counties QRP; I got four of them at 500 mWatts. The fifth county was Greene County, the fellow there just could not pull out my signal. He got the call but could not get the exchange.
I still reguarded this contest as a huge success at the 500 mWatt level. In the end I worked 55 of the 67 counties and heard about five others at one time or another. One of the disadvantages of having a three area call and not being in PA is it makes is hard to send CQ without confussing everyone. None the less when the contest was over I had over a hundered QSOs and now need only 11 more counties to have worked every county in the state at under 1 Watt.
The equipment for the contest was the Wilderness Sierra, the Norcal key, the Tick 1 keyer and a homebrew dipole. Except for the power supply this is a complete homebrew station. Now all I have to do is pull out my gel cell and I can claim it is a total homebrew effort and solar powered.