A brief look back on the ham radio highlights noted here during 2022.

Cycle 25 got a running start this year and never looked back. HF propagation steadily improved all year long and though the cycle doesn’t appear on pace to be spectacular, coming on the heels of such a protracted period of poor band conditions it has been as well-received as a box of chocolate donuts at fat camp.

After more than 40 winters at the coalface I retired in February and began adjusting to life as an old fart. Everyone warned me not to just quit working and stay on the couch. I hardly needed that advice, but it’s easy enough to see a day or two slip by having not accomplished much. There has been more time for ham radio, but it’s easy to get burned out on even that. The good news is that I’ve stayed busy and have been getting better at being retired.

I attended Hamvention in May and shortly thereafter got a burr under my saddle for DXCC. In some ways it seems an acknowledgment of my own mortality that has created a not seen before desire to accomplish certain goals, DXCC being one of those. Having shunned even basic log keeping for decades my start in this quest was at the bottom. Yet despite that and the modest HF station I’ve managed this year to collect wallpaper for DXCC Mixed and Digital and would already have DXCC CW if only more Morse enthusiasts used LOTW. Sigh.

2022 saw my first DX Marathon submission with more than 125 entities worked during the calendar year. While not an award winning score, I’m pleased to have exceeded this benchmark and look forward to it being the first of many submissions.

Field Day was once again a solo backyard portable event for me. I put a hundred CW contacts in the log and figured that was proof of concept for disaster communication efficacy from my QTH.

I played in several other contests and sprints during 2022. The K1USN SST was one of the weekly CW practice events that had my attention through the summer months. The CW practice was always appreciated, but it also served to shakedown the N1MM logging software. All the others were search and pounce attempts to add a few new ones to the log. I didn’t find this a terribly effective way to increase my DXCC totals though the efforts weren’t wasted.

The K7K operation from Kiska Island took place in July and I managed to get into their log a few times. Alaska wasn’t a needed entity but it was a fun operation — and as an added bonus I did get credit for the POTA hunt and for one phone contact with AK that was needed for the Triple-Play award.

A few other notable CW contacts made during the year included CE0Y/CE3CT on Easter Island, JW8AJA on Svalbard, 3B8M on Mauritius, and 3B9KW on Rodrigues Island.

2022 was a productive year for ham radio for me and I hope to find even more fun and adventure on the road ahead!