It was a busy weekend. The kids were all still in town for Thanksgiving holiday through Saturday and we had an enjoyable time visiting with them and the grandchildren. On Saturday morning it was a visit to the local Christmas tree farm with all of them to get a tree before they began heading back to their own homes. Saturday afternoon Fedex delivered the Elecraft K1 transceiver that I had purchased from a guy in Chicago a week earlier. But when it arrived I was busy in the shack with the CQWW DX CW contest so I didn’t check it out until Sunday evening.
I didn’t approach the CQWW as a contest. My score was unimportant. It was an exercise in cherry-picking needed entities and in that regard I didn’t do so well. I made around 50 contacts, all DX no domestic. I didn’t gather a single ATNO though I did fill several needed slots assuming they are confirmed. It was almost all ten meters for me and while my results were skinny, that should goose my numbers on 28MHz nicely. I didn’t think band conditions were stellar, but there was a lot of activity. I admit to growing bored as I often do in these events. I’m not equipped to be a serious radio contester either with the necessary hardware or the gumption to stick it out. When you’re searching and pouncing for select entities it gets boring pretty fast. I probably spent five hours total in the effort, time spent mostly spinning the dial looking for something I never found.
The K1 that arrived is a four-band (40,30,20,15) CW transceiver (SN 2750) with the internal auto-tuner, filters, and noise blanker. (I’m looking for a KTS1 tilt stand). After the contest ended I powered it up and all looked well. I called CQ at five watts and a couple of RBN stations took note. A good sign! Then I went hunting for a “first” contact which wasn’t tough as the SST was already in progress. Three quick exchanges on 40 meters and I figure the new (to me) K1 has been broken in. Having built and sold a K1 some twenty years ago, it’s nice to have one back in the shack next to the K2 (SN 524) I built in 1999.
The K1 will likely play some larger role during the month of December when I’ll send my IC-7610 back to the factory for a display replacement. That will promote the IC-705 to the primary position until the big rig returns. I’ve been telling friends that December marks my return to full-time QRP work with good reason. I plan to exercise all of my QRP stock during the month. Some, like the KX3 and the TX-500, haven’t been powered up in months and I have some fears about the health of internal batteries.
The absence of the big transceiver will mostly close out my hunt for DX during 2023. To be certain, I’ve worked an impressive amount of DX at five watts over the years, and magic happens more often than you might think. But having achieved most of my HF DX goals, the focus is beginning to shift to other bucket list adventures in the coming New Year.