All scores are claimed scores unless otherwise noted.January: ARRL RTTY Roundup (Final Score)•QSO’s: 885•Mult’s: 97•Score: 86,016•Op Time: 14:55Comment: First place for Indiana low power stations, but only 4th place for Central Division stations. My best score ever, although slighly fewer QSO’s than my previous best, which was in 2014. I missed all of Saturday evening and night after after 2230z to attend a wedding, losing about 6 hours of prime operating time. Had I not had to take that break, I’m confident I would have significantly broken past the 1,000 QSO level and the 100,000 point barrier.January: NAQP CW (Final Score)•QSO’s: 828•Mult’s: 191•Score: 158,148•Op Time: 10:00Comment: Another personal best, good for first place for Indiana stations and fifth place in the 9th call zone. 2016 will be an exciting year if this keeps up. Bands were quiet, rates were high, and I had two hour-long runs, one on 40M and one on 80M. If there was a downside to this contest, it would have been the low productivity of 10M, a condition which is likely to persist as the solar cycle declines.January: NAQP SSB (Final Score)•QSO’s: 297•Mult’s: 112•Score: 33,264•Op Time: 6:45Comment: Holy cow! Another personsal best! At least looking back as far as 2007. Unlike the previous two weekends, bands were noisy and participation was low. Did I mention the bands were noisy? S6 to S7 noise levels on 40M and 80M, which made operating there a chore. As a consequence, 20M was my best band. I was somewhat inspired to stay in the chair as I finally, after multiple years of making feeble efforts, was able to get computer wav files to play through at least one radio, the K3. This allowed me to call CQ and to save my voice for those QSO’s which need a bit of extra articulation or emphasis. It would be nice to be able to get the wav files to play through both radios, but since I almost never operate SO2R on phone, that’s probably not a big deal.January: CWOps CWT 1300Z January 27•QSO’s: 104•Mult’s: 76•Score: 7,904•Op Time: 60 minutesComment: Another personal best, at least as far as QSO’s go. Not my highest score, however, due to an inferior multiplier total. Can the string of personal bests continue?January: CQ WW 160 CW•QSO’s: 304•Points: 669•Mult’s: 54•Score: 37,746•Op Time: 5:30Comment: No, the string of personal bests can not continue. Quiet band and high activity made this a very productive five hours, however. Worked one new country on 160: Azores.February: FMRE RTTY•QSO’s: 181•Points: 453•Mult’s: 57•Score: 25,821•Op Time: 5:30Comment: It had been 9 years since I last worked this contest. My recollection was that participation amoung XE stations was low but it was surprisingly good this year, accounting for 12 of my 57 multipliers.February: CQ WPX RTTY•QSO’s: 4,190•Points: 11,847•Mult’s: 1,098•Score: 13,008,006•Op Time: 48 hoursComment: Operated as part of the K9CT M/2 operation. In addition to myself, operators were Don K9NR, Steve AI9T, Steve N9CK, Bill K3WA and our congenial host, Craig K9CT. This score is higher than our raw score from 2015 which set a new North American record. Based on raw scores, it appears as if we finished second overall, with LX7I having a raw score of 14.4M. We did as well or better than them on all bands except for 80M, where the scoring rules give them an advantage due to the large number of other countries located on the same continent.February: NAQP RTTY (Final Score)•QSO’s: 609•Mult’s: 135•Score: 82,215•Op Time: 10:00Comment: First place for Indiana stations. Bands were funky, especially the high bands, and activity seemed to be down. I tested some “experimental” messages to try to find the sweet spot of short messages that minimize fill requests. Decide it was too complicated and went back to basic messages for the July NAQP RTTY.March: WIQP (FInal Score)•QSO’s: 207•Points: 361•Mult’s: 64•Score: 34,080•Op Time: 7:00Comment: First place Indiana and 7th place overall. My best score ever for the WIQP. Eight counties short of a sweep. Once again, the Wisconsin mobiles did an outstanding job.April: MIQP•QSO’s: 170•Mult’s: 85•Score: 21,165•Op Time: 5:30Comment: First place for Indiana stations and my best score ever for the MIQP. Also, fifth place for the Eastern region. Somewhat surprisingly, more phone than CW QSO’s. The out of state stations that will have a higher score will have been far enough away that they could use 20M.April: CWOps CWT 1300Z April 27•QSO’s: 89•Mult’s: 77•Score: 6,853•Op Time: 1 Hr.Comment: My first CWOps in several months and, boy, was I rusty.May: CWOps CWT 1300Z May 4•QSO’s: 107•Mult’s: 86•Score: 9,202•Op Time: 1 HrComment: My all-time highest score for a CWT. Most QSO’s and most points. Participation seemed to be the factor, rather than anythng I did. Despite my all-time best, I still only finished 17th in the high power category. Seems like everyone was making lots of QSO’s.May: INQP•QSO’s: 649•Points: 1,159•Mult’s: 124•Score: 143,716•Op Time: 12:00 Comment: Second place for in the Rover category. Staged a rover operation this year, once again in the amiable company of Andy, K9ELF. We only activated 7 counties, which allowed for some significant operating time in each county. I suspect a large number of INQP participants were happy to log some of the more rare counties this year. Most of our operating was on a county line, allowing us to leverage our score with a double QSO rate. Total drive was only 93 miles, compared to over 500 for the 2015 mobile route. This year’s INQP allowed all entry classifications to use spotting networks, and we used the personal hotspot on my iPhone 6+ along with the VE7CC cluster client and N1MM+. This proved a very effective combination for spotting multipliers, identifying the most active band, and finding holes to start calling CQ, although we had the usual problem of not being able to hear some of the in-state mobiles. The downside: my phone was not available for pictures so, while Andy got a lot of pictures of ME, I didn’t get any pictures of HIM. But, hey, since it’s all about me anyway, no biggie. We also networked a second computer to the logging computer to allow whichever of us was not operating to look for mults. This was probably not as effective as just the outright use of the cluster, but allowed the non-operator to follow the action a bit better. I was concerned prior to the contest that this was an unduly complicated setup, but in the end it was trouble free. And, we used an antenna that had been constructed specifically for use as a rover. Finally, we also beaconed our position continually on APRS, with an overlay linked to our pathon aprs.fi, so that others could see our exact location. I would guess there were maybe a half dozen other stations who took advantage of this, as we would start operating from a new location and they would quickly call in to snag the new multiplier. See the details on the antenna and more photos on my Rover Antenna page. We were awarded the plaque for 4th highest score for Indiana stations. We ran the INQP in conjunction with the 7QP and the NEQP. See below for those totals.May: 7QP•QSO’s: 134•Points: 369•Mult’s: 52•Score: 19,188•Op Time: 12:00 Comment: Operated in conjunction with the INQP (see above). This appears to be our best score ever for the 7QP, and was awarded the certificate for Outside 7th-Area Mobile Multi-single Low-Power Mixed.May: NEQP•QSO’s: 55•Points: 98•Mult’s: 21•Score: 2,058•Op Time: 7 hours Comment: First place in the Multi-Operator Single-Transmitter - Mobile category. Operated in conjunction with the INQP (see above). June: CWOps CWT 1300Z May 11•QSO’s: 90•Mult’s: 73•Score: 6,570•Op Time: 1 HrJune: CWOps CWT 1300Z June 15•QSO’s: 99•Mult’s: 75•Score: 7,425•Op Time: 1 HrComment: A top ten finish.June: CWOps CWT 1300Z June 22•QSO’s: 41•Mult’s: 33•Score: 1,353•Op Time: 0.5 HrComment: Operated using the W9LDX “North” station Field Day setup (laptop, radio, etc.) in order to become familiar with the Icom 746 that would be use at the LDXA FD. The radio does not have much in the way of filters but was not as bad as I feared.June: Field Day at W9LDX 2A IN (Final Score)•QSO’s: 2,221•QSO Points: 7,046•Bonus Points: 1,350•Score: 8,396Comment: First place Indiana and the Central Division for 2A, and 14th place overall. Our score was considerably down from our stellar 2015 effort. Sporadic equipment problems during the first 8 hours caused us to lose some operating time at both stations. But, even once those problems were resolved, our rates were consistently lower than last year’s rates. Scuttlebut via the internet suggests band conditions were not as favorable this year as last. So, it will be interesting to see if we can repeat as a top ten finisher in the 2A category.July: CWOps CWT 1300Z July 13•QSO’s: 98•Mult’s: 78•Score: 7,644•Op Time: 1 HrComment: Bands were surprisingly good, considering the low flux levels.July: NAQP RTTY (Final Score)•QSO’s: 534•Mult’s: 137•Score: 73,158•Op Time: 9.75 HrComment: First place Indiana. Had to work very hard to get what I got, and when the contest was over I had not gotten as much as I wanted. The middle third of the contest was not too bad as both 20M and 40M had good activity. Prior to that only 20M was active and after that only 40M was active, so the second radio could not be put to good use. Part of SMC Team Watts, which took fourth place in team competition.August: NAQP CW (Final Score)•QSO’s: 639•Mult’s: 152•Score: 97,128•Op Time: 9.5 HrComment: Third place Indiana. As was the case for the July RTTY contest, only 20M was open for most of the afternoon. But, once 40 came alive, it was posible to be on 2 bands at the same time, and there was very little noise on the low bands. And, of course, the CW contest has activity on 160M. So, overall, the outcome was a bit more to my liking than the RTTY event. Was not on an SMC team.August: CWOps CWT 1300Z August 17•QSO’s: 121•Mult’s: 96•Score: 11,616•Op Time: 1 HrComment: Far and away, my best CWOps ever. More QSO’s and more mults; my first score ever to exceed 10,000 points. A Top Ten finish. 40M just wouldn’t stop; stayed there for the first 45 minutes of the event, which helped to increase my multiplier totals. August: SARTG RTTY•QSO’s: 104•Points: 1125•Mult’s: 52•Score: 58,500•Op Time: 2:37Comment: Operated in the hope I might pick up a new country or two on RTTY. Did not happen but still had fun.August: NAQP SSB (Final Score)•QSO’s: 144•Mult’s: 57•Score: 8,202•Op Time: 5:32Comment: If this had been my first contest, it would probably also had been my last contest. Bands were noisy and activity seemed to be down. Threw in the towel after about 5 hours. August: CWOps CWT 1300Z August 31•QSO’s: 81•Mult’s: 69•Score: 5,589•Op Time: 1 HrSeptember: CWOps Open Session 1•QSO’s: 116•Mult’s: 88•Score: 10,208•Op Time: 2 HrComment: Had hoped for a really big score but the lack of propagation on the high bands eliminated those from use. So, in the end, this ended up more like a long CWT session.September: CWOps CWT 1300Z September 14•QSO’s: 93•Mult’s: 86•Score: 7,998•Op Time: 1 HrComment: Once again 40M was the place to be well into the second half hour. September: CWOps CWT 1300Z September 21•QSO’s: 86•Mult’s: 76•Score: 6,536•Op Time: 1 Hr September: CWOps CWT 1300Z September 21•QSO’s: 86•Mult’s: 76•Score: 6,536•Op Time: 1 Hr September: CQ WW RTTY•QSO’s: 4,014•Points: 9,005•Mult’s: 693•Score: 6,240,465•Op Time: 48 hoursComment: Operated as part of the K9CT M/2 operation. In addition to myself, operators were Don K9NR, Steve AI9T, Steve N9CK, Roger N4RR and our accommodating host, Craig K9CT. Preliminary results suggest we finished 4th overall and first place for North America. My first opportunity to use the Flex 6000 series radios in a full-out, contest setting. The radios were a pleasure to use. Subjectively, it seemed we could operate two radios on the same band (a run radio and a mult radio) and operate much more closely together than we could with the radios previously in use at K9CT, which were all Elecraft K3’s with the upgraded synthisizer boards.October: CWOps CWT 1300Z October 19•QSO’s: 99•Mult’s: 80•Score: 7,920•Op Time: 1 Hr It has become clear that it make the most sense to stay on the first band as long as possible since every QSO on that band will be a multiplier, switching to the second band only after the first band is played out.October: CWOps CWT 1300Z October 26•QSO’s: 48•Mult’s: 48•Score: 2,304•Op Time: 0.5 Hr October: CWOps CWT 1900Z October 26•QSO’s: 34•Mult’s: 34•Score: 1,156•Op Time: .33 Hr November: Sweepstakes CW - Final Score•QSO’s: 665•Mult’s: 82•Score: 109,060•Op Time: 18.75 HrsSweep! Rates were good the first few hours, well ahead of my record (for me) 2015 CW effort. Then, the rates slowed down. Then, the bands got noisy. Then, it stopped being so much fun. The bands improved late on Saturday evening but, by then, it seemed as if a lot of operators had hung it up. Late Sunday night the rates can often be quite good, but not so this year. Still, it was good to get the sweep, only the second time I have done it on CW, and probably the earliest I have ever completed: My first QSO on Sunday morning was for NL, giving me the last needed section. However, the Sweep did not hold up to log checking, as I busted the check for my NT QSO.November: CWOps CWT 1300Z November 9•QSO’s: 70•Mult’s: 60•Score: 4,200•Op Time: 1 HrA slow speed (20 wpm or less) CWT in honor of the most recent graduates of the CWOps CW Academy, so rates were down and thus scores were down compared to a typical CWT.November: Sweepstakes SSB•QSO’s: 461•Mult’s: 80•Score: 73,760•Op Time: 12 HrsI typically find it hard to stay in the chair for phone contests. My rates aren't as good as for CW or RTTY and my voice gives out pretty quickly, even using a voice keyer. This contest started out no differently. However, I had a couple of awesome runs on 40M late Sunday afternoon, and that made a huge difference. in my final score Made 105 QSO's in one 90 minute stretch, took a break, then made another 45 QSO's in 45 minutes. The result is my highest ever score for an SS Phone. I've never gotten two sweeps in a given year but I thought I might do it this year. Ended up missing AK, MS and PAC. The low bands were long through the contest. I only count 18 SMC calls in my log, which seems low. There are 54 SMC scores posted to 3830 so it seems I missed a bunch.November: CWOps CWT 1300Z November 23•QSO’s: 89•Mult’s: 79•Score: 7,031•Op Time: 1 HrI had played around with different AGC settings on the K3 prior to SS SSB and settled on THR=15 SLP=0, which seemed to work very well for that contest under its conditions. Kept those settings for this running of the CWT and found they did not work well at all. Too much range. If turned up the AF high enough to easily copy the week stations, S1 or S2, then the really strong stations, S7+, were way too loud. Don’t know if the difference in performance was related to the difference in mode (SSB vs CW) or just different band conditions. In any event, a much lower THR setting would have been the way to go. December: CWOps CWT 1300Z December 7•QSO’s: 94•Mult’s: 81•Score: 7,614•Op Time: 1 HrMore testing of AGC settings, this time for CW. THR = 12 SLP = 15 was where I ended up. See page 132 of Fred (KE7X) Cady’s book on the K3, second edition, for some interesting graphs showing audio output as a function of the slope and threshold settings. I also tried running some SO2R in this contest but just could not make it worthwhile. The short exchange and the high rates on the first radio get in the way.December: CWOps CWT 1900Z December 7•QSO’s: 96•Mult’s: 75•Score: 7,200•Op Time: 1 HrDecember: RAC Winter December 17•QSO’s: 100•Points: 604•Mult’s: 13•Score: 7,852•Op Time: ?My usual 40M effort, although I don’t think I operated as much as I typically do. N1MM+, for some reason, did not provide a operating time. Phone activity is always low for this contest and that was especially true this year. So, mult totals were down due to the lack of phone multipliers.December: Stew Perry TBDC December 17•QSO’s: 228•Score: 942•Op Time: 4:25Band was VERY noisy Saturday night. So much so that I finally turned on the attenuator, something I almost never do. Still had to deal with lots of static crashes and QSB due, no doubt, to the snow and ice storm that was going on. Sunday morning, however, was a whole ‘nother experience. Low noise (although still some QSB) and I was actually able to run for several hours, something I can rarely do on 160M. All Sunday QSO’s were made with my end fed long wire, which was a better performer than the Butternut vertical. I entered as a low power station but, in terms of winning a certificate for Indiana, I might have been better off entering as a high power station as at least a couple of the other usual suspects from Indiana entered as low power.December: CWOps CWT 1300Z December 28•QSO’s: 94•Mult’s: 88•Score: 8,272•Op Time: 1 HrMy last contest of 2016? 20M was absolutely worthless. 1300Z in western Indiana is just too early to produce many QSO’s there: I logged a total of 1. Anticipating this, I started out on 80M and logged 11 QSO’s there before hitting 40M. This strategy seemed to produce more multipliers. I also tried some SO2R but, typically, the rates on the first radio are just too high for my meager skills to produce much on the second radio. But, it seemed like a good opportunity to practice SO2R in advance of the January NAQP CW.