The NAQCC Sprint is one of my favorite events because it gives me the opportunity to work more QRP stations. Last night between 0130z and 0330z was the monthly event for these QRP club operators. I was fearful that I wouldn't catch any operators, as the event began, because I didn't hear anyone on either the 20 meter or 40 meter bands. That meant my only opportunity for success would be on my worst 80 meter band! (not an encouraging bit of news)
I took me a long time to realize my chances for contacts would be the "sit and wait" method.
The "search and pounce" method just didn't work because of all the competition from those with "great antenna's" and "great ears".
I wasn't successful until near the end of the contest. (a lot of stations give up by then)
The key was to throw out my call and let them come to me. It worked.... when I used "half steps" (using .5 intervals) and I also put my radio into "reverse CW mode".
The "reverse CW mode" changes the audio of interfering stations, much the same as shifting from USB and LSB on a SSB radio. I don't understand (technically) how it's accomplished, but....hey, it seems to work for me when I'm listening to VERY weak signals!
Towards the end of the contest (the last half hour) I was able to work K4BAI (Georgia), W1TF (Georgia) and last but not least, N1LU in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire station was especially rewarding to me because I've never worked that state on 80 meters!
That's not many contacts but for an indoor antenna and 5 watts, I'm very happy to have worked these three guys. And the really great thing..... it's QRP to QRP !!
I had a little advantage by using a "straight key" (I get double points for using this key) and it will be intersting to see the results posted on their web site:
I imagine it will take a few days to calculate, and post on the North American QRP CW Club site.