May blog in June....KY QSO Party plus AUSTRALIA??

So I decided to hold off on the may blog until after the Kentucky QSO Party so I could share my score (and a few other things).

May was pretty quiet overall with not much going on ham radio wise.

I attended the virtual Contest University. It was a great event, plus you can't beat FREE!! I learned quite a bit from the different presenters. I think my favorite presentations were "Grounding & Bonding for Contest Stations" by the one and only Ward Silver (N0AX) and "Digital Contesting Hints & Kinks" by Ed Muns (W0KY). I figured out a few things I need to do for grounding whenever I get around to it. 

I also graduated from WVU! It wasn't how I planned it or with the degree I originally intended to get, but I'm  glad to have actually finished a degree!

June started off with the Kentucky QSO Party. I operated from Lawrence County (LAW). I didn't do as well as I had originally hoped, but I'm still proud of my efforts. I ended up with 66 QSOs in 53 minutes total operating time. All were phone on 40 meters. I didn't do any hunting I decided to just work a frequency (or two). The 66 contacts plus 24 multipliers gave me a final score of 1,584. Overall, not bad for my first time!

The second week of June was really exciting. I FINALLY made my first QSO with AUSTRALIA!!! I've been looking for them for a while but never seemed to be able to receive them until now anyway! I couldn't sleep so I decided to work some FT8 & FT4 on 40m. I had pretty good luck with DX stations
VK7AC FT8 Contact
VK7AC FT8 Contact
right off the bat working Spain, Panama, Barbados, Anguilla, Argentina, Belize, and the US Virgin Islands. Before working AUS I saw a New Zealand station pop up in WSJT-X. I tried to work him several times but even though PSK Reporter showed a few NZ stations were receiving my I never could get a QSO. I was getting ready to shut everything down and go to bed when I saw a couple VK stations popping up. After trying a few time VK7AC, Norm in Tasmania, finally came back to me!! I almost fell over!! 
VK7AC LoTW Confirmation
VK7AC LoTW Confirmation

The contact was made using WSJT-X (FT8), an IC-7300, and my G5RV. Based off of my calculations from Lawrence Co. (EM88na) to Tasmania (QE38mp) is roughly 9,867 miles (15,787 km)! It's already confirmed on LoTW too!!

With the confirmed contact in Australia I was able to apply for QRZ's Worked All Continents award. It was granted with an endorsement for Digital Mixed. I also applied for a couple of other awards from the FT8 Digital Mode Club.


Now to see what the rest of June holds!



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