I operated in the NA QSO SSB contest last weekend. Justin and I decided to operate from his house, as it's RF quiet there, also it's in the comfort of the A/C in Aug.
Before I arrived, Justin pulled a 20m resonate dipole in a north/south configuration. Once I got there, we strung an 80m - 10m dipole through the woods in a north/south configuration.
I was really pleased how accurate my slingshot can be for stringing dipoles. I changed out the weights from the teardrop to egg shape and they fly out of the slingshot much more accurately.
We operated for 10 hours with misc breaks here and there. I think but-in-chair time was around 9 hours. We made 400 contacts total. Once we hit that milestone, we quit for the night.
I noticed the NAQP is a lot like Field Day. It's a very laid back contest. Operators are trying to make as many contacts as possible, but there isn't a "rush" like I've seen in other high profile contests. I guess because this contest doesn't count for anything but braggin' rights so it's more low key.
About 5pm central time, we switched it up and I started search & pounce on 20m. I made a few contacts, but soon quickly decided to go back on 40m to run.
I could really hear the static crashes on 40m, as there were storms all around the STL area.
If your looking for a contest to start getting your chops up to speed, this would be a great starter contest along with your state QSO party.
I learned one important thing about the QSOrder recording software. It did record all the individual QSO's correctly, but my continuous recording failed. I had both slices recording in the same directory. It uses the same file name for the continuous recording, so it was fighting with each other over writing the file. Because of that, I didn't get a full recording.
Here was a screenshot of my setup for the contest.
Head over to my contest audio and log file archive to see the log for the contest.
Video to be uploaded soon!