My favorite activity within amateur radio, besides hanging out with other hams, is contesting. I’m not very competitive, but I enjoy trying to beat my last score or my previous year’s score. A few times I got lucky or entered a specific category in a small contest and ended up winning. That’s always fun. There is also a special camaraderie among contesters outside that of amateur radio operators, and it is a good group to become acquainted with. Contesters are among some of the best operators on the ham bands.
I am a member of the Tennessee Contest Group, and enjoy operating with and learning from those guys. Anyone can be a member of the TCG. All it takes is operating in one contest, listing the Tennessee Contest Group as your club affiliation and submitting your log to the contest sponsor. For more information on the TCG, visit the link in the Blogroll to the right.
There is a contest of some sort, usually many, every weekend and the cool part is you don’t need a big contest station to compete or have fun. Contests are a great way to log a lot of DX. It’s nothing to work 100 different DXCC entities in a weekend during one of the big DX contest. Also, during the North American QSO Party, you can often work all states in one weekend, and if you really get after it, you can work ’em all in a few hours. If you have a few hours free some weekend, visit the WA7BNM Calendar site, click on the “This Week” link and choose a contest or QSO Party. Or better yet, get on the radio, find a contest station, listen to a few exchanges and jump right in. And if you hear me on the radio, give me a call… I’ll need the points.