Next to Field Day, my favorite operating activity is the Wisconsin QSO Party. Who wouldn’t love an event where your station becomes the sought after entity. So, for the 2nd Sunday in March, I fire up the rig and see how many other Wisconsin and out of state stations I can log.

I decided to change things up a bit for this year’s party. Instead of going solo like I’ve done in years past, [pq]this year I invited a couple of newish hams to the shack to experience the thrill of being the DX. [/pq] To make things even more fun, I also secured our club’s callsign, W9SM, for the event. This made for a fun afternoon of working the radio, chatting about radio, and of course a few celebratory beers at the end.

The bands were in average condition for this year’s event. 40 meters was hot and that’s where we spent the majority of our time. Although as things wound down we dropped down to 75m to grab a few contacts. Poor propagation was a problem on 75, though. The bands weren’t excessively noisy, but at the same time, I just wasn’t hearing anything. But there was enough activity on the bands that I was able to teach the new guys the hunt and pounce method of contacts and how to work a pileup.


A work in progress- a 17′ crappie fishing pole is the base for a portable HF vertical antenna

This year’s event we also experimented with a prototype antenna that I’m building. Consisting of a 17 foot collapsable fiberglass fishing pole, I’m working on a portable vertical antenna for 10-40 meters. The antenna is a work in progress, but once I get the kinks worked out, it will hopefully be the answer for working on some of the higher bands that I have trouble with. Living on a small lot, means compromise, antenna wise, so other that my one wire antenna I have strung up, portable antennas are the rule.

WI-QSO-Party-2015-stationAs for the results, we had 102 contacts; 75 from other Wisconsin counties and 27 from other states and provinces. This netted us 4,794 points for the event. Our score should be easy to find as it will probably be the bottom one for the multi-op category. Not my highest score in the contest; I don’t play to win, but to have a good time. And a great time was had by all.

Beer of choice for this year's QSO Party was New Glarus Hopster (a hopped wheat ale).

Beer of choice for this year’s QSO Party was New Glarus Hopster (a hopped wheat ale). Available only in Wisconsin

State Total
Wisconsin 75
Illinois 6
Minnesota 6
Michigan 3
Iowa 2
Missouri 2
Georgia 1
North Carolina 1
Ohio 1
Ontario 1
Tennessee 1
Total 102

If you contacted W9SM at the Wisconsin QSO Party, you can QSL at the callsign’s address of record or directly to:

Michael Martens, KB9VBR
1228 Arthur St
Wausau, WI 54403

Did you participate in the Wisconsin QSO Party. Were you able to contact W9SM in this year’s event? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.