2023 is already underway and there’s always a strong desire to hang a new calendar and immediately start scribbling on it. Goals. Targets. Whatever the choice of words is, there seems to be a natural disposition to turning a year into an expedition. And that’s not a bad thing.
Every hobby needs to have some kind of goal with it. Something to acheive. Something to learn. Some new challenge to take on and complete. Or not. Failure is a good teacher and changing one’s mind is a sign of apprecating that the world does change. So what should 2023 have for KC8JC?
POTA is here to stay. It’s become a major focus for me in the hobby and most of what I spend my time on is in service of portable QRP operation. There’s also been a focus on digital operation for POTA. Should that change? Maybe. That would add some challenge to the mix.
Putting together POTA goals is pretty easy because there’s already a score keeping mechanism of sorts as part of the program. By the end of the year, a Kilo at Cuyahoga Valley NP [K-0020] is a must. Another easy one? The Warthog Rover. Why? Do I really want to activate 5 parks in a day? Well…it’s called The Warthog. I feel like that’s self-explanatory. Who DOESN’T want that?
A more subtle goal for operations would be to do more voice contacts. That needs to be a target so that there is better understading of the field station with non-digital modes. There’s only one way to get good at something and that’s to do it. A couple of activations using SSB will be a good addition.
Along the same lines is using my “other rig”. Yeah, the X6100 that saved OSPOTA for me. Getting it out and using it more for digital as well as SSB has to happen so that there is a level of mastery in its deployment and use. Bersides, playing with toys is fun.
There are also plans in motion around getting to an All Time New One (ATNO) over summer vacation. More on that as it gets closer.
The stretch goal for POTA is to do a CW activation at some point. My ability to copy CW is hot garbage right now and my practice level is non-commital at best. But that sounds like another goal!
It’s time to get serious about CW. Watching K4SWL do activations on CW is insipring. It would also get me away from carrying the tablet with me everywhere. There’s such a conflict around use of digital modes for me in that the desire to actually carry around the tablet and screw with it while playing at the park is minimal. It sure would be nice to go back to something simpler. I love digital modes! They’re fun and feel natural to me as a nerd dude. But the simplicity and craft of CW operation has me in its thrall.
It’s time to practice and get serious. Or as serious as one needs to be about a hobby.
Field Day isn’t a contest. But OSPOTA is. There are a pile of contests out there that could be good fun either portable or from home. In an ideal world, operating from the camper at a State Park for a contest would be a grand time. QRP. Low interference. Food cooked on a fire. Relaxing with the trees. All of these go really well together.
Contesting from home isn’t as exciting because of the many limitation of the home station. Not that it shouldn’t make the goals list, but it’s not the most attractive item by any stretch.
What’s outlined here is a variety of activities within the hobby. Are there a million other things that might be fun? Sure! But the truth is, there are other things on my plate. There’s a lot of cycling in the warmer months. We camp a lot. There’s a desire to spend more time in the kayak this coming summer. All things that pair well with getting on the air, but maybe not with kit building, for example. Hobby time is limited, so a little focus goes a long way in making sure that it’s enjoyable and fulfilling.