I didn't do so hot on my goals for 2012. I lost a lot of time due to blowing up my rig, family stuff, vehicle repairs, and several other things going on. That being said, 2013 isn't going to be better in that regard - I'm taking up a second job for at least 66% of the year (as an adjunct professor), and I expect as many things to come up as last year.
So here it is...
- Learn CW well enough to casually contest.
- I'm not going to hide it. I enjoy casually contesting. I would like to be able to do some contests in CW because of more points, CW-only contests, and possibly eventually getting into QRP contesting.
- Work a VHF contest this year
- I really want to burn up 6m, 2m, and 70cm. My IC-706 will do those bands, and antennas are smaller and easier to deal with. I'm going to be looking at Dayton for antenna-related equipment because I may try to go to a much higher point than where I live.
- The way things look for my January (the absolute busiest month for me), this will likely be the CQ summer VHF contest or the ARRL summer VHF contest.
- Participate in more contests this year
- This past year, I only participated in NAQP-RTTY, Field Day, Ohio State Parks on the Air, and the ARRL 10m Contest (and my participation in the ARRL 10m Contest was not much - 2 QSOs). I want to hit several more, including the Ohio QSO party, more of the NAQPs, and some of the CQ contests.
- I've never run a frequency in a contest. I want to change that this year as part of running in some additional contests.
- Operate more!
- I haven't been on the air as much as I'd like to have been. I need to change that.
Eventually, I want to get into QRP operations, so I'm going to try to not spend anything this year (or spend very little) and ultimately buy an FT-817, IC-703, or KX3. I don't expect to buy this year (unless I get a damn good raise, a bonus, one hell of a tax refund, and the pay for an adjunct professor is far greater than what I expect. Also, of those 3, only the 817 does 2m and 70cm. If I really enjoy VHF contesting, my decision would likely go for the FT-817 unless the KX3 adds a 2m/70cm module (and even still, the KX3 is far more expensive than the FT-817, and that will be a factor as well).
Hope y'all have a happy new year as well!