Many people have blogged about their activities over the weekend during the ARRL DX CW contest. I had planned to spend some time making some Stateside contacts, to see how many different states I could work and perhaps make enough contacts to be worth submitting an entry, even though I had no intention to win anything. Alas it was not to be. After just over an hour on Saturday afternoon, during which I had made 17 contacts on 15m, Olga learned that her sister in Ukraine was in intensive care in hospital. It would have been inappropriate to carry on making contacts on the radio, even if I had still felt like it after receiving that news. So that was the end of my participation in the ARRL contest.
Olga felt she would have to go urgently to Ukraine to see her sister, which made me depressed and anxious. Kharkov isn't the easiest place to get to from here, even without snow both here and there making the journey more difficult. However on Sunday Olga received some better news about her sister, including the advice that there was little she could do if she went now and it would be better to wait until she was out of hospital before visiting. I'm still depressed at the thought of being without my wife and soulmate for a bit, but at least I will have more time to get used to the idea before it happens.
My interest in the contest didn't recover after this, but I did read about a couple of new pieces of digital radio software which I tried out and wrote about yesterday. Both of these programs are very interesting, and I think I shall have more to say about them in the near future.