I participated in the 30th OQRP contest in the VLP category (less than 1 watt) and had fun with my homebrew 7 MHz CW transceiver.
The TRX is the HM7, that I built many years ago. Click on the HM7.
This rig comes from "Solid State Design for the radio amateur" page 214...218.
The antenna is an Inverted Vee.
My homebrew transceiver has no automatic gain control (AGC), which is a real pain in the ears, when the received signal is strong, such as RST 599 or even more.
In this contest I experienced again, that in a receiver with manual gain control, strong signals are very strong in the headphones.
With this receiver you are always too late with strong signals.
The report in the OQRP contest is RST, serial-no./ category e.g. 559001/VLP. This makes more fun than the usual reports with 599. You must be very keen on the received RST. All QRP stations that I met, gave a RST lower than 599. The QRO station gave 599.
My received RST
I received 519 (1), 449(1), 559 (3), 569 (1), 579 (3) 589 (1) and 599 (3)
The signal reports from 519 to 589 are a real RST.
Somtimes the other station was much weaker than QRM from other stations, but still the exchange was easily copied.
I made only 14 QSO's. My DXCC score: DL (11), OK (1), S5 (1) and SM (1).
On sunday we went to "Fort bij Vechten" to visit the fort, during the open day.