Any 2024 Radio Goals?

It’s the beginning of 2024 (Happy New Year everyone!) and a lot of my radio friends have been setting goals and asking what mine are for the year.

Truth is, I’ve had so much going on during the latter half of December, I hadn’t stopped to think about 2024 goals.

This morning, with a cup of coffee fueling my brain cells, I came up with a few ideas.

Here are the goals I’ve pieced together for 2024:

  • Complete a CW satellite contact
  • Complete a POTA activation using FT8
  • Add 20 more parks to the number of unique POTA sites I’ve activated
  • Add 5 new summits to the number of unique SOTA summits I’ve activated
  • Update: One more…build that QCX+ a good friend Bob gave me, then put it on the air!

Out of these goals, I think the second, completing an FT8 POTA activation, will be the easiest. I’m mainly making it a goal for 2024 so that I actually carry through with doing it.

The CW satellite contact?  I’ve got the gear to do it now, I believe, but this will take me well outside of my comfort zone. That’s a good ting. Making it a goal for 2024 will encourage me to bite the bullet.

The last two POTA and SOTA goals will actually be the toughest for me simply because we haven’t ironed out our travel plans for 2024 as of today.  Funny part is I know some leaderboard POTA and SOTA activators that would knock these goals out in the month of January without breaking a sweat!

I’ve activated all of the low-hanging POTA fruit around my QTH (with three exceptions) so any new unique parks will be further afield and more easily achieved if we take some family road trips.

I’ve many more SOTA summits to hit here in North Carolina alone, but again, so much depends on my available free time.

Your 2024 Goals?

What are your goals for 2024? Please comment if you care to share!

80 thoughts on “Any 2024 Radio Goals?”

  1. My main goal would be to learn CW this year. But it’s no easy task as I get confused with A & N if I don’t do the dit dah A, dah dit N thing. Which most will tell you is a horrible habit to get into. My work schedule doesn’t allow me to participate in any kind of CW classes since I’m in bed by the time they start. Trying to listen to anything while I’m working, I drive a delivery truck, is too tough to concentrate on the task at hand. So I feel I’m at an impasse. Happy New Year QRPers.

    1. Mark, one idea is to simply listen to CW for a little while each day while you’re working, without trying to decode it. Just let your brain get comfortable with with the tones & rhythms, but don’t stress over what’s being sent. I have no evidence to back this up, but maybe 10-20 minutes in the morning, and another period in the afternoon. If that seems to be going well, up it to 30 minutes each session, but don’t get burned out.

      Of course, this is from a guy who’s CW is terribly, terribly rusty.

      1. I plan to learn CW this year. So I listen to Kurt Zoglmann videos. He is morse ninja ?
        It seems to help me recognize the tones . Then I have several apps I use on my phone to practice.
        Enjoying the hobby.
        Health and prosperity to you and your family.

      2. I agree–works for CW or a new language. It is just
        as when you start a new job–it seems so complicated
        at first, then on Day 5, or Day 20 or even on Day 90,
        you suddenly realize: “Hey, I got this!”

    2. Mark, I’m going to turn your question in a post. I think our readership might have some good strategies for you. A post will give this more visibility and help others!

  2. My 2024 Radio Goals:
    Successfully complete the CW ops Advanced Class.
    Be able to head copy a CW rag chew comfortably at 25wpm.
    Get 150 SOTA activators points (double my existing number).
    Get 200+ confirmed DX entities on QRZ.

    73 & HNY

    1. Wow, Steve! You’re going to have a busy (yet fun!) 2024! I hope you achieve each of those goals.

      1. Thanks Thomas. The later two are not a crazy as you think, as I haven’t mentioned my starting points! Good luck with your goals too.

  3. Some of my radio goals for 2024: is to try and activate as many SOTA summits and POTA parks in as many states as possible. Spread good will and make new friends.

    I am heading to AZ the end of the month….a good start

    Dave KN4OK

    1. I love these goals! I especially love the spreading good will and making new friends. Obviously, you’re already on the way!

    2. Spreading Good Will is the best goal! Let me join you on that one.

      I’ll try to keep an ear out for as you activate the southwest. Peace and safe travels!

    1. We can usually all use that “ragchew” CW practice. I need it, too. I find the buffer in my head with all of the activating I do, has just gotten shorter.

  4. I’ve always been a planner of sorts. Owning a business you learn to shuffle day to day activities I’ve never really made any goals for the hobby but have decided to this year just to see if I can do it. None should be unobtainable with the flexibility that I have but here’s my goals before the end of 2024.

    1. Learn (become more efficient) in CW
    2. CW POTA and SOTA activation.
    3. Work all West Virginia parks (72 currently of 138)
    4. Activate all of WV (49 of 138)
    5. More SOTA (started in September 2023 and finished the year with 6, new goal of 20)

    I don’t think it’s to hard of a list to strive for. We will see.

    73 from the Mountain State

    1. Wow! Working and activating all WV parks! That’s a fantastic goal amongst all those other goals. 🙂 Break a leg!

  5. My goal is to complete at least 1 cw qso a day, for 5 days a week. I figure this will give me the practice I need to get better at copying.

  6. Happy New Year to everyone.

    My goals include:
    Getting outdoors more
    Do an FT8 POTA activation
    Build a QRP transceiver – ordering a Hermes Lite kit soon.
    See if I can inspire the local club to get more active on the repeater
    And for a challenge- learn CW


  7. Looking back over the nearly 40 years of being licensed in the Amateur service, I notice that goal setting hasn’t really been part of how I approach the hobby.

    The internet enabled gamification of ham radio through programmes like POTA and SOTA has proved to be a huge boost to the hobby and to me personally. And these activities inevitably lead to a certain level of goal setting.

    Nevertheless, there are some targets on my ham radio radar that are closer than others. In 2024 I hope to:

    a – use the fairly well stocked junque box that’s been taunting me to home brew a functional and reasonably performant QRP CW transceiver.

    b – activate a park in England, Scotland, or Wales.

    c – fix the slight alignment issue in my ICOM IC-725 that’s causing the displayed frequency to be a couple of hundred Hertz off when using the SSB modes.

    I guess these are goals now that they’ve been written down.

    Happy New Year and Peace to you.


    1. Excellent goals, Matt. I love that part of them is improving your knowledge of transceiver design and maintenance/alignment.

      And activating in the UK? Sign me up!

  8. Great write up.
    My goals for 2024
    Sota activations both MO and AR. I completed my first last year.
    Reach a goal of 100 Parks. Sitting at 88. Going to require at least a two hour drive from my QTH.
    My biggest goal? To own an Icom IC-705 for a backup rig.

    1. Excellent goals, Dennis.
      100 parks was my goal for 2023 (I think I started off the year with 80 or 82).
      And an IC-705? You’ll have no buyer’s remorse with that one!

  9. Ooops! added one more goal to my own list:
    Build that QCX+ a good friend Bob gave me, then put it on the air!

    Really looking forward to completing that goal!

  10. Goals for 2024- in order of time from beginning through year end

    1-Continue learning CW
    2-Make a POTA contact in AK or HI to complete my POTA 50 states on SSB or FT8
    3-Make a POTA contact on CW
    4-Activate the remaining local park I mentioned in my guest post on the rail trail
    5-Activate all 12 of the parks in the Grand River (Ontario) Conservation Authority system
    6-Complete a 4 activations in 4 parks in one day by bicycle as described in my recent guest post
    7-Develop proficiency in CW
    8-Make a CW P2P contact with Thomas K4SWL

    1. All incredibly fun goals, Rod! I love it.
      Also another goal: more field reports for! Ha ha!

      So we’ll need to coordinate on goal #8. We can make that happen. Might take a couple of tries, but with coordination, I’m confident. Fortunately, we’re in the same time zone.

      1. I set up a Ham Alert for your call sign this morning thinking that, down the line, I’ll respond to an alert of one of your activations. Not surprisingly, I got an alert this afternoon and am listening to your POTA activation now, which is a good way to learn!

  11. I had a great 2023 that will be hard top but hope to return to Europe for more SOTA and another POTA/SOTA from the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area.

    Hope to make more radio friends here and abroad.

    Also hoping to take my Serbian friend on a SOTA tour somewhere in the states.

    Materially, I hope my KH1 arrives soon 🙂

    HNY & 73, Mike NJ0Q

  12. Loved reading everyone’s goals. It looks like a lot of us aspire to the same goals! I’ve been working on my 2024 goals for a while, so I guess now is as good a time as any to go public:
    1 — Complete the CWA Advanced Class
    2 — Get good enough at CW to ragchew at 25 wpm
    3 — Activate 52 new parks, all QRP
    4 — Activate 10 new states, all QRP
    5 — Activate my local park 52 times, all QRP
    6 — Activate Banff and Jasper National Parks (as K4EAK/VE6) during our summer RV trip
    7 — Finish my POTA WAS (need AK and HI, but want to do them QRP)
    8 — Do a hike or otherwise explore each new park I activate
    9 — Post my radio goals on a public forum so I can’t weenie out at the end of the year and pretend I didn’t have them. (Guess I can check that one off.)

    73 Skip K4EAK

  13. My goals to get more confident in CW. Activate more parks only using CW. Get more involved in SOTA and activate at least two summits. Continue activating parks QRP

  14. My 2024 Radio goals all dovetail together. Here goes:

    1. Get enough chaser points to earn my SOTA “Shack Sloth” award. I’m currently 1t 892 points.
    2. Work more CW contacts with both SOTA/POTA and rag chews. My goal is to operate CW more naturally so it just happens and I don’t have to concentrate so hard.
    3. I want to build out my radio kits so they are “grab and go” without having to pack and inventory every single time I head out.

    1. Great goals!
      Also, I geek out on a regular basis about point #3. I have a couple more of those to assemble this year.

  15. Still being among the workforce, my amateur radio goals will be a bit modest. Last year, I set a goal to do a POTA activation on average of 1/week. As it turns out, I outperformed on that one by more than 2x. For 2024, I’d like to complete the “hunted all states” for POTA, and I would like to try to activate in 4 or 5 new states. Beyond that (and like many others here), continue to refine my CW chops!

    1. Like you, my free time is limited by my daytime activities. I think those are brilliant goals, Alan.
      You should add another goal though: Pressure Thomas into the P2P POTA challenge! 🙂

  16. I generally don’t set yearly goals, but I do have in mind what I want to work on next. So, I reckon these would be some of my 2024 goals!

    I learned CW in 2023 and made nearly 8,000 POTA contacts (80:20 activating:hunting) by the end of the year. I’m very comfortable at about 22 wpm, but my ability to do much more than a simple exchange at that speed is very limited, so my next CW goal is to expand my ability to do conversational CW at speeds closer to 20 wpm. I’m a member of LICW and I may take some more classes with that goal in mind, but if readers have additional thoughts on how to improve in this area, I’m all ears!

    Another near term goal is to take (and pass, Lol) the Amateur Extra exam so I can respond to more DX stations that I hear.

    One last near term goal is to write up my ever-evolving portable kit for!

    73 to all!

    1. All excellent goals (especially the last point if I’m being selfish!)! 🙂
      You’ve done a brilliant job with CW in 2023, no doubt Spencer. By the end of ’24 you’ll be plugging away at conversation.

  17. Learn CW using several different apps on my phone.
    Listening to Kurt Zoglmann videos to recognize CW.
    Patiently waiting to get the kenwood thd75. Hopefully the radio will be discounted later this year.
    Always listening and checking in to local nets.
    I have a telegram ham radio group to take care of.

    Health and prosperity to you and your family.

  18. I’m getting back into the hobby after a few years away.

    I’m signed up for CW Academy Beginners course starting later this week.

    I want to be able to get comfortable with CW and be able to use my QRP Lab QCX-mini 20M transceiver for my 1st POTA activation.

    72, VE7GNR

    1. I can assure you: after you do your first, the addiction will set in! 🙂 We look forward to seeing you on the spots page!

  19. I’ve never made a goal per se as it relates to radio, but I have always enjoyed playing radio… Well that is not completely true. CW was a large goal of mine when I first started hunting POTA with CW 2 years ago. You probably don’t remember Thomas, but you were my very first CW POTA contact. Heart rate was up on those first few contacts!

    If possible, I always try and get out for a POTA while on business travel. For some reason I activate much more during travel than at home. I think it’s because I don’t have any family obligations while on the road. So in that vein, I’d like to add 4-5 new states this year to my POTA list (currently at 30 states activated).

    I have a QMX on order which I’d like to refine my portable kit to. Maybe then I’ll contribute to your Field Radio Kit posts 😉

    Outside of radio, I’ve been thinking about picking up the banjo again. I started 13 years ago or so, but when my daughter was born, it fell to the wayside.

    1. You know that Banjo and QRP go together!

      And I’ll add another goal: Write at least one field report to share on QRPer about picking up those new states while traveling. 🙂

  20. NJ6F – Rich
    Just a reminder that the first thing you should activate is some protection from the sun with some decent rated UV rated effective lotion in all the right places like top of your CW fist and head every 2 hours or so. Wear a wide rimmed hat as well and go to the dermatologist twice a year. My cousin died of skin cancer in her 40’s. Great hobby this SOTA/POTA thing but your outside & the sun is not your friend even when it is cloudy. If it is windy on those hills get an 8 foot Delta kite which supports 200 foot of RG174 for less ground noise with a 20 or 40 meter vertical dipole and really work the DX. I have done it and it works great in the open, eliminating the need for trees 🙂
    Have a good 2024 and make sure you have some back up power in the house with some solar and LI 100amp batteries in parallel. Those LI Time grade A units are cheap, get 2 to 4 and run the house. My club is building their own modems for Winlink & VARA comm’s P2P direct if & when the internet gets shut off, and I love Hybrids no problem, but fear when & if power goes out when someone plugs in one too many EV’s which are not the same by a long shot. Also a nice project is hooking battery backup to inverter 115vac to your gas furnace so you can run the fan & thermostat to heat your home. U tube has a nice rundown on an that easy project that will keep you warm and make you the hero of the family.

    1. You’ve got some interesting stuff in store in 2024!

      And I’ll second the sun screen! As a red-headed fellow, it’s not an option. 🙂

  21. I totally nailed my 2023 ham radio goal. Consequently, it is the same goal for 2024…….

    Have fun playing radio.

    Thanks, Thomas, for the informative site and posts!

  22. One of my goals is working on my 2nd million. I have given up on the 1st.

    Will continue with CW working POTAs mostly local ones with friends.

    I need to get rid of some of my Ham gear, got too much. I do want to set up and start using my Collins S-line. I had one in the 70s and had lots of fun with it. Now have another one.

    I will continue to pray for peace in the world, just too much going on. And pray for our country, would like to see more of us get together than set divided. Good most of Ham Radio is together.

    73, ron, n9ee

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more: we need to come together instead of allowing division like we have now. If we can’t find common ground, we can’t get things done.
      Restoring that S-Line sounds like an admirable goal too, OM! HNY!

  23. During 2023 I injured my back at field day which resulted in an extended hospital stay (and home recuperation.) With all that spare time in the hospital I spent a lot of time thinking about QRP ops. I listened to every HRWB I hadn’t heard, and watched all of the K4SWL inspirational videos I could. I finished the QMX I bought at Dayton in the hospital, built some antennas and made some plans.

    Finally, 2 months out of the hospital, I had the strength to get the 705 in the car, set up an antenna and did my first POTA in nearly 7 months. WHOOPEE!!

    For 2024, I have set goals of getting stronger, upping my mediocre key speed, and activating at least one park a week weather permitting. I’ve been designing some antennas with MMANA-GAL and really enjoying that and so I also have some goals to build some more and unique antennas.

    Thanks for the inspiration QRPers, Tom and HRWB too.

    1. Wonderful, Emily! We’ll be here on your 2024 journey! I like your goals!
      Here’s wishing you a (continued) miraculous recovery and 2024 filled with radio goodness. I might be reaching out to you once I start down that path of satellite CW!
      Cheers, Thomas

    2. Emily,

      Wow! so sorry to hear about your injury, but I’m very glad you’re up and activating again, and I was really happy to work you on CW on 01/01/2024, while you were activating K-7538 on 17 meters!

      73, Howard

  24. Hey Thomas, HNY!
    After years of just puttering around with CW, my goals for 2024 are:
    1) Become much better at copying call signs and exchanges
    2) Participate in the weekly slow speed tests
    3) Participate in some longer CW contests
    4) Start doing POTA CW activations

    73, Howard

  25. I’d like to do a POTA sometime in 2024. And perhaps learn more CW (I know about half the alphabet)

    But most importantly, I have to figure out a way around the QRM that blankets my neighbourhood and makes operating from home very difficult.

    1. A wonderful goal!
      Regarding the QRM: you might consider trying a loop antenna. They are high Q, thus very narrow bandwidth, but they’re pretty amazing at mitigating QRM. If I lived in a spot with heavy QRM, I think I’d actually use an amplified wideband receive loop antenna for RX and a vertical or wire antenna for TX. In a sense, this would give you the best of both worlds. If your radio doesn’t support an RX antenna, I think MFJ makes a box that will do the RX/TX switching. They also make an excellent receive loop antenna.
      Also, of course, hitting a park and playing a little POTA will get you out of the QRM. 🙂

      1. I agree on the use of a loop antenna but why not get one that you can transmit on as well. Everyone seems to pay too much for just some glorified receive loop when you can pay a little more and have one that transmits as well. The MFJ 40-15 loop would be a good one for up to 125 watts out or make your own. They are very effective & directive in vertical position on getting out as well and in the vertical loop orientation they do not have any problems with height above ground. I had one 4 feet off ground on a tent pole and was working Germany from CA on 17 meters with a S7 to 8 one time at typical 100 watts. Active loops are the secret of the condo / apartment crowd. Also I use a CCD dipole with a 4:1 balun 40/20 meter version and above at home with has silver mica caps every 3 feet or so which is very quiet, even just above the roof by a foot or so. On 40 I put my ANC-4 noise phase unit on sometimes, to cancel out local noise on that band or my NIR12 DSP unit.
        Also Tony – try a DMR dual band Anytone 878 and work the world with a handheld on 1500 talk groups.

        1. It’s actually super easy to build a passive loop antenna that does both RX and TX. The only pricey part may be finding a good variable capacitor (look at hamfests for those, or ask around at your club!). Someone may give you one for free. 🙂 I’ve been thinking about making a video showing how to build one.
          So the reason I suggest a separate amplified wideband receive loop and transmit antenna combo is because for a home installation, you might find it frustrating constantly tuning a passive antenna (that does both RX and TX on the same loop). Since these have a very high Q, you might have to re-tune every few kHz you move on the dial.
          MFJ and other companies make remotely-tuned HF loop antennas, but they’re very pricey.
          With an amplified RX loop, you might pay $350 for the loop, but there’s no tuning involved as you move around the band in receive. Then you can build or buy a nice multi-band resonant antenna connected for TX. Again, some transceivers are designed to handle a separate RX and TX antenna. If not, you can get a switching box to handle that.
          Just another option! 🙂

      2. Yes, I did experiment with a “Small Receive Loop” (there’s a webpage about it) which is definitely much quieter … and your suggestion of separate RX and TX antennas is certainly one I am definitely considering. Especially since an AliExpress vendor accidentally sent me, in place of the QRM Eliminator I had ordered, what I think is actually the PTT-controlled antenna-switching box I would need (irony!)

        In my neighbourhood, it’s the overhead power and telecom lines everywhere that seem to be the major issue. The QRM is not particularly directional, nor is it coming from inside my house. It’s a S4-S5 noise floor on the common bands.

  26. I’ll be the downer
    Life changes and interest in ham radio waned.
    I’ll most likely be selling off all my stuff.
    Just don’t have the interest I did 2-3 years ago when I wrote for my ticket.

  27. My goal is to master CW well enough to do one or more of the following in the calendar year:
    * Make CW contacts during ARRL Field Day in June
    * Activate a CW POTA

    1. I think you should shoot for the latter first. I was learning CW, and then saw that a lot of CW POTA activations were at a speed I could send and mostly copy (thanks to K4WSL and VE6LK). So I started off hunting in CW and now do that exclusively. Within a month I felt confident enough to try a CW activation. I was successful enough to make it an official activation and that gave me confidence.
      I learned technique watching Thomas’ videos and realized it is not a sin to send ‘?’ to clarify a callsign. And one other thing I learned – the more you do it, the better you become.
      Best of Luck
      Emily NI1Q

  28. I have two goals, but will likely only accomplish 1. And, I will explain why, at the end.
    First one, is to learn CW. I started on this last year, but work got busy. So, I am setting that for a goal this year.
    Second one, I would like to get my Extra rating, but this may get deferred to next year.
    Other goals this year: I am getting married in June, so that is taking up some time.
    Getting out camping more-this is a goal we have both set, as we enjoy it, just werent able to do much of it in 2023.
    Finally buckle down and play mandolin again. I am not a musician, but I do enjoy playing irish music. And, I want to get back into it.
    So, yeah, will be a busy 2024, but I want to focus more internally on this year, and not be concerned about outside forces.

    1. Wow! You do have a busy year ahead, but it looks like a lot to celebrate, too.
      Have a brilliant 2024!

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