I got my license since 1977 back then when we needed the 10 & 15 wpm morse code test before performing the written exam. For the first year all allowed contacts were only on cw mode.
I discovered contest around 1995 when I upgraded my antenna system with a known contester. Since then I enter 10-12 contests each year on cw, ssb & rtty. Of course my own goal is to reach 200 countries on all 9 HF bands. The most difficult one will be 160m like most of us. This is why I work on details to reduce as much as possible lost and to improve my reception. Next 5-10 years this could become possible for the top band!
I am retired since April 2014 now I get more time to chase the rare dx and to have a nice conversation over HF bands.
Ameritron AL 1500, +10 modifications +2.3kw with head room, full BK-IN, inrush current HV & filament limiter, cathode fuse, soft-key interface, dual fan, 24v PS, silicone chimney, sound reducer, 8x 330uFd/500v HV cap, double wiring for HV input transfo and filament output voltages. ...
Power Master I, 3 Kw calibrated probe, SWR-RF with alarm limiter key out cut off & low power warning light (100w).
Yagi: Mosley PRO 96-2 40, 20-10m at 25m
DPD (dual polarization) fan dipole at 24m for 80m band
Delta loop corner .08 fed for 30m at 24m
Shunt-fed tower for 160m, rx ant: K9AY + preamp
Tower: Trylon T400-80 (25m)
Delhi 64 (20m) yagi 5 elements long boom on 6 meters
Rotator: AZ Alfa-Spid RAK motor with controller and Green Heron controller
Yeasu G-800SDX (6m)
Full EMI protection for coax, rotator cables, Internet and 120 & 240 volts ac lines.
Contest software: N1MM
Logger software: DxLab