Thursday, February 14, 2013

WQ6X in the 2013 WPX RTTY Contest

This last weekend found me teamed up with N6GEO at his QTH in Brentwood (Northern California).  Despite a minimal antenna system (a 6BTV Vertical and a TH-3 jr - 8Mh) and running only 100 watts, we did amazingly well operating as a Multi-Two; we make a good Multi-2 team; as demonstrated by our last 3 CQP activities.
George put his newly acquired Flex 1000 to incredible use picking off QSOs with ease, thanks to the 1000's SDR design.  On my end, despite intermittent computer control with the ICOM 7000, I made things happen - working nearly half of the contacts using more primitive methods.  Several times in the contest I was able to hold and run a frequency for nearly an hour.  I have no problem doing that on c.w., but having never done that before in a RTTY contest was an exciting challenge; especially with an occasional filter "drift" in the MMTTY software.

We ended up with 699 Contacts with 285 Prefixes for an estimated score of 367,080 points, which will get whittled down for every logging mistake we made. 
Overall, not bad for an ad-hoc, two radio setup.

To George and I, what was significant about our success in the RTTY contest is that we FINALLY got to test-drive the antenna triplexer unit George built last year to use on the beam for CQP in Modoc (which as you may remember never made it: See my 2012 CQP page).

A Triplexer allows up to 3 radios to concurrently share a single tri-band antenna.  Because we use bandpass filters on each band, we had very little interaction between the two radios, except when the SDR-1000 went to 80-meters - the BUZZ was fierce!

WQ6X at his ad-hoc setup

While this looks tall - it was only 8 mh

This is the screen from the WQ6X 1/2 of things
Check out that FLEX SDR-1000 Screen!  Two monitors really helps. 

It turns out that we took 1st place for the W6 call area, even though the LCR (Log Checking Robot) DINGED us for almost 89k points due to logging errors.  OUCH!

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