Thursday, April 18, 2013

WQ6X Operates as W6J in the 2013 JIDX Cw Contest

This last weekend found me operating the JIDX Cw contest again as W6J from a portable location in Concord, Ca. (in the SF East Bay).  (Last year W6J operated portable from Monterey on the beach - with a horribly mismatched antenna.)

As you can see, I ran the Yaesu FT-900 for the first part of the contest, switching over to the ICOM 7000 later in the contest. The antenna was my trusty Butternut HF2-V vertical with a bevy of tuned radials; it even tuned on 160 - altho there was no discernible activity. The MFJ 752-C and JPS NIR-12 noise filters made all the difference for JIDX. 

While JIDX has become one of my favorite contests, it is also consistently a disappointment in terms of the lower than expected participation from the Japanese themselves.   Most of the time it seemed like there were more stateside stations Calling CQ JA, than JA stations calling CQ JIDX.  Eventually I became one of those statesiders calling CQ JA.

The JIDX contest opened with a rapidly declining solar flux and a K-Index of 3.  
Just when it seemed like the K-Index was itself on a decline, a CME hit the ionosphere sending it back to 3, taking the receive noise-level even higher.  15m and 10 m stayed open here on the west coast until after 05:00z on April 14.  Unfortunately, aside from a couple of loud kilowatt JA stations, the rest of the signals were from Oceania and the South Pacific.
JA activity on 80 & 20 were quite a disappointment.  Not surprising, no JA signals were heard on 160.  Three years ago (JIDX 2010) 160 had lots of activity; memorable because the Centurion amplifier arced over on 160 (during receive no less) at 10:30z.

Despite my disappointments, the 2013 JIDX contest did give me an opportunity to test-run the latest release of the Prefecture Tracker by WQ6X Software.  You can see the mini version of the software in the 2nd picture (above).  This year I expect to release Version 5 of the Prefecture tracker with its considerably more detailed screen, as shown below.  
The software can input a Cabrillo .LOG file to produce the stat screen data below.
Notice that we now have the name of each prefecture in the box.  An upcoming screen will be designed around a map of Japan with call areas and prefecture #'s - for complete after-contest documentation.

Do you know of ANYONE who managed to work ALL prefectures in a JIDX contest?  
I've been close every year, but never made it.

Did you play in the JIDX contest?
If so, how did it turn out?


1 comment:

  1. This week I received an Swl QSL card for W6J (and one for W6V) in my snail-mail mailbox. I value Swl listeners; especially those who can copy Morse code. So I will send the listener a return QSL via snail-mail as well in thanks for the effort this listener made to be a part of our operation.
    I was once an Swl and was thrilled to receive a QSL in return for my reception reports.
    It all begins with LISTENING!...