Monday, February 24, 2014

N6GEO & WQ6X do NAQP RTTY as Multi-2

February 22 brought us the winter 2004 NAQP RTTY Contest. I missed the other NAQP GiGs so with NAQP RTTY I easily made up for that. N6GEO and I teamed up as a Multi-2 from his Brentwood Ca. QTH.

We used the same Flex-1500 + Tokyo HyPower amplifier pairs that we ran on St. Croix last month as WP2/WQ6X in the RTTY Roundup (RU).  Each pair was run into a 500-w amp to run more "coolly" at just 100 watts - the NAQP power limit.  We ran these configurations into a multiplexed TH3-jr about 7mh and a ground mounted 6-BTV vertical with a blown 40-meter trap.

This event challenged us with a number of equipment glitches, beginning with a 15-meter bandpass filter failure.  The battery operated MA-500 amplifier developed battery problems early on requiring that we power it off during charging, running the HL-45b at about 28 watts.  Likewise, the other 500 watt amp kept overheating and shutting down requiring power off until cool.  The HL-50 could be safely coaxed to 35 watts during those times.  Even a pair of external fans didn't help much.  I guess RTTY really DOES tax an amplifier; even one running at < 20% capacity.

MFJ Loop & Controller
Not having 40-meters on the 6-BTV hurt us greatly until I remembered that the N6GEO QTH sports an MFJ Hi-Q tunable loop antenna on the roof.  Because it is so Hi-Q the non-tune bandwidth is about 15kc; however it is high-gain in that bandwidth.  Altho the QTH is in an antenna restricted area, most people think the MFJ loop is for some sort of satellite dish access.  I quickly learned the art of calling a station while simultaneously tuning the antenna to resonance.  In less than an hour I made 28 QSO's in 17 sections, as far off as Ontario, New York & Florida - not bad for a stumpy loop.

While the two stations were networked, STN#2 started off signing as WQ6X (instead of N6GEO); a leftover from our WP2/WQ6X operation on St. Croix.   Because we normally use my callsign, I didn't realize we were running as N6GEO until 28 10-meter QSOs were made.

The solution to this problem was to select out the 28 WQ6X QSOs and submit them as a single-OP log entry.  The rest of the log was submitted as N6GEO, satisfying all contest requirements.  In the end, as N6GEO we made 382 QSOs with 147 multipliers, slightly over a 2:1 ratio - not bad for all our trouble.
According to the 3830Scores website we made it to 8th place in the Multi-2 category.
Integrated N1MM & PowerSDR software screens

George and I learned a lot from this event.  Our quick response to the problems we encountered kept us in the contest down to the last 30-seconds.  Because we were using the PowerSDR waterfall displays, it was amazing to watch a screen full of waterfalls disappear at 06:00z, leaving a handful of PSK and JT-65 signals remaining.

Now that we know how to do this correctly, we will be ready for the August
[2014] NAQP RTTY contest - bet on it.

Did you play in the NAQP RTTY?

Is N6GEO in your log?

1 comment:

  1. While I was making those 28 contacts on 40, N6GEO was mopping them up on 80-meters with 2x my contact count for that same time frame. Evenings on 80-meters has been AWEsome during the last 6 months.