Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WQ6X joins the crew @ NX6T for WPX-SSB 2014

This last weekend found me joining 13 other operators as team NX6T operating from the "NashVille" QTH in Fallbrook,Ca.  Running as a Multi-2, we managed 3,745 QSOs w/1198 prefixes for a score of over 10,500,000 points.  My part in this operation was 565+ QSOs on all 6 bands (160 - 10 meters).  Based on initial scores posted to the 3830 Scores website it would seem that we took 25th place worldwide and 5th place for North America in the Multi-2 category.
For the contest weekend the SFI dropped to 142 while the K-Index eventually creeped to "3" by Sunday morning producing a "popping" static noise on 10 meters. Ironically NX6T's 10-meter operations resulted in our highest band QSO total.  Reports I have read seem to agree that on the high bands propagation was quite good; especially to Europe.

At NX6T we ran the usual pair of K3's and Acom 2000 amplifiers into a pair of Stepp-IR & 40-M yagis @ 40' & 70' respectively.  An altitude of 900'+ to begin with made things even better.  We encountered the usual noise source(s) (discovered when rotating the antennas towards NNE).  Luckily, for 160 & 75 meters we could null some of the noise with a rotatable loop antenna.
There were a not insignificant number of 1st-time participants this weekend; many of them offering up a unique (aka weird) prefix (i.e. a new multiplier); proof once again that patient mentoring of novice operators can reap everyone worthwhile dividends.

True to each successive WPX event, the number of "weird prefixes" continues to increase; esp. from the "European corridor" - makes me wonder what the 2014 WPX Cw event will bring us during Memorial day weekend.  I've concluded that one of the factors contributing to our large number of multipliers is due largely in part to our multiplier-mascot.  I caught a picture of our mascot near the end of the contest.
This WPX contest found 160 & 75 meters lacking in contest activity, altho 40 meters produced surprising activity; esp. from Asia & Oceania.  Now, if we could experience this kind of participation in the JIDX and all Asian Dx contests, I would be VERY happy.

Overall, this is the best WPX Ssb event I've ever participated in; as well as our best effort as team NX6T.  While we didn't produce a top-10 high score, overall, we experienced very few equipment/operator/operational problems; proof that we are learning from our mistakes in contest operations.

Did you work NX6T this last weekend?
We gave you 6 bands of opportunities.

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