Sunday, December 13, 2015

WQ6X runs 2015 ARRL 160 contest remotely

For the 2015 ARRL 160-Meter contest I was unable to make it to Fallbrook for an NX6T multi-OP GiG.  Evidently neither could anyone else, so Dennis N6KI opted to run solo.  He offered up STN#1 for me to run remote after 1am local time.  Unfortunately, Saturday morning, the remote hookup was out of commission which left me with 6 hours Sunday morning for WQ6X to make an appearance on 160 meters.

Equipment-wise, I ran a K3 radio thru a KPA-500 amplifier into a 160-dipole @ 70 feet broadside Northeast / Southwest.  Running the amplifer during a remote operation was a risk because if an operational fault were to occur with the amp not only would I not have 500 watts but would be running at the 30-watt drive level the K3 was set at. 
Luckily, that never happened.

Because I started at the tail end of the contest I  decided to spend my first operating hour running stations on 1.806.  Everyone was so desperate for new callsigns that they lined-up to work another RARE California station.  During that hour I handed out nearly 60 QSOs.

For those stations who heard me, if my operation seemed a bit erratic  it was due to internet latency disrupting an otherwise orderly operation.  A number of times the internet connection would deteriorate requiring me to quickly reestablish the connection; at which time the internet latency would drop to under 0.8 seconds.  Nearly a dozen function key macros allowed me to run as if I was using a keyer paddle at the radio itself.

When the contest ended at 7am,  I had managed 156 QSOs in 48 sections; not bad for under 6 hours of OP time.  While I win no awards for this operation it was fun to work 160 and even more exciting to run it remotely from the SF bay area.

Did you work the ARRL 160 GiG?
Is WQ6X in YOUR Log?

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