Wednesday, January 13, 2016

NX6T takes 2nd place in NAQP CW

H u H?
For serious contesters who did not play in the Jan 2nd/3rd RTTY RU, the NAQP CW GiG is the first "real" contest of the new year.  Having run RTTY RU remotely from Fallbrook the weekend before, it was time to sit down in front of a radio with knobs I can twiddle; even if it was a K3 (I prefer my FT-1000mp).

I used Friday evening as a time to settle in and scan the lower bands (160, 80 & 40), giving me an idea of what things will be like Saturday evening.  Luckily no space weather anomalies occurred during the weekend.

While I normally don't drive all the way to Fallbrook to participate in a 12 hour Multi-OP contest, this year  I was already in Burbank for the week; another 2.5 hour drive on Friday was no big deal.

We had a relatively small crew for this event; namely: N0DY, N6CY, N6KI, W6JBR and myself.  Nevertheless, we were all in top form.  Together we turned our Multi-2 operation into a 2nd place finish behind K7JR (manned remotely by KL9A & N5RZ).

N6CY w/N6KI looking for mults

At 10:00 am (local) I opened the contest for the 1st hour on 10 meters.  By 11:30 N6CY made the scene and put STN#2 on 15 meters.  Because we were both running a frequency NX6T ended up on many spotting networks.

By 12:30, N6KI joined us to S&P on 15 meters from STN#3 interspersed with Rick (N6CY) while I mopped up 10 meters via S&P before finally heading to 20 meters to run a frequency.  By 2:00 we lost N6CY, and added N0DY to spell me on 20 allowing N6KI to take over running 15 meters.

After a short nap I came in at 5 pm (01:00z) to see N0DY on STN#2 running a frequency on 40 meters.  Moving him to STN#1 to continue the pileup run allowed N6KI and I to dual-op 80 meters, which was wide open by 5:30 (local).
By 6pm we included a look at 160 into the game altho 160 wouldn't deliver until later in the evening.

N0DY & N6KI running frequencies

By 7:30 N6KI drove into town to bring back some Italian food while I worked 80 and eventually found a nice opening on 1.818.18 mhz to run the frequency.  Using the bandmap and 2nd VFO I was able to sneak in an occasional S&P QSO on 160 during lulls in frequency running.

An important note about 160 meters and NAQP: Just Do It!
I think of 160 meter QSOs as "free" QSOs and in the case of NAQP "free" multipliers; all just for showing up.
160 meters was worth 52k points to us.

Because the C-31 and Stepp-IR yagis are gain antennas and this was largely a North American contest, during the daytime we left the masts in their lower position.  As we moved down to 40 meters, the main tower was raised to 70', enabling the 80/160 inverted V's and taking the 2-el 40 meter yagi to the next level.

For the evening shift W6JBR joined us to wrap things up.  By the time 06:00z (10pm) arrived we were contested-out.  As you can see, our QSO total was quite an impressive 6-band score.

While I was not part of NX6T's NAQP GiGs last year, it is clear that our gang-of-5 operators easily surpassed last year's NX6T score.

DiD YOU play in this year's NAQP?
Is NX6T in YOUR Log?

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