Monday, March 28, 2016
WQ6X & N6KI team up as NX6T for 1st S-A 10-meter Contest.
Over the years, team NX6T has put together operations for an array of different radiosport events.
This year for the 1st time we decided to participate in the South American 10 meter (SA10) contest. Considering that Sunspot Cycle 24 is well on its way out, the more 10 meter GiGs we can operate the better. Next year may clearly find us in the SFI basement; we're already getting close to that point as it is.
For a 24 hour (only) contest it was not cost/time effective to make a drive to the NX6T site in Fallbrook. Instead, we perfected the remote access to NX6T. Overall the internet latency was hardly noticeable. Because the contest started at 12:00z 10-meters was not yet open in Southern California.
I started CQ'ing for the contest at 15:15z, making my 1st QSO at 15:44z.
As it turns out only WQ6X and N6KI were available to run this gig. While Dennis slept I fired up the contest on CW running NX6T remotely from a "secret location" in the bay area, with the objective to run mostly CW with a little SSB. Without full SSB control remotely I had to limit voice operation to searching and pouncing, allowing me to "talk" using pre-programmed N1MM macro keys to play .WAV files.
As it turns out, the SSB to CW ratio was exactly equal; 39 QSOs in each mode.
Like the ARRL 10-meter contest, the SA-10 contest is a multi-mode affair (CW & SSB).
Essentially, stations worldwide can work each other, however we make MORE points working South American stations.
Equipment-wise we ran the usual Elecraft K3 radio into an ACOM 2000 amplifier. The antenna was a 3-element Stepp-IR running BI-directional, allowing us to work Japan as well as South America.
As contests go, this gig was a bit of a ho hummer.
Additionally because this is a 24 hour contest, for us left coasters we get one shot at 10 meters - when its gone, it's GONE; there is no redo on this one.
Being a single band contest, ten meters is either open or it isn't. At the Fallbrook location once the band was open and stable (around 15:30z) it remained intact up to the time
I turned it over to N6KI to finish the event - 22:15z.
Despite Dennis' best efforts he could only manage
5 more QSOs for the contest; evidently I worked all
there was to work otherwise - go figure.
By 00:30z the band was gone and so was the contest for us.
Our 78 QSOs netted over 20k points, which while a pittance (by other contest standards) may be just enough for NX6T to take 1st place worldwide (outside of South America).
As you can see from the 3830 Scores website (CLICK HERE), our closest competitor (W3HAC from the PVRC) made only 29 QSOs for 3,300 points. Theoretically, we should get a 1st place certificate as compensation for all the effort we expended operating this South American GiG.
Did YOU work the SA-10 contest?
Is NX6T in YOUR Log?