Sunday, September 4, 2016

WQ6X joins crew @ NX6T for All Asian SSB

WQ6X running JA stations on 20 meters
For this year's All Asian SSB contest,
I scheduled a business trip to Orange county wrapping things up Friday morning in order that I make the drive to "NashVille" in Fallbrook, California
to join up with the crew @ NX6T.

Because it was labor day weekend we had a shortage of operators, altho we had visits from Tu (AA6TU) a very new ham and Fabio (IZ4AFW) who joined me at 4am on Sunday morning to finish off the night shift as the sun came up.

I have been disappointed in years past by the poor participation of Asian stations (except JA's) in their own contest.  This year things were even worse as the A-index hovered near 40 and the K-index ranged from 4 to 6.  We worked virtually NO stations in the middle east this year, altho we did see
DX spots for those stations; unfortunately from other middle east stations.

Antenna tower #2 - 24mh

For this year's contest NX6T ran as a multi-single operation with Elecraft K3 radios (Stations 1 & 2) and a Kenwood TS-590 (station 3) into a pair of ACOM 2000a amplifiers putting the RF into a C-31 yagi, a STEPP-IR yagi, 2 elements on
40 and inverted VEEs for 160 and 80 meters.

Friday afternoon, 15 meters was good for only an hour
with a few QSOs added Saturday and ONE (count'em) one
15 meter QSO all Sunday afternoon and nothing else. 
10 meters was a complete no-show @ NX6T for this
contest - Bummer Dewd!

Making up the crew for this GiG included N6KI, WQ6X, KK6NON, N6EEG, N6CY (Remote), W2PWS, WB6NBU
and our visitor from Italy Fabio IZ4AFW.  It turns out that IZ4AFW and WQ6X have made QSOs in several contests, starting with the CQ WW RTTY contest back in 2013, so
I received a QSL card directly; as well as an eyeball QSO
this weekend.

AA6TU test-driving the OP chair
Fabio - IZ4AFW

For A-A 2016, the good news is that 40 meters opened early this year (06:00z).  The BaD news is
80 meters opened up late (11:00z) Saturday morning and virtually no QSOs on 80 Sunday morning, except for a couple of multipliers picked up by Fabio on 80 while I ran what was left of 40. 
Saturday nite, there were NO QSOs made after the dinner hour was over (05:30z) until I
came into the shack at 09:00z.  160 and 10 meters were a complete no-show this year. 

This weekend, on top of all we put up with, we were plagued with NON Asian stations wanting to work us.  Several dozen stateside stations evidently had trouble understanding what "Asia only" means; same thing Sunday morning when I was called by VK4 & VK2 stations (from Australia).

Station #2 - the Run station

Because I had the antennas pointed to the northwest, those southwest stations were barely S-2.  At one point Saturday morning on 40 meters an XE1 station (Very LOUD) kept calling me and wouldn't go away until I gave him a 2
minute QSO.

QRM-wise, 40 meters was FULL of surprises.  While running a frequency around 09:00z I discovered that 7.145.45 was the national tuneup frequency and a
place for several hams to test their microphones
("Helllllllo!  Helllllllo!"). 

I was also plagued with someone whistling and playing music, and at 4am I was treated to the long version of "Taps" (trumpet) to wake me up, along with bursts of
RTTY signals every 6 minutes (on 7.134).

Sunday morning (13:16z) shortly after I setup operations on 3.777.77 I was surprised by CW signals saying: "M8JF RIS9", repeating every 15 seconds or so.  Googling these callsigns I discovered that M8JF is the Chinese army and RIS9 is used by the Russian navy. 

What the HELL are they doing playing military exercises in our 75 meter phone band?  Don't they have their OWN frequencies?

Overall this was a very frustrating contest event.  Things were soothed somewhat by the appearance of several "rare" stations, such as XX9 (Macao) VR2 (Hong Kong) and JT1 (Mongolia). 

There were a lot of spots for rare middle eastern countries.  Unfortunately, their signals never made
it to our antennas - Bummer Dewd!

We ended the contest with 660 QSOs and 164k points for what looks like 3rd place world and 1st place for North America, according to the 3830 Scores website.

Checking in with other California stations, N6KI found they were going through much the same frustration we were.  How did things turn out for you?

To fill in the dead air time, I noticed that the Colorado QSO party (COQP) and the Tennessee QSO party (TNQP) events were also happening this weekend.  Unfortunately, typical of state QSO parties (other than the BiG ones like CQP, 7QP and NEQP) these two QSO party events were severely lacking in participation in their own contest event.

Colorado QSO Party (COQP)
Tennessee QSO Party (TNQP)

That didn't stop me from submitting a log for both QSO parties, despite only a handful of QSOs in each log.  Surprisingly, the Tennessee guys were unsure of how I should log their counties - in
CQP we never have that confusion.  Oh well.  Who knows, I might earn a certificate anyway, as
I did for previous TNQP contests.
NX6T after the contest

Did you play in the All Asian SSB contest?

How many Asian prefixes ended up in YOUR Log?

June 2017 UPDATE:
NX6T took 1st place for North America in this contest.
Excellent job guys!

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