Sunday, March 12, 2017

NX6T eeks out a Win for 2017 SA-10 Contest


Last year, in conjunction with N6KI as a team Dennis and I took NX6T to our first 1st place worldwide in the South American SA-10 contest, hosted by
Radio CLUB La Rioja.

To read last year's contest write up [Click Here].

The rules for this contest are simple and straight forward...

Hoping to reprise the 2016 win, as I did last year I ran NX6T remotely.  For 2017, at the last minute, the NX6T operation became Single-OP assisted.

In 2017, from the beginning this operation was plagued with failures. For various reasons,
both stations #1 & #2 "mysteriously" shutdown, virtually right after I finished setting up N1MM+.
"Did *I* do that?"  Hehehehehe

While the two events are not related, the full restart of equipment was not back in operation until near 18:00z. Without access to a receiver, I have no way of knowing whether or not I missed a 10-meter opening in that period.

ACOM 2000-a

I ran Station #1 - an Elecraft K3 into an ACOM-2000a amp at 1050 watts.

Because this was a single band contest
I chose to use a 13mh C-31 yagi instead of the 15mh Stepp-IR on tower #2.

The C-31 is much easier to "sweep" over a designated geographical area as I look for signals to all of a sudden jump above the noise.

The Elecraft was front-ended using the RCForb internet software.
The RCForb screen layout is not all that different than the K-3 itself.

RC-FORB software representation

The contest opened working nothing but Argentinian stations.
While CX9AU eventually broke that streak, overall this GiG was largely an Argentinian contest.
Considering that they are the contest host, I guess this makes sense.
Brazilians made up the rest of NX6T's log.

Near the end of the 10-meter opening for the west coast, I put out a CQ call on 28028.28,
snagging 3 QSOs I might not have made otherwise, as those stations were not running frequencies.

While I easily worked everything I could hear, most callsigns never made it all the way to San Diego, even though they are on the log list. 

Space weather plagued the signal quality throughout the contest period.

Unlike the previous weekend's successful use of the K-3 DSP-NR,
for the SA-10 contest it seemed to
make things worse not better.

The C-31 yagi (at 13mh) did all that it could do.  Unfortunately, the propagation path to South America did not materialize anywhere near the degree we experienced it in our 2016 operation.

However, in looking at the scores submitted to 3830Scores.Com, it would seem that QSO rates were in serious decline - worldwide. I only heard one east coast USA station and saw 2
others on the band map -but did
not actually hear them.

However, in the end, 10-meters faded out at 00:00z - never to return.

SA-10 Contest Ending Screen



My biggest BEEF with the SA-10 contest is the starting time. 
We Left Coaster's would prefer that the SA-10 contest begin
at 15:00z - 16:00z, giving BOTH the Northern and Southern hemispheres access to each other from the beginning of

the contest event.

Then, on Sunday we will be able to END the contest with open bands.  The way it is now, when 10-meters closes at the end

of the day Saturday, the SA-10 contest is OVER for me. 
Bummer dewd.

 Did YOU work the South American 10-meter contest?

If so, how many 4 point QSOs are in YOUR Log?


1 comment:

  1. As it turns out, I had a competitor in the form of WP3E
    who took the 1st place slot. My score resulted in a STRONG 2nd place - good for a free cup of coffee.