Wednesday, August 30, 2017

3 QSO parties test-drive WQ6X Remote

My last remote run of NX6T's Station #1 during the Worked All Europe (WAE) contest found me navigating through [literally] a dozen computer system crashes, often in the middle of sending a pack of 10 QTC messages.

Since that weekend, the laptop computer running station
#1 underwent a thorough anti-overheating overhaul and
now runs as cool as it did when Toshiba manufactured it 10+ years ago.

With essentially a new computer all over again and spiffier internet on both ends, operating NX6T remote from the bay area is becoming fun again.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the QTC packet sending part
of the WAE contest, when the system randomly died in
the middle of that, in addition to the re-boot time, I needed to re-boot my spirits to keep myself "in the chair".

Running a Frequency on 20 meters
Radiosport-wise, this last weekend brought us 3 state QSO parties: HQP, OHQP & KSQP. Additionally, the HF spectrum was host to the YO HF Dx contest and the SCCC RTTY GiG.
Remote audio problems prevented me from running SSB or RTTY modes.  Luckily the YO
Dx contest and the QSO parties are all predominantly CW affairs; at least for me anyway.

Radio-wise I ran an Elecraft K3 into an ACOM 2000a amplifier out to the usual bevvy of yagi's
(a C-31 and a 3-el Stepp-IR), 2 elements on 40 and a droopy inverted vee for 80/75.

As it turns out, poor timing and technical difficulties allowed only ONE QSO in the YO contest. Nevertheless, I WILL send in a log; I've won certs in HQP for 2 QSO logs, so anything can happen.

For OHQP I did not find any operating time until after 03:30z; less than 1/2 hour before the end
of that QSO party for 2017. (It's a shame the OHQP doesn't support a 2nd operating period, as does the KQP contest in Kansas). Luckily I made a quick 11 QSOs with Ohio on 40 meters and a final 2 on
80; and again, enough worth sending in a log.

For the Kansas QSO Party (KQP), I missed the first segment on Saturday, although I did
manage a couple of hours in the chair on Sunday putting 52 QSOs in the KQP log. 

For Hawaii I tuned the bands throughout the weekend; even working one station (KH6CJJ) on
10 meters - which was otherwise dead in Fallbrook. 15 meters produced 5 Hawaiian stations,
while 40 meters produced 9.

From time to time, out of desperation I would call CQ KH6; the only responses being from statesiders who don't understand what "CQ KH6" means.
I defined an N1MM function key JUST for them that says "KH6 ONLY".

As you can see WQ6X was readily spotted on 15 meters; and yet, there were VERY FEW actual Hawaiian stations. Sometimes "statistical diagrams" can be misleading.

HQP Multipliers

Multiplier-wise WQ6X worked only
6 of the 14 Hawaiian counties.

NII & MOL & LAN were expected
lo-shows. I was surprised that PRL (Pearl) was for me a no-show.

Who nose, it might have been easier if I had been able to run RTTY & SSB. Maybe next year.

When it is all over with we get the "Bonus" for all of those long hours:
pretty bar charts detailing how we
actually did.

It always looks better afterward; or not. In this case, stats within stats details everything that happened.

Even though Hawaii is just a "skip across the pond" from California,
if there is a TON of atmospheric noise, the little 100-watt home station operators all over Hawaii will not break thru the California noise level; as I'm sure was the case.
Normally, working KH6 on 80 meters from Fallbrook is a slamdonk.
This year, if they were there the
noise swallowed them up.

I guess the WORST Space-WX storms can occur with a minimum of sunspots to choose from.

As you can see, running multiple contests can be a bit tricky; which is why we utilize software like Wintest and N1MM+. While some multiple state QSO party weekends allow for the logging of many parties in the same log, this last weekend was not one of them (at least not that I am aware of).
No matter HOW its scored, eventually, one log for each contest must be submitted in order to
get credit for having operated in that contest.

NX6T - After Hours

Did you work HQP, OHQP, KQP or the YO DX Contest?

Is WQ6X in YOUR log?

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