|NX6T undergoing computer retrofit|
I open this WQ6X Contest Blog entry by welcoming the existence of recently emerged
Solar Cycle #25. (More on this later)
For 2017, the month of September has ushered in a number of radiosport surprises.
As I wrote in the previous Blog Entry this year's All Asian SSB contest turned into a 1 QSO
affair for WQ6X. Instead, COQP and TNQP received all the attention in the WQ contest activities.
For WQ6X activities, this weekend
was quite similar to the last with a surprising difference: It would seem
(to me anyway) that the end of Solar Cycle 24 has been abruptly transformed into Cycle 25, creating an interesting backdrop to the long-awaited (for Europeans anyway) WAE (Worked
all Europe) SSB contest.
Last month I played around in the CW version of the WAE contest ([CLICK HERE] to read about that). Later this month I will give the RTTY version of this GiG a good run.
Because the antenna system @ W7AYT (where I often run the FT-1000mp portable) doesn't usually do well into Europe, I turned to running as WQ6X remotely from NX6T (Fallbrook, Ca,)
as my solution.
Station #2's computer is out of commission, being given new life by the computer doctor (W6JBR)
in the same way he brought station #1's computer back into action; except that the transmit audio
line FOR STATION #1 was never tested - until this weekend - discovering that there is some sort
of cabling problem. Oooopppsss. What to do?
Studying WA7BNM's contest calendar, I noticed two CW events scheduled:
a contest, the FOC (First Class CW Operators Club) QSO Party certainly seems like one; except according to
the FOC Website no logs need to be submitted; and yet they give out
awards - HuH? (See below)
In the FOC GiG, FOC members work everyone and non-members Search & Pounce (S&P), looking for FOC members.
I chose NoT to call CQ as non-members would have no way of knowing I was not an
FOC member and attempt to make a QSO (worth 0 points).
Not hearing much in the way of Europe on SSB, I switched over to CW and joined in the
FOC fray @ 01:30z; only 90 minutes late. Because computer #2 is not in the shack, I had
no way of accessing the WinTest rotor control program, leaving all yagi's pointing Northeast
(at least I HOPE that's where they were pointed) to Europe and most of the USA.
As I said, according to the FOC Website, their QSO Party is not a contest which might
explain the laid back attitude on the air and the passage on the website that reads:
No logs or verification are required.
Send your report to: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 14 days after the event.
Results will be posted on the FOC Web site and published in the FOC’s
quarterly magazine, FOCUS.
I wrote to KZ5D asking how one goes about submitting a "Report".
It will be interesting to read his reply.
GiG left off.
While the FOC event is laid back, the SPRINT contest is anything BUT that; calling it a frenetic activity is being kind.
I had forgotten how AGRESSIVE
the SPRINT contest seems to be
in comparison to other GiGs;
DX and domestic.
The one thing I NEVER hear in this contest is "QRL?" before calling CQ; evidently there is not enough time
Because stations are packed together in the CW spectrum like sardines in a can, often
a station 300hz below me will believe his QSO was with me and put WQ6X in his log.
To reduce the risk of "false positives", when in doubt, I sent the callsign of the station
I am working. A little trick to reducing the QSY pandemonium is to work a station, allow
him to call CQ and then call the station after he works him. After that, I am allowed to
work any station that then calls me.
From the West coast, I tend to run the SPRINT contest beginning on 20-meters, then working down to 40 and 80; with one or more 40 & 80 sweeps up until end of the contest @04:00z. While my score was about 1/3 of my SCCC#1 team compatriots, at least I broke the 100
QSO mark, despite starting nearly 30 minutes late.
In recent contests I have been testing the Autek QF-1a audio filter on the remote receive audio with great results overall.
For now I am pairing it with the JPS NIR-12 in use @W7AYT.
In it's place I have replaced the QF-1A with the MFJ 752-C that has been in use @W7AYT.
For remote purposes, the 752-C provides nowhere near the signal shaping that the QF-1A does, even though in concept, both circuits are designed to accomplish essentially the
same thing. Possibly a circuit alignment (per the manual) will change my thinking.
SFI has plummeted to a paltry 79, returning the propagation predictions to their "bleak"
status of just a few days ago.
This of course raises the question as to whether or not the 228 SFI was in some way a statistical aberration or at the very least
a one-time event.
Did you work the WAE Contest, FOC QSO Party, or North American SPRINT?
Is WQ6X in YOUR Log?