Wednesday, October 25, 2017

WQ6X runs 8 Radiosport contests in October

WPX-CW @ NX6T (2013) before the station revamp
It's no secret that I love to engage in all manner of radiosport activities: CW, RTTY, SSB; domestic as well as DX contests. Domestic contests include the numerous state QSO parties throughout the year.
My FAVorite domestic contest is of course the November Sweepstakes; the CW version in particular as it saves
wear/tear on my vocal chords.

Every October there are numerous QSO parties beginning with
my FAVorite: The California QSO party (CQP). CQP is so important
to me that I maintain a complete web section on the WQ6X.Info website for CQP: http://WQ6X.Info/CQP.

For 2017 it would seem that operating as K6T (Kilowatt Six Tango) achieved a new county record for Contra Costa county. (Last year running solo as W6K a county record was secured for Tuolumne county). For me, one of the more enjoyable aspects of CQP is being sought after. Hard to believe, for many county hunters, Contra Costa county is more difficult to work than Tuolumne or even Stanislaus.

RCForb software screen
Although CQP was operated [if you will]
"live", the rest of October's radiosport events have been run remotely from NX6T.

Using the VNC Viewer VPN software to run Station #1's computer the Elecraft K3 itself is run via the RCForb rig interface software.

I have yet to figure out how to invoke the actual Receiver Incremental Tuning (R.I.T) facility when accessing the K3 remotely. Instead, the solution is to synchronize the 2 VFO's and then run SPLIT. While this allows me to tune in stations who are GROSSLY off frequency, when the contact is logged, the log's frequency reference is to the "RIT" frequency, not the transmitted frequency (which never changes).
At LEAST I have a way to bring stations thru.

This year, once CQP became a distant memory it was time to support others in their QSO parties, as well as play around in a couple of RTTY events. All this was done remotely from NX6T. Outside of CQP, for WQ6X other QSO parties included:
  • PAQP - Pennsylvania QSO Party
  • AZQP - Arizona QSO Party
  • ILQP - Illinois QSO Party
  • NYQP - New York QSO Party
  • I saw the SDQP (South Dakota) on the calendar yet heard NO SD stations during the alleged 24 hour contest period. This just furthers my complaint that other than CQP not enough stations participate in their OWN QSO parties.

    Operating the NX6T station remotely gave me a bunch of different antennas to choose from. On 80, 40 & 20 I heard ALL MANNER
    of stations surrounding South Dakota, most with nice signals.
    You mean to tell me that the radiosport Gods caused a South
    Dakotan BLACKOUT? I don't thingk so. 

    The JARTS RTTY Screen remotely
    RTTY-wise, October found me playing around in the Makrothen RTTY contest on October 14th and the Japanese JARTS RTTY contest on the 21st. These two gigs are similar except that the contest exchange includes our GRID Square ID for the Makrothen contest and (similar to All Asian) our AGE for the JARTS event.

    In the Makrothen GiG, QSO points are awarded for each contact based on the DISTANCE between the GRID ID for both stations. Working primarily DX stations can result in ridiculously high scores, which makes things completely different than most other contests;
    and, definitely more fun.

    Tower #2 @ NX6T

    Because tower #1 was trailered to a "secret" CQP location, I did not have access to the C-31 yagi for October.

    Instead, all I had access to was a 3-element Stepp-IR, 2 elements on 40 and a sloppy inverted VEE on
    80 - all 13mh.

    For the RTTY contests, I would often run the Stepp-IR Bi-directional when running a frequency to enjoy QSOs from Asia and South America or N.E. USA/Canada and KH6/VK/ZL.

    When non hams ask why I play in so many radiosport GiGs (72 so far this year), I remind them that not only is it FUN, it keeps my operating skills at their highest level should further disasters (like hurricanes, fires and earthquakes) suddenly occur.

    I have setup so many different portable stations in the last 8 years that I am prepared for just about anything. Operating from Mt. Able, Ojai Valley, Carpinteria State Beach, Mt. Diablo, as well as 3rd, 5th and even 30th story hotel rooms has taught me a lot about operating
    under adversity, making operations like WP2/WQ6X, or multi-opping
    from NX6T or N6GEO a pleasant relief.

    NX6T after dark
    For me, Radio sport has an important purpose. Until something/someone else comes along with a "higher" purpose, this is one hobby I am going to keep playing around in.

    As a teenager, amateur radio kept me out of jail, I was too busy on the air to find time for drinking drugs or stealing cars;

    all that came MUCH later, and instead of ME stealing cars, it was my Honda Accord which was stolen - TWICE this year (the 1st time for its license plates and the
    2nd time probably for parts).

    Radiosport has enabled/encouraged me to play around with numerous radio equipment configurations in addition to trying out add-on devices like the QF-1A, NIR-12 and the MFJ 1026 noise canceller, in addition to a number of wireless headset configurations.
    (I hate being "wired" to a wireless radio.)

    FT-1000mp + outboard filters
    October is not yet over.

    Next month brings us the November Sweepstakes, the JIDX SSB and WAE RTTY contests, as well as a number of QSO parties and small DX contests.

    I thoroughly enjoy sitting at a real radio in Fallbrook or my Yaesu FT-1000mp with its "billions and billions of knobs" (to paraphrase Carl Sagan).

    Additionally, because I often see Biofeedback clients on weekends,
    I am fortunate to have access to NX6T remotely. Often my remote operations help the techs in Fallbrook to debug an equipment or latency problem - I get to play and they get "stress analysis" on
    the equipment and internet configuration.

    Have you been playing in the dozen or so Radiosport GiGs
    during the month of October?

    Is WQ6X or K6T in your log?



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