|Fan-cooled NX6T shack|
I have a habit of getting involved at the last minute; kinda in line with a plaque
I had on the WA6LKB garage shack wall when
I was a teenager that said:
"Don't put off tomorrow what you can put off today".
The CQ W.W. CW contest always happens on the weekend following the Thanksgiving holiday.
I often don't get the family agenda of T-day until the last minute.
After this year's last-minute notice I received another last-minute
invite to join a multi-2 remote VE operation from Palm Springs. Unfortunately, with client commitments on Friday in Alameda,
the 14 hour trip to Palm Springs would have put me there around
noon on Saturday (with 40+% of the contest already gone).
Instead, a call to N6KI certified that the NX6T station in Fallbrook would be dark that weekend (Dennis chose to operate from his home QTH). Once an IP-sound audio problem was fixed and some internet latency problems were resolved, STN-1 was available for SOA operation all weekend.
Unfortunately, a shack air conditioning problem relegated operation to running barefoot until Saturday morning when a BiG fan was put into operation, allowing the ACOM 2000a to be run at approx. 777 watts the rest of the weekend. (Occasionally running frequencies would
heat up the shack, so I would put in a lengthy pause between each
While I made a surprising number of QSOs (and busted numerous pileups) running barefoot Friday evening, running 700+ watts made things considerably easier. Sunday morning even found me running a frequency to Europe with some surprisingly cool callsigns checking in.
Part of this weekend's success was timing. WQ6X busted dozens
of HUGE pileups by slipping the callsign during a momentary lull, snagging the QSO.
Antenna-wise I ran a C-31 yagi for the high bands, switching to
a 3-el Stepp-IR when I wanted to run BI-directional to ASIA/SA or Europe/Oceania. The 2-element 40-meter yagi was quite effective
for this contest. For 80 meters an inverted vee gave WQ6X presence on the band yielding 2-dozen QSOs.
This weekend's challenge was internet latency; when the connection was good it was incredibly good. When the microwave link in Fallbrook would take a dive, things got real funky real fast. A number of times the Fallbrook end would be out for 1/2 hour or so. I almost went to bed early Saturday morning because of it; then, just as quickly it came back, so it's a good thing I didn't call it at that time. If I seemed out
of synch at times, it was either funky internet, or, I was nodding off (around 12:00z) from lack of sleep.
The 1st QSO made it into the log at 05:50z .
From the start there were openings to Europe, N/A and Central/South America and even Oceania By 09:30z I was running 7.012 to Asia
for the next 2 hours. With 5 hours sleep I started up on 15 meters
at 18:30z. Throughout the day I found pockets of OP time in
between working with clients.
|Running remotely using the MFJ-752c|
I've never encountered THIS problem before.
For recent remote operations I have been using an Autek QF-1a
audio filter to process the laptop receive audio. Unfortunately, BOTH QF-1A's were parked at W7AYT, leaving me only an MFJ-752c for this contest. While the 752c did a reasonable job, there is no comparison to the QF-1A; although at least I had SOME audio processing on the receive end.
Usually running 40-meters presents me was TONs of intentional QRM after 07:00z (see my BLOG entry on the recent JIDX SSB contest). During this last weekend the only intentional QRM was from calling
CQ on (what turned out to be) the National Tune-UP frequency and certain N/W stations (do I need to name callsigns?) who always seemed to popup in the bandmap about 400hz below my run frequency shortly after I called CQ. They can copy CW, but not
"QRL QSY PSE".
contest, it is Zones that are MOST important; all 40 of them.
It is quite conceivable that one could work 100 countries from a combined area of Europe and Africa, never once working a station
in Oceana or South America.
This year, one of the more RARE Zones - Zone 40 - was an easy skip across the "Atlantic pond"; almost no challenge at all.
In this operation, all Zones were worked except 34 - 39 (all in Africa) and 21 - 22 (mid-Asia). Remember: you can't work 'em if you can't hear'em. Even running assisted, I don't recall seeing any spots for those missing Zones; although I DiD hear Zone 22 - briefly - and
then it disappeared into the noise.
By the time it was all over, 727 QSOs made it into the WQ6X log with 260 multipliers. Because 40-meters was the strongest band, it made complete sense to submit this log as a Single-OP, 40-meter, high power, assisted operation. Doing so resulted in an entry claiming
425 QSOs x 31-Zones and 73-Countries for a score of: 121,472
points (before the Log Checking Robot) whittles it down.
You can view the CW WW CW Claimed scores on the 3830 Scores Website. You can also view the WQ6X 3830 Scores website submission.
Based on log submissions it would seem that WQ6X took 35st place worldwide, 6th place for North America, 4th place for USA and 1st place for W6 (California).
Did you work the CQ W.W. Cw contest?
Is WQ6X in your log?