Wednesday, March 21, 2018

WQ6X runs Radiosport from NX6T & W7AYT

WQ6X running NX6T remote from W7AYT
Most weekends sport some sort of Radiosport activity, somewhere around the world. In the month of March there are several multi-contest weekends, including this one - March 10th/11th.

While there were 7 GiGs on my "Gopherit" list, only 4 actually made
it into the NX6T/WQ6X log. The Idaho QSO Party is always poorly timed, relegating it a back seat to the other contests for that weekend. As usual, NX6T was run remotely; but from BOTH Alameda and W7AYT's QTH in Concord.

NX6T at Dawn
First on the list was the RSGB Commonwealth contest, except that ONLY commonwealth residents are allowed to play (kind-of like our November Sweepstakes contest).  The upside was that I was able
to get plenty of needed sleep before the SA-10 (South American
10-meter) contest started at 15:00z.

In 2016, N6KI & WQ6X took 1st place (worldwide) in the SA-10 contest ([CLICK HERE] to read about that). Last year as a single-OP, WQ6X took 2nd place to WP3E' essentially "across the pond" from South America, giving him a decided advantage ([CLICK HERE] to read about that).

C-31 Yagi for 10-m
Ten meters does not usually open until late in the morning. Because we are at the "bottom" of the sunspot cycle, finding an opening on 10-meters is a patient waiting game.

While waiting for the SA-10 contest the OK QSO Party started up putting CW QSOs in the NX6T log (no OK SSB activity was heard).

Finally, around 20:30z (noon time in Ca.) South American signals floated into headphones. Meticulous Search/Pounce yielded only a dozen QSOs; most with GooD signals. Another dozen QSOs made
it to the log ONLY because NX6T began calling CQ on 28013.13, yielding numerous calls from a number of new distant countries.

SA-10 Contest Results
I was disappointed in the POOR South American turnout for their own contest; I have the SAME complaint regarding the "smaller" DX contests and the State/VE QSO Parties.

They hold a contest and ask us to join them; 'cept they don't show up to their own GiG.

Client commitments kept me off the air during the 22:00z - 01:00z period. By the time I made my way back on the air, 10 meters was DEAD and BURIED for another day. On the left coast we only get
ONE shot at South America.

160 Inverted Vee
That evening the BART train to W7AYT's Concord QTH gave me access to a 32" monitor, making things easier to read.

Next UP on the contest calendar was the Stew Perry 160 contest.

While I was quite late in starting, once I got into the rhythm of the contest I

was able to S&P and run frequencies interchangeably for several hours. Something I like about the SP contest is that ONLY the Grid Square ID is sent (no obligatory 5NN in this GiG).
Stew Perry 160 Results

While the furthest distance covered was between NX6T and PJ2T, the
"one that got away"
was the NP2 station who kept on calling, only to eventually be swallowed whole by the noise.

Despite the combination of the K3's DSP-NR and a pair of Autek QF-1a on the laptop audio (a filter for each ear), nothing could be done to salvage that 8-pointg QSO. By 10:30z (and the time change to PDT) 160 was all over for NX6T - at least from THIS end of things.
After 8 hours of sleep WIQP (the Wisconsin QSO Party) was all that was left. I ran the WIQP GiG as NX6T (from "Nash-Ville" in Fallbrook), as well as WQ6X from W7AYT's QTH in Concord.

Having revamped the WQ6X Lazy 8JK Sloper, a handful of stations were worked on 20 meters; including 1 on SSB (10 & 15 meters never materialized for stateside QSOs). For the tail-end of WIQP a surprise 40-meter opening put a bunch more Wisconsin stations in the NX6T log.

WIQP Results
From W7AYT I managed to work a handful of WIQP stations as WQ6X, just before 20-meters faded away.

The FT-1000mp at the Concord QTH also allowed me to monitor
the NX6T in Northern California to get a

perspective on how well the 1300 watt signal was being heard in a northerly direction.

Antennas @ W7AYT

In addition to running contests, time was spent troubleshooting the 8JK sloper phasing line. Thanks to the MFJ 259 antenna analyzer it would seem that the Cobra antennas are resonate somewhat BELOW the band edge of most bands.

While the FT-1000mp's antenna
tuner can handle most frequencies, sometimes it is necessary to "trick" the tuner into proper tuning mode by send random CW characters.

At the other end of the radio (the audio out end) work was begun on a project to integrate the circuit board of an MFJ CWF-2 audio filter into the MFJ 752-B Signal Enhancer box; the idea being to replace the SSB/CW noise limiter diodes with access to the 80hz & 180hz filters
in the CW2.  LooK for an upcoming WQ6X Contest BLOD Entry on how I use audio filters with the Yaesu FT-1000mp.

While this weekend was ad-HOC from the beginning, a LoT of Fun
and Enjoyment was had by WQ6X.

Did YOU work any Radiosport contests this last weekend?

Is NX6T or WQ6X in YOUR Log?

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