Monday, March 19, 2018

WQ6X runs a Weird WPX RTTY Contest

WQ6X running NX6T remotely
The appearance of the 2018 WPX RTTY Contest is a reminder that
we have headed into "WPX Season"; first with WPX-RTTY in February, followed by WPX-SSB at the end of March and ending
with WPX-CW over the upcoming Memorial Day weekend (in May).

For last year's WPX RTTY contest, I chose to run NX6T remotely from the bay area rather than make the long 10+ hour drive to "Nash-Ville".
[CLICK HERE] to read about that event.

For 2018 I again chose to remotely run NX6T  in Fallbrook as NX6T;
a more distinctive RTTY call.  For the WPX-SSB & WPX-CW GiGs,
we will probably use my WQ6X callsign.
Running from "NashVille" allowed me to run high power and take advantage of 13mh yagi's and an 80-meter inverted vee.

Client commitments required I spend time in my Alameda office between afternoon contest runs. The goal was to run NX6T remotely from whenever I happened to be that weekend. Because I run remote by way of a Toshiba laptop, I can even run RTTY from the comfort of my bed - how CooL is THAT?

WQ6X portable station setup @ W7AYT

I setup NX6T's station #1 on 40-meters to open the contest while awaiting a delivery at my Alameda office Friday evening; after which
I made my way to W7AYT's QTH where I ran most of the contest remotely. The operating position @ W7AYT is complete with a 32" monitor for the laptop, making RTTY operation SO much easier.

Antennas & ACOM 2000a @ NX6T

Altho NX6T's STN-1 ran the K3 into an ACOM-2000 as a high power entry, due to heat considerations, when running a frequency the amp was dialed-back to about 550 watts. For S&P'ing the amp was pumped up to around 1350 watts. Antennas in use @ NX6T included C-31, Stepp-IR and Shorty-40 yagis (all at 13mh) and an 80-meter droopy inverted vee.

NX6T spotted on a BUSY 15 meters

Being at the bottom of the sunspot cycle, 10 meters was almost non existent. 40 meters was THE band, with surprising calls from Europe by 01:30z (from W6, that is usually a rarity). Several JA openings provided many higher-point QSOs and over a dozen JA multipliers.

NX6T Run stats

When things run effort-lessly it generates a HUGE adrenaline rush
as happened on Saturday evening (around 04:00z) when NX6T ran pileups
on 80 & 40 meters for
90 minutes.

Stations were kind enough to spot me throughout the WPX RTTY contest.

Not surprising, the skimmers were certainly very busy as you can see from the DXMaps spot of NX6T on 15 meters (above).

NX6T contest summary
Because this was a RTTY contest, none of the usual obligatory 40-meter intentional QRM was encountered - HurraH!

Then again, listening for the Russian military beacons on 7.039 gives me an indication of which areas in Asia are open at that time.

If we could only get the WPX Asian participants (outside of JA) to pay attention to 40 meter band openings and get on the air, I would be ecstatic.

When it was all OVER, based on score submissions to the 3830Scores website, even with a 500k point score, NX6T managed a distant 6th place for W6. The left-coast competition was intense for this 2018 RTTY GiG, leaving me in amazement that WQ6X running as NX6T did as well as I did.

It of course raises the question of whether or not using the WQ6X callsign would have been a better idea. Then again, in perusing the results I noticed a WQ6K entry which might have been confused with WQ6X. (Yeah, I know, "woulda shoulda coulda".)

Did YOU work the WPX Weird Prefix RTTY Contest?

Is NX6T in YOUR Log?


No comments:

Post a Comment