Tuesday, May 22, 2018

WQ6X hosts a solo antenna party during King of Spain CW Contest

Current audio filter configuration
This weekend showed a dearth of contest activity as most of the BiG GuN OPs were hanging out at the HamVention in Dayton.  

E-mail notification of the 2018 King of Spain CW contest gave me another reason to run NX6T remotely as well as an excuse to experiment
with various feedline configurations for the WQ6X Lazy 8JK Sloper antenna I have been
using @ W7AYT's QTH.

The King of Spain contest actually began at 12:00z (5am) on Saturday altho SWL'ing with the FT-1000mp until 09:30z argued against a timely K-o-S contest start. As a compromise, the 1st QSO didn't make it into the NX6T log until 18:11z - 11am Pdt.

Running NX6T remotely at dusk
A goal for this operation was to check out the new and improved UHF Wi-Fi router connection.

While the router was indeed faster, online video games played on the other end of the router caused "blip" interruptions to the connection nearly every
5 seconds, chopping Cw Dits/Dahs.

Current antennas @W7AYT

As it turns out, the K-o-S contest (run remotely as NX6T) and the 8JK antenna evaluations were separate (yet related) events. 

I ran remote as NX6T leaving open the possibility of making K-o-S contacts as
WQ6X from the Concord QTH; which in
the end never happened.

Instead, the Saturday evening 8JK configuration (I made a final change Sunday morning) was used as a receiving antenna for monitoring NX6T's signals from Fallbrook

(some 400 miles away).

It's a weird experience to press a function key on the laptop in Concord which initiates an internet data transfer causing station #1 to send a 1300 watt signal
into the 2-element yagi, which is immediately received on the FT-1000mp sitting next to the laptop.  The K3's sidetone (received via the internet) actually took longer to reach Concord than the actual transmitted signal itself (travelling at nearly 186,000 mph) - GO Figure.

Thanks to the MFJ-259b antenna analyzer
I discovered the resonance and (false-resonance) points of each 8JK feedline configuration under evaluation. 

The MFJ-259 allows me to perform a quick survey of the 1.8 to 30 mhz spectrum noting all the resonance points.  As it turns out the Cobra dipoles are also resonant at 5.7mhz (49-M) and 15.5 mhz (19-M), offering GREAT shortwave broadcast reception.

The WQ6X sloper came about by phasing a pair of sloped Cobra dipoles together using a 4:1 balun, converting the 450 ohm ladder line into a coax feed. It's actually easier to feed coax thru the window than ladder line.

During this contest weekend, because of the 12:00z to 12:00z operation time frame the usual 40-meter intentional QRM was not a problem. 
By 09:00z on Sunday, the K-o-S was largely over, and again, no QRM. 

During this time I usually hear the Russian military beacons on/around 7.039.  From the SF bay area
I heard the "T" beacon quite loud and the "M" beacon about S-6.  Because it's not on the list I thought I was mis-copying the "T" beacon it until I realized a "DaH" is JUST THAT.

As Saturday evening droned on, K-o-S QSO candidates diminished into silence. At 09:00z out of desperation I turned the antenna towards JA calling CQ for 5+ minutes with no reply. In retrospect, I should have kept turning the yagi CCW looking for VK/ZL K-o-S players; maybe next year.

Did YOU play in the King of Spain Contest?

Is NX6T in YOUR LoG?

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