Sunday, August 5, 2018


Like many WQ6X remote operations, the July NAQP RTTY contest was a last minute setup.
Earlier that week there was an attempt to run NX6T in the NAQP contest as a remote Multi-2 operation until they discovered there is no reliable/accurate way to remotely dial back STN-1's
ACOM 2000a amplifer down to exactly 99 - 100 watts (the power limit for NAQP contests).

Enter WQ6X. On Friday evening it occured to me that running STN-1's Elecraft K3 barefoot at 55 watts would result in only a 3db reduction in the signal level; an amplifier would not be necessary.

The BiG secret to running lower power operations is directing the RF energy into gain-producing antennas , such as the C-31 and Shorty-40 yagi's at NX6T's Fallbrook location; both 31mh.

The 80-meter coaxial dipole (atop tower #2 in it's 13mh lower elevation) was enough to put 15 RTTY QSOs in the
80-meter section of the log.

While the overall operation was ad-HOC, WQ6X managed QSO #1 by 18:01z. Running the Elecraft K3 @55 watts kept the radio and the shack relatively cool; had I run the ACOM 2000a with no one onsite to turn on the shack A/C, simple heat problems woulda become BiG problems.

Thanks to the DMC RTTY contest (which began at 12:00z), putting 11 QSOs in the DMC log from 16:00z - 18:00z allowed testing of the radio facilities in Fallbrook, as well as the internet connections on both sides of the radio operation.

NX6T on Friday evening
Pre-loading N1MM's keyboard RTTY macros on Friday evening, software operation ran nearly flawlessly; there were even 1/2 dozen opportunities to effect proper use of the F-10 "NOW"
key while running a frequency.

During S&P operations another 1/2 dozen QSOs made it to the log by way
of the other station's proper use of their "NOW" key.

As I often do during RTTY & CW GiGs, run frequencies are PRECISELY chosen such that when some IDIOT calls Cq EXACTLY on my run frequency, I know
it did NoT happen by accident.

 That is also why I have the F-11 key configured to send "QRL - Pse QSY". When a station attempts to move-in on my run frequency, I press the F-11 key TWICE for each time I press F-1 to call CQ. 
In most cases the intruder gets the message and QSY's to another frequency.

While we are still near the bottom of the solar sunspot cycle, the SFI was UP high enough and long enough that 15 AND 10 meter openings were a part of the daytime operation. In fact, more QSos made it into the log on 10-meters than on 15 - GO Figure. While running 10-meters a periodic scan
of the C-31 from North to East to South America and back again put dozens of QSOs in the log.
While contest goal of 300 QSOs was JUST missed (293), considering the 55-watt power level,
I was amazed how easy it was to keep run frequencies active.

Because NAQP GiGs are 12 hour contests beginning at 18:00z and ending at 06:00z it is reasonable to expect that encountering intentional QRM probably will not be a problem; especially during a RTTY contest. Unfortunately, when I started up on 40 meters around 02:00z, I no sooner put out the first "CQ NAQP" call, when a Spanish-speaking SSB station (with no callsign ID, of course) zero-beats
the 7094.94 run frequency EXACTLY; i.e., this was no accident. While I am used to Asian SSB signals in the upper portions of the 40-meter Cw/Digital spectrum, rarely does that occur before midnight (07:00z), and certainly not in Spanish.

Events of the day allowed working the allowed 10 out of the 12 NAQP hours (the limit for Single OP operations). Altho there are fewer stations operating the final 2 hours of the contest, it is not surprising to hear "new" stations during that period; possibly OPs who got on the air at the last minute to make a few QSOs.

What about you?

Did YOU play in the NAQP and/or DMC RTTY contests?

Is WQ6X in YOUR log?

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