Wednesday, August 22, 2018

WQ6X Wings another NAQP SSB Dual-Operation

WQ6X/6 @ W7AYT in Concord
Altho this was another last-minute WQ6X Dual-OP Operation for NX6T @ W7AYT, I found out
later that N6KI had put me on the OP-list nearly a week ago. The "burbling" internet connection
I encountered 2 weeks ago before during the NAQP Cw contest has never really been resolved;
it seems to "randomly" come and go producing 150ms dropouts throughout the contests, wasting
significant time in getting EXCH data from other stations; conversely, they copied me just fine.

On the WQ6X remote end of things, thanks to the beautiful audio of the Electro Voice EV-664 broadcast microphone into the FT-1000mp,
I didn't need the Heil-PRO headset.

For listening, I used a cheesy pair of white ear buds with fidelity matched
by the outboard audio filters.

Saturday morning before the 11am contest start I implemented an easy enhancement to the WQ6X Lazy 8JK Sloper array.

This came in the form of 280-ohm terminating resistors at the electrically "far end" of each leg in the Cobra-dipole array (4 legs); the goal being to lower the signal radiation angle, hopefully transforming the sloper into more of a DX antenna and less of an NVIS cloud warmer.

The latest filter configuration @W7AYT
Another goal was to disentangle the morass of audio cables that have haphazardly evolved during previous contest operations @ W7AYT.
For this event I ended up by cascading one of the QF-1A filters into the newly acquired (but considerably older) QF-1 filter (circa 1972) for the left ear audio from the Yaesu FT-1000mp's Main-RX. Because the MP's Sub-RX has no DSP the JPS NIR-12 Dsp unit into an old MFJ-752 does almost as good a job
as the eDSP in the 1000mp.

Afternoon OPs - New and Old
Running as a Multi-2 entry allowed us to attain B-I-C (butt in chair) for Station #2 throughout contest (except the dinner hour).  Anytime there was no onsite B-I-C, remote operators kept Station #2 active at all times.

WQ6X opened the contest remotely from Station #1, being relieved at 20:30z by the afternoon onsite operators.  W2PWS opened the contest on 20-meters with B-I-C.  Hundreds of QSOs were put in the
20-meter log and hundreds more when N6KI made the scene.

Because NAQP contests are over too early to coincide with the usual after-midnight intentional QRM, imagine my surprise during pileup running when the run frequency was invaded by one of several IDIOTs who thought it was the National Tuneup Frequency (NTF). Why is it that NTF QRM usually happens while I am trying to pick an S-3 signal out of an S-9 noise-level. Luckily the K3 has an
IF-based DNF (Digital Notch Filter); that coupled with a JPS NIR-12 on my end rendered most
of those numerous carriers all but inert.

Antennas @ W7AYT's QTH

Installing the 280-Ohm terminating resistors on each leg of the WQ6X Lazy 8JK Sloper SEEMS to have lowered the radiation-angle, as I was hoping.  After the NAQP GiG was long over, I spent time listening to JA signals as they played around in their local KJC contest.

In recent Asian contests I have considered the Northwest antenna direction to be a propagation-vortex to Japan and beyond.  This weekend suggests that problem may have well been alleviated.

Reception conditions of WWV on 20 & 25 Mhz also seem to have improved considerably with the 8JK antenna update.  Unfortunately, the A & K Indexes reminded us that S-9 noise levels could be expected, and in fact were.  On the WQ6X end of things band condx were noisily-HORRIBLE, resulting in only 6 QSOs to the log.
Bummer Dewd.

When it was all over, we ended with 781 QSOs and 120 multipliers giving us
a not insignificant score of 93.6k points.

Did YOU work the NAQP contest?
Is WQ6X in YOUR Log?

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