Friday, November 30, 2018

WQ6X Wanders thru another CQ W.W. SSB contest weekend

I am usually not a big fan of SSB Dx contests (except for the DXCC improvement potential).
However the last weekend of October offered me the opportunity to test run the recently acquired Elecraft K3/0 remote radio control unit during an SSB contest.

For reasons beyond my control, the goal of working a recently acquired Mikrotik wireless hotspot
into the configuration never materialized.  That meant Friday evening required reverting back to the RCFORB & IP-Sound approach; a measurably archaic system compared to the K3/0 + RRC-1258 hardware configuration.

Unable to make transmit audio work via RCFORB, John (K6AM) loaded up NX6T's station #1 voice memories allowing efficient Search & Pounce (S&P) operation.  Using an Autek QF-1A audio filter on the RCFORB laptop audio made difficult voice accents more readable.  While I worked on things, Rick (N6CY) kept station #2 alive.

N 6 C Y  and  N 6 K I
The receiving end was no sooner made functional when N6KI came
back from dinner to relieve me for a nap (which never materialized because S&P'ing left me wired").  Before long
it was time for my 1am shift.

Because the SFI (Solar Flux Index) continues to hover around 69 or so,
80 & 75 meters were the primary evening bands, with a handful of contacts made on 160 to round
things out a bit.  By 7am (W6 time) the Dx disappeared returning 80 & 40 back to more-or-less local communications.

Saturday began with the monthly meeting of the Amateur Radio Club of Alameda (ARCA) where we learned about the FT-8 digital mode,

After the club meeting, a drive was made to W7AYT'S QTH by way of a stop at Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) in Oakland to pickup
a 50' roll of RG-8X coax for Dennis' newly acquired Buddipole Deluxe. 

Saturday afternoon I helped Dennis put the antenna through
a thorough test-run.  While the Buddipole instructions are abundantly clear, the final secret to properly adjusting a Buddipole is an antenna analyzer such as the MFJ-259
which for me has provided years of exceptional antenna
design experience.

T o w e r  # 2
Typical of my portable operations from W7AYT, there are always some sort of surprise to be encountered; some good and some not so good.  Amazingly, no disasters occurred for this weekend; not even intentional QRM.  Once the K3/0 operation stabilized the CQ WW GiG became my first attempt at running an ssb contest remotely.

While our score (as reported by the 3830 Scores website) was nothing spectacular, our operation gave us the opportunity to test-drive the current Fallbrook station configuration, B-I-C & Remote.

Did you play in the CQ W.W. SSB contest?

Is NX6T in YOUR Log?

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