Monday, February 11, 2019

N6CY and WQ6X Roar remotely in WPX RTTY

W Q 6 X  R e m o t e
This was another near-last minute contest setup at NX6T.  This is also one contest that almost didn't make it. As of Friday afternoon, our uWave microwave link (a major component in our remote internet access) was down and it didn't look GooD.  Thanks to behind-the-scenes troubleshooting from K6AM, W6JBR and N6KI, NX6T was ready to roll by 02:00z; WQ6X put the 1st QSO in the log at 02:38z.

Operating hours were split up between N6CY (Rick) and WQ6X (Ron). Both Rick and Ron operated remotely; Ron on STN-2 and Rick on STN-1. Saturday morning, N6CY made an onsite visit to NX6T, for 6 hours of actual B-I-C.  Our biggest problem was turning the amplifier powers up and down, blending max. power out while remaining under 70-degs(c) room temperature.

N 6 C Y  @  N X 6 T - S T N - 1
We ran a pair of Elecraft K3/0 controlled K3's onsite in Fallbrook. STN-1 dumped its RF into a classic ACOM 2000a amp while STN-2 dumped ITS RF into an Expert 1.5k amplifier. STN2 used the C-31 yagi for the high bands, allowing WQ6X to jump around on 10 & 15 while N6CY kept 20-meters
alive for HOURS by way of a Stepp-IR which can be switched between NORM, BI-DIRECTIONAL and 180 degrees for QUICK direction shift. 

The Shorty-Fourty 2-el. yagi and 80-meter inverted bazooka-Vee were shared between stations.
No coax switch "collisions" occurred the entire contest.  The lockouts and interlocks were in perfectly-timed operation; most desirable during dual-OP remote access.

N 6 C Y  &  W Q 6 X  R u n n i n g  R e m o t e l y
While the K3/0 radio connections ran flawlessly, because we used Hamachi & VNC Viewer to run the N1MM+ software, occasiuonally, the entry screen would freeze even though signasls could be heard thru the K3/0 - very FRUSTRATING.  If we "just disappeared" on you; that's probably why.

Because N1MM+ is equipped with some graphical stat displays it is easy to devise a hybrid display from 4 separate screens.  Having a visual on the number of QSOs and the point-value of those individual QSOs provides another look at our overall contest performance.

Because we are still in the PIT of the sunspot cycle the SFI never went
above 70.  Unfortunately, a K=3 solar disturbance put a lot of noise into the RX, while creating some weird fading effects.

It seemed quite common to turn the yagi AWAY from the direction of a signal only to receive an S-9 call from that very direction.

Having shared log access between the two station setups (whether Rick was onsite or remote) allowed us to see QSOs added from the other station running a frequency.  When BOTH OPs
were "pounding it out", the hour stats showed some nice "spikes".  Several times, I would see
a station work Rick on 20 meters and 5 minutes later find me running on 15.

Overall, N6CY & WQ6X gave it one keckuva of a GO in the WPX RTTY contest.

Based on the scores submitted to the 3830Scores.Com website, it would seem that NX6T took
12th place worldwide, 8th place for USA and 1st-place for W6 and CQ Zone 3.  How we end up
in the final results may be considerably different than the predictions.

DiD YOU work NX6T? We worked many stations on multiple-bands. Thank You for that.
What was the WPX RTTY Contest like for You?

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