Thursday, February 7, 2019

WQ6X Works XE-RTTY + 3 QSO Parties - TWICE

A relatively new idea I played around with throughout 2018 was the concept of dual-OP'ing
various weekends.  Dual-OP'ing manifests in many similar-but-different forms:
  1. Joining up with the crew at NX6T remotely (using either the Elecraft K3/0 or the RCForb software to control the radio on the other end) interspersed with running remotely as WQ6X
    for a state QSO party and/or "mini" DX contest.
  2. Joining up w/NX6T remotely but from W7AYT's QTH in Concord.  During off-shift periods
    (from NX6T) I can run the SAME contest as WQ6X using my FT-1000mp.
  3. Running the K3/0 as NX6T from my office internet router, followed by a trip to W7AYT's
    QTH to run the SAME contest entities as WQ6X.
For this weekend I chose method #3.  In order to test receiving with the K3/0 remote configuration,
I tuned around 40 meters listening to FOC contest members work themselves in the FOC members only Cw contest.  (Non FOC members are worth 0 points to them, so they largely ignore us..)

The main focus for this weekend
was mostly RTTY & Cw activities so
the audio lines were configured to mix electronic music (by way of Pandora)
at a low-level "behind" the radio's receive audio.

When running a frequency during a RTTY contest, Rx audio is not so important; easy access to the
computer screen is what matters.

The 1st contest weekend in February brings the following events:

  • The VT QSO Party beginning at 00:00z (4pm Friday in W6-Land).
  • The Mexican RTTY (XE-RTTY) contest beginning at 12:00z (4am in W6-Land).
  • The MN QSO Party at 14:00z (6am in W6-Land).
  • The BC QSO Party at 16:00z (8am in W6-Land).
  • The 4 hour North American (NA) Sprint contest.
In preparation for these 4 events, the latest N1MM+ updates were made and contest logs created
for each event on BOTH computers; in Fallbrook and the laptop used @ W7AYT.  Friday evening tuning the bands (during amp and antenna testing) put two VT stations in the log before finding 4 hours sleep.

Virtually @ 12:00z my eyes snapped open, enough to find my way to the kitchen and fire-UP a pot
of STRONG Kona & Juan Valdez Columbian coffee.  Last-minute equipment complications delayed the 1st RTTY QSO to 13:18z on a relatively WIDE-Open 40 meters.

N X 6 T's  T o w e r  # 1 -- C 3 1  Y a g i
While 18 QSOs in the 1st hour isn't great, it DiD bring important multipliers and multi-point QSOs, including: VE2, XE2, JO7, 7N2, E21, JH3, JH0/0 & YB2.  Working all there was to work on 40 and
20 not yet happening I caught a 30 minute nap, awakening to a 20-meter opening and the sound of MNQP and VTQP stations on BOTH Cw & Ssb. 

By 16:00z all the contest GiGs were happening, altho the first BCQP QSOs did not hit the log until 20:30z.  Switching between logs, while not easy, allowed multi-tasking the 4 events.  Later in the day, the SUB-Rx in the FT-1000mp allowed me to work one contest and check activity on the band from the other GiGs.

T h e  l a t e s t  F T - 1 0 0 0 mp  setup

Arriving @ W7AYT around 00:45z I quickly setup the FT-1000mp with immediate hopes of jumping right into the Cw Sprint contest only to encounter an S9+ noise level that turned out to be caused by the laptop's generic switching power supply.  Not having a replacement pack, the decision was made to hijack the NIR-12 power cable to run the Toshiba DynaDock, relegating its power pack to run the laptop.

Now device noise-free, the effects a K-Index = 3 geomagnetic storm kept signals weak. 

At W7AYT, 20 meters was already gone and no
Sprint signals were heard on 40.  Moving down
to 80 meters, I heard many stations, all who could
not hear me.  Switching back to 40, 7 contacts made
it into the log before the 04:00z contest end.

The MN QSO Party ended at 00:00z; 2 down, 3 to go.  Unfortunately, the BCQP also ended at 04:00z, but only for the day; part 2 resumed at 16:00z on Sunday, altho no BC stations were heard until 20:20z.

Overall, not a lot of QSOs were made as WQ6X on Sunday.  Nevertheless, the goal of operating multiple events as WQ6X at W7AYT was fulfilled.  The 8JK Sloper and CH-250 vertical enabled nation-wide coverage and even QSOs with KP4, CX7 & YV5.

Did YOU work the Mexican RTTY, BCQP, MNQP, VTQP & Sprint contents.

Is WQ6X and/or NX6T in YOUR Log?

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