and the Worked All Europe (WAE) events take radiosport skill to a more competitive level.
Last weekend's WAE event turned out to be a perfect demonstration of that fact.
While WAE exchange begins with 5-9-9 + Serial-#, it doesn't end there. Making basic contacts is just HALF
of the goal for a successful WAE operation. Sending QTC messages back to European stations is where
the other half of the ending score comes from.
During November Sweepstakes GiGs,
the exchange we send is actually a radiogram Message Header. During the WAE contest, QTC messages document QSOs made earlier in the event. (Can we send a QTC message about sending QTC messages?)
Back in the Olden Daze after sending/receiving radiograms, operators would send a message summary to their traffic manager. The QTC message was devised for that purpose. Essentially,
a QTC message is a radiogram summarizing a radiogram message sent/received.
While putting this BLOG together I got to looking back to previous WAE-Cw GiGs
I've played around in. There seems to be FOUR attempts at this contest:
- [x] - (2019) - WQ6X runs a Quicky Yet Quirkey WAE Contest
- [x] - (2018) - WQ6X Stumbles Thru WAE Cw Contest
- [x] - (2017) - WQ6X survives 12 computer crashes to work WAE
- [x] - (2016) - WQ6X dabbles in WAE-CW 2016
the last 4 years. Nevertheless, I still considered operating in this event to be a "training exercise";
as such, I was not concerned with my actual score result in comparison to other stations.
Due to shack heat considerations, the Expert-2k amplifier was dialed back to 550 - 670 watts. Repetitive CQs (with no takers) and sending books of 10-QTCs would take the heat index up, requiring every excuse to not transmit for a minute or two w/o actually giving up the run frequency.
To make band switching easier, I used a fixed-pointed C-31 yagi for the high bands. Unfortunately,
15-meters hardly delivered much in the way of EU activity during this contest. On 40-meters, the
2-el Shorty-40 yagi produced an amazing result, considering that from the Southwest, WQ6X signals had to pierce the N/E wall of U.S./Canada stations. The biggest problem on 40 was an annoying noise level, that the K3 noise blankers could not remove. The local QF-1A filters helped, however much of the time it was not enough.
Running NX6T in Fallbrook remotely from Alameda offers nearly the same audio
filter complement available from my operations @W7AYT in Concord. Both locations
rely extensively on a pair of Autek QF-1A analog audio filters; one for each ear. Adjusting
the filters directing lower-pitch signals to the left ear and higher pitches to the right ear makes
it easier to sort out multiple stations calling simultaneously when running a frequency to Europe.
I wrote up how to do this in a previous Blog entry ([CLICK HERE] to read this).
Not knowing what to expect for the weekend, I decided to engage in a combination of frequency running and Search & Pounce. The biggest hassle came NoT from running European stations but from the "Billy Bob" operators (mainly from the Southeast USA) who would call-in after my "CQ EU Test" call. If they had read the WAE rules, they would already know NoT to call me.
Sending "EU Only" usually sent them "packing".
Late Saturday evening, running out Europeans to work a switch was made to a still-open 20 meter band allowing 11 QSOs and 9 QTC messages to be added to the log. When the band finally folded an hour later, it was time for 7 hours of sleep. By 14:30z WQ6X was back, running 14008.08 for nearly 90 minutes. This run resulted in 60 QSOs and 54 QTCs delivered during that period.
On Sunday afternoon while attempting to work a new multiplier some IDIOT began a 5 minute continuous tune-up process. When he would pause for 5 seconds I would send "QRL QSY";
he would ignore me as if he couldn't hear me. When he was finally done I sent "QRL QSY LID",
to which he immediately replied with 3 F-Bombs in a row - HuH?
So much for NoT being able to hear me.
When it was all over it would seem that WAE-2020 was my best operation in this GiG thus far.
DiD YOU work the 2020 WAE Cw contest?
How many QTC messages did YOU Send/Receive?
Is WQ6X in YOUR log?