Wednesday, October 3, 2018

WQ6X Ponders and Prepares W6C for 2018 CQP

Scribble stats from last 8 CQP GiGs
This is the 1st time I've written about
a CQP event BE-4 it happens.

During the last 30 daze, I've been musing over what should happen for
the 2018 California QSO Party (CQP). 

I could join up with someone's mult-group or Expedition, or, I can take Amtrak to Oceanside and join the usual gang of Motley operators at NX6T,
up on the hill overlooking Fallbrook. 

While the C-31 tower trailer has been commandeered by the K6QK operation, there is STILL tower #2 (a 3-el STEPP-IR, 2-el Shorty-40 and inverted Vee's
for 80 & 160).

Tower #2 @ N X 6 T
Another possibility would be to stay in the bay area and remote in to NX6T (as I often do) using the RCForb software to control the radio and VNC Viewer to run the logging software.

Unfortunately with the internet dropouts in Fallbrook, running RCForb to run the radio seems like a HORRIBLE alternative.

Then again, an alternative to the alternative has come in the form of
an Elecraft K3/0 remote operating unit received as a birthday present
last week. 

Assuming I can get the K3/0 operational in time, I will be able to put in a few hours of OP-time remotely without the internet latency problems I normally experience when running the RCForb software; even running the audio thru IP-Sound is not enough to overcome the timing problems.  Because the K3/0 is a hardware ---> internet ---> hardware setup, software latency will hopefully
be a thing of the past.

During last weekend's CQ W.W. RTTY contest, I brought in Version 1.1 of the recently devised WQ6X RTTY Rigger - an old Heathkit HD-15 phone patch converted into an AFSK RTTY interface (look for an upcoming WQ6X contest blog entry about this).  Coupling output of the FT-1000mp's Main-RX audio line thru an Autek QF-1a audio filter into the RTTY Rigger gave it a thorough workout. 
Alas, the RTTY Rigger is back on the work bench awaiting the mods that will make up Version 1.2.  The QF-1a filter is also back in for evaluation and will be replaced with the original PAIR of QF-1A units, all of which have been upgraded to RCA plugs, replacing the antiquated mono phone plugs.

QF-1A PAIR - Final workbench tests
After spending a couple of hours researching the results pages from the CQP website, the decision was made to run as W6C ("Whiskey Six California") from W7AYT's QTH, in an attempt to surpass the record set by K6T
(WQ6X-Op) in the 2017 CQP for
Contra Costa County (CCOS).
[CLICK HERE] to read about that GiG.

Because I like to thoroughly document major contest event operations, a CQP page is put together for each year of operation (from 2010 - 2018) in the CQP Section of the WQ6X.Info website. 

As each contest date approaches, the CQP pages receive updates, almost up to the 9 am starting time on Saturday morning.  [CLICK HERE] to see the current CQP county station allocations for 2018.

Dennis (W7AYT) donated a stereo speaker set (including sub woofer) to
the WQ6X operation from Concord.
Not only do blue LED's look CooL, the audio (especially on SSB) is SUPERB.

The Yaesu FT-1000mp transceiver splits the Main/Sub receiver audio beautifully between left and right channel. 

LooK for WQ6X behind the Electro Voice microphone at W6C on 40/75 meters Saturday evening.

WQ6X running CQ W.W. RTTY remotely.
This upcoming 2018 California QSO Party promises to be one of the most active CQP GiGs EVER; even more than the CQP-50 event back in 2015.  Thanks to the best complement of audio filters ever used @W7AYT, revamped antennas and a 32" computer screen, the W6C event promises to be an overarching success.

Are YOU going to play in the 2018 California QSO Party?
If not, WHY NOT?

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