Monthly Archives: September 2009

2009 CQ WW RTTY Contest Summary

This past weekend was the 2009 CQ WW RTTY contest, one of the big RTTY contests over the course of the year.

I got a late start on the first night missing the first couple hours because of family obligations so I spent a couple hours on 40m and 80m making contacts before calling it an early night.

Saturday I was able to spend a good part of day on the radio and worked 20m throughout the day switching to 15m occasionally. 15m is a weak band for me on my G5RV but I can usually make a few contacts local in the US or to Central/South American stations that are strong. More then anything, 15m is good for multipliers and occasionally a country I don’t have on 20m or 40m. I saw some new DXCC’s on 20m on Sat but they had big pile ups and with 100w I decided to just move along and come back if they were on later. Other then a couple of brief attempts in Run mode with not enough activity to warrant the effort, I did S&P mode for most of the contest.

As the sun started to get low in the sky I alternated between 40m and 20m as 20m was still active. As the evening was in full swing I alternated between 40m and 80m and occasionaly 20m to see if anything new popped up. Though this is a DX contest, there are multipliers for each US State on each band so it is worth working local contacts as well. I didn’t stay up late and even took breaks in the evening to watch a movie.

Sun morning I woke up and for most of the day I was able to be on the radio, working 20m and switching from time to time to 15m to see if anything new could be heard. Before noon I emailed a nearby club member working the contest and we were about neck and neck. I did notice he had more countries on 15m then I did even though he had less 15m contacts showing that maybe a dedicated 15m dipole or one string in a different direction might help vs the G5RV. He was heading out for a while but I was going to keep going for a couple hours before the NY Giants football game started. When the game came on, I watched it for about 3.5 hours before getting back on the radio. I worked 20m again until dusk and then started switching to 40m and then to 80m again as I did the day before.

When the whistle blew at 00:00z I had logged 578 contacts and ended up with 343,840 points beating last years totals (see CQ WW RTTY Contest post). After reviewing the log I ended up logging 69 different DXCC entities, 20 different zones,  478 unique stations, 41 US states and 9 Canadian Providences. It doesn’t look like I logged any new entities this time around.

I logged 6 Alaska stations that were all booming into NJ on Sunday. One even commented on how strong I was. I also logged 3 Japanese stations over the weekend which is always a nice treat. I find it funny how I can log 6 stations in Alaska yet it wasn’t until 45 mins left in the entire contest that I logged a station from Georgia – go figure.

I worked 2 stations on all 4 bands I operated and 13 stations on 3 bands. Of the 578 total contacts with 478 unique stations, 334 were non-US/Canadian stations  and 178  I had previously worked giving me a contact with 156 new DX stations. Germany was the non-US/Canadian country with 31 contacts followed by European Russia with 21 and Italy with 16.

I really enjoy RTTY contests whether they are 2 full days or a couple of hours long. It is a fun mode and with my modest 100w station and a G5RV wire antenna it provides a tremendous amount of excitement. Many thanks to all the operators both US and international that pulled my weak signal out to allow me to log another contact. After the contest I uploaded my logs to eQSL and LoTW and there were already many that were confirmed with about 100 confirmed on LoTW within 3 hours of the contest ending and even more this morning when I checked before heading off to work.

Band    QSOs     Pts  Cty   ZN  Sec
 3.5      52      76    9    7   22
 7       128     218   34   14   38
 14      350     834   65   20   32
 21       46     100   17   11   11
Total    576    1228  125   52  103

Score : 343,840


NA Sprint SSB – Fast and Fun!

Saturday night was the NA Sprint for SSB. Someone calls CQ, you come back to them, you exchange names, serial numbers and states and then the person that was calling CQ has to QSY to another frequency and the other station takes over the frequency to call CQ. It’s fast and a lot of fun.

I was very busy on Saturday and didn’t get home until the 4 hour contest was half over, so I only participated for 2 hours. Ops were already on 40m so I didn’t have any 20m contacts. Conditions weren’t bad on 40m but a lot noisier on 80m. I ended up making a contact with 29 different states including ND, ID & WY and 2 Canadian Providences. I heard 2 different Alaska stations on 40m coming in strong but in a sprint like this, the loudest station is usually the one that wins until later on when the loudest stations have already worked most stations, but I didn’t hear Alaska much after I first heard them.

I made a total of 52 contacts in the 2 hours which isn’t bad. It’s nice when the op on the other end says things like ‘Nice to hear you David” or recognizes a portion of your call and completes your call and knows your name.  I find this style contest on SSB to be very friendly and I enjoy it a lot.  The RTTY version of this contest is mid Oct and then then the CW, SSB and RTTY contests all have a 2nd running in Feb/March. Maybe I’ll see you then!

Band    QSOs    Pts  Sec
3.5     37      37   22
7      15      15    9
Total    52      52   31

Score : 1,612


Paraguay – New DXCC Confirmed!

As mentioned at Paraguay – New DXCC Logged, today I received a QSL card confirming the contact. Boy was that quick, but what is even more impressive was K2DER’s communication. Hugo is ZP8VAO’s QSL Manager and when he received my QSL card and SASE, he contacted me via email AND posted on my blog. That’s what I call an attentive QSL Manager. Many thanks to Hugo, K2DER and of course to ZP8VAO for the contact with a new one for me.


2009 WAE SSB Summary

Wanted to work the VHF contest with my local radio club but due to weather it was called off. I still thought about putting up a 2 meter beam on fiberglass poles but weather on Sat was really poor with steady rain all day.

So I got on HF and participated in the WAE SSB contest. What is different about the WAE contests are QTCs. I knew I could only operate on Saturday as football season starts and I go to all the home games. Other then 1 contact and QTC batch I made all contacts on 20m. Conditions we’re ok and for the most part was able to work any station that I heard or showed up in the cluster.

I was able to send two batches of QTCs which provide to the other op up to 10 previous callsigns indicated the time I made the contact, the operators call sign and his report to me. It ends up giving me and the DX op an additional 10 contacts. I could have given more but I was obviously not in it for the points and just did so when asked by the DX operator.

After coming home from the football game on Sunday evening I processed the logs out of N1MM and into my main logging program, Ham Radio Deluxe, started writing out QSL cards, uploading the contacts to LoTW and eQSL and sent the log in.  I had about the same contacts this year as I did last year when I was just getting started in contesting.


Paraguay – New DXCC logged

As I was playing around in the WAE SSB contest I flipped to 15m to see if there was anything going on and the only station I heard was ZP8VAO and he wasn’t in the contest. So I launched Ham Radio Deluxe’s logbook to enter in the call and saw it came up as Paraguay and a new DXCC. I put out my call and he came right back and made the contact. He checked to make sure he had my call correct since I wasn’t already in his logbook and I confirmed it was our first contact.

After logging the call I looked at the QSL info and it’s a local US QSL Manager so the QSL card and SASE is already written out and ready to get dropped off at the Post Office. Thanks for a new one!


Ham Radio Contest Calendar Web Sites

I have a lot of fun participating in contests even if I can only make a few contacts in some. The hardest part about contesting is knowing what contests are coming up and finding the time to set aside to participate. Below are the top places I look for contest calendar information on the web. Always remember to check out the rules on the official site for each of the contests to understand the classes, exchange, times and other important rules that need to be followed, along with the log submission deadline.

My top site is WA7BNM’s with links to What’s Next Week and the Perpetual Contest Calendar which shows all contests for the year and future years. It’s the site I visit the most for contest info. You can also get a weekly email that contains a text version of what is coming up over the following week by sending an email – instructions at the bottom of this page.

The ARRL Contest site is a good resource for what is coming up this month and next. I really enjoy the ARRL Contest Newsletter which is sent out via email every other week and is available online as well.

Another site is the SM3CER Contest Service web site. I’ve seen some inaccuracies with the info and emailed the site but never got a response nor were the errors corrected. I also don’t like that the home page uses a java applet which causes java to load up, and on my slower notebook, it’s inconvenient.

There’s also the web site which is a landing page to many contest related links such as the CQ-Contest reflector where you can view the archives or subscribe to the mailing list and receive individual or digest (batched) versions of the posts.And underway is the Wiki Contest Compednium which might end up being another invaluable source for staying on top of what is going on and what is coming up.


HPM/140 Wrap-up

I posted about the Hiram Percy Maxim 140th Birthday Celebration Special Event that the ARRL is running for a week from Sept 2nd through 9th. It took place over the Labor Day weekend and thought there were many family obligations (food & drink), I was able to operate a bit.

I ended up making a total of 139 contacts as K2DSL/140. Out of the 139 contacts, 66 contacts were with other /140 stations. 3 contacts were with Canadian station and 1 with a station from Mexico. The remaining stations were US stations that covered 34 different states, including MT, ND, ID and 4 to Wyoming.

It was a lot of fun and glad I participated. I have my /140 LoTW certificate so I’ll be uploading these to LoTW. I also have a few eQSL contacts sent to my K2DSL account that I’ll confirm as well.