Monthly Archives: December 2010

My 1st Plaque from the 2010 RTTY Roundup

I read in the July 2010 QST that I had come in first in the ARRL RTTY Roundup for SOLP in the Hudson division and that the Troy Amateur Radio Assoc N2TY sponsored a plaque for that division. That means I won my first plaque for any ham radio contest I participated in. I had received paper certificates for various finishes in other contests, but never before had I won a plaque. Below is a picture of the plaque which arrived yesterday and it is actually better looking then the picture shows but the best I could snap with a flash. Thanks to TARA for sponsoring the award. I also received a paperc certificate 1st place SOLP in Northern NJ. I happened to have come in 1st in NNJ regardless of power.  Images are clickable for a larger view.

Plaque for Single Op Low Power Hudson Division:

Certificate for Single Op Low Power Northern NJ:


2010 RAC Winter Contest Summary

Friday night and Saturday was the 2010 running of the RAC Winter ham radio contest. There was also the OK RTTY contest during the same 24 hours, but like last year I opted for the RAC contest. It’s really an enjoyable contest since it is just before the holidays, everyone seems to be in a good mood and all the ops are a bit less rushed and wishing each other, at least on SSB, happy holidays & a happy new year.

Started out on Friday night on 40m & 80m working both SSB and CW. Noise wasn’t too bad and anyone I could hear I could work. Called it an evening with exactly 100 contacts – 72 contacts were stations in Canada worth 10 or 20 points (VxxRAC call signs) and 28 stations were US based worth 2 points. I didn’t work any DX on Fri.

Saturday morning I got on around 1400z (9:00am) on 20m. Activity was on and off all day Saturday as I did various other things. I did end up spending more total time on the radio then I thought I would which means my wife is in better shape with what needs to be done for the holidays then I imagined. 20m was fine all day with enough new activity that if I stepped away for a bit and came back there were new stations to work on both SSB and CW. I spent all but a few minutes of the entire contest in S&P mode and didn’t bother with trying to hold a frequency and run, though the bands weren’t crowded and my 100w probably wouldn’t have been covered up by another station.

Like last year the Croatia CW contest was going on at the same time and the exchange is the same RST + serial number as the RAC contest so I’m sure I worked a few stations that were in the Croatia contest and I’m sure they worked stations in the RAC contest. I only worked 11 DX stations in the entire contest and I know on phone they were in the RAC contest but not sure about the handful of DX CW contacts logged.

I switched to 15m at 1645z (11:45am) and for the rest of the daytime hours I switched back and forth between 20m and 15m. I tried 10m a couple of times and didn’t hear anything at all – contest ops or otherwise. On each band I’d swap back and forth between CW & SSB mode.  Last year I had a score of 75k points with 247 contacts and I noticed this year that I passed last years score just after 1800z (1:00pm) with just 184 contacts. Without digging in to why, the obvious reason would be I worked more stations in Canada (worth 5x or 10x points of a non-VE station) and had more Canadian sections in total across the multiple bands.  I also noted that this year, when I hit 247 contacts matching last years total, I had a score of 110k vs 75k for the same number of contacts in 2009. That’s a 45% increase in points for the same number of contacts. Seems drastic to me but that is what the numbers show.

Around 2100z (4:00pm) I started to check 40m for stations that were either dedicated to just a single band or had multiple ops working.  I started checking 80m about 2230z (5:30pm) and again found good activity, especially new Canadian stations, that I hadn’t worked on Friday evening. We were heading to a party but it didn’t start until 7:30 so I was able to work up until the end. I finished things off with  273 Qs (247 in 2009), 2340 contact points (1678 in 2009) and 53 sections worked across 4 bands (45 in 2009). The score this year was 124k vs 75.5k last year which was a pretty sizable jump in the final score.

Here is the score summary for the contest and the log has been sent in as well as uploaded to LoTW and eQSL.

 Band  Mode  QSOs    Pts  Sec
  3.5  CW      33    272    5
  3.5  LSB     56    584   10
    7  CW      43    300    7
    7  LSB     13    144    6
   14  CW      47    294    8
   14  USB     55    502   11
   21  CW       7     48    2
   21  USB     19    196    4
Total  Both   273   2340   53

Score : 124,020

I worked a total of 183 different stations with 2 stations being worked on 4 bands and 1 station, VE6RAC, being worked on 4 bands on SSB and 4 bands on CW for a total of 8 contacts each worth 20 points. I worked 13 additional stations on 3 bands.

Not sure if I’ll get any additional operating in between now and the beginning of the year and the RTTY Roundup with the holidays coming up, so I’ll wish everyone a happy holiday season and a happy & healthy 2011. Folks told me sunspots will appear in 2010, so lets hope they only were in a deeper sleep then previously forecast and they will come out from hibernation in 2011.

73 & good DX!

New PJ Entities and LoTW

The ARRL’s LoTW (Logbook of The World) home page at has some new info on LoTW and the new PJ entities that became active in October. I’m not sure about others but I rarely view that page and instead go direct to other links within the LoTW site so many folks like myself  might miss this info posted there:

Dec 14, 2010: New PJ Entities and LoTW — We have received some questions about when the new PJ entities will appear in LoTW and the associated DXCC lists.

Before we can change any of the DXCC records in the electronic systems, we have to finish processing all the DXCC applications from 2010.  We need to do this to produce data for the Annual Lists that appear in the DXCC Yearbook, and for the Honor Roll listing in QST.

The DXpeditioners have asked about when they can obtain certificates for the new entities. Most of the PJ operators have wanted to place their logs into LoTW, but we are waiting until we can manage the process from the DXCC side. It won’t be much longer though —  likely sometime in January.

When we make the deletions and add the new entities, most DXers will “lose” up to 20 entities from their totals in the DXCC Challenge. Those band entities will be shown in the “total” DXCC number (which includes deleted entities) on the Awards chart.  Obviously, as DXers apply their new entities to DXCC those numbers will return.

Thanks for the patience.

2010 ARRL 10m Contest Summary

I knew I had minimal time to operate this weekend and the conditions for me were not there when I was on the air. Fri night when the ham radio contest started I occasionally turned the radio on and scanned the 10m band for any sign of life but didn’t find any. 10m at night for me seems to have a high noise level which didn’t help but there were no signals that I could hear so after Fri night I had logged zero contacts.

Saturday I was away all day and when I returned Sat night, it was the same as on Friday night – noise and no signals. In 2 or 3 scans of the band I heard nothing – not even local operators. At the end of Sat night I had logged zero contacts.

Sunday morning I got on and the noise was low but there still wasn’t much activity but at least a station or 2 to log. Off and on throughout the day as I was in and not doing other things (holidays and vacation coming up quickly), I took a listen on the band and would log whoever I could hear (and they could hear me). 10m is amazing in that I could hear a station and within 1-2 mins they could be completely gone and I not hear a thing. In order for me to make contacts with my 100w and 10m dipole, I need to be at the radio and constantly scanning 10m in hopes of catching someone in those 1-2 mins I could hear them. As the sun set (ok, well no sun on Sunday as it was raining hard all day) the noise level increased and I stopped checking the band.

I at least ended up with some “DX” on 10m. Some of those DX stations were in the 1000+ contact range as they need to hand out serial numbers. Towers and power is what they have.

Here’s my score summary and a map of the 15 contacts made on Sunday. The 1 CW contact I made was with W2AW which is a contest call used by N2GM, a fellow BARA club member and one heck of a CW operator!

  Band  Mode  QSOs    Pts  Cty
    28  CW       1     4    1
    28  USB     14     28   11
 Total  Both    15     32   12

 Score : 384

Click the map for a larger view.


2010 TARA RTTY Summary

I didn’t have a lot of time to operate in the TARA RTTY ham radio contest, but here’s what went down.  Fri night I got on for a bit at the start and it was slow to get going. It wasn’t like a big contest where the RTTY portion of the band exploded in signals.  In fact, I was wondering if the contest actually started and went and checked their web page. 40m and 80m were pretty noisy without a real lot of activity for what I could hear. I ended up making 39 contacts before calling it an evening with just 3 DX contacts out of the US/Canada. This is compared to 103 contacts last year logged on Friday night in the same contest.  After needing just 1 more section in the recent ARRL SSB Sweepstakes and getting it just 2 mins before the end of the contest, I laughed when I logged a Mississippi contact as my 22nd contact in the TARA event.

I started Saturday morning again at 8:15am (1315z) and operate for 2 hours mainly on 20m. Then I had things to do like taking my daughter for her to practice more driving/parallel parking before her upcoming drivers test. I then snuck in about few more mins of operating before heading out for a couple hours to help a nearby ham friend try and get a replacement wire antenna up in the air. The high winds/storm this past week took down a branch which took down his antenna. It was COLD out but we got both ends up and connected to his coax. After I got home and defrosted, I got on the air for the end of the contest working the last 90 mins on and off as I ate dinner, etc.

Looking at my 2009 TARA RTTY Summary, I worked many more hours last year and the total Q’s shows it with almost 2x the number of logged contacts. Oh well, you can’t always improve on your total score each year as other things come up. RTTY contests are my favorite and even a part time effort in one of the smaller ones is fun. Thanks for all the contacts!

Score summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty
  3.5      43     43   25
    7      29     29   11
   14      60     60   21
   21       4      4    1
Total     136    136   58

Score : 7,888