Monthly Archives: January 2012

2012 BARTG RTTY Sprint Summary

Saturday was a 12 hour BARTG RTTY Sprint contest starting at 7am ET (1200z). I got on a couple hours after the start and activity was pretty good. What wasn’t good for me was the noise on the bands with 20m, 15m & 10m seeming very noisy and only stronger signals were being decoded. 10m activity was lowered than I would have wanted and I’m not sure if it was just me or just not a lot of activity there.

Based on discussion posts on the RTTY reflector after recent major RTTY contests, I adjusted one of my macros to remove the CQing stations call sign from being sent when I send my exchange. For example, I used to send WA5ZUP TU 123 123 K2DSL and modified it to TU 123 123 K2DSL. Didn’t notice any downside from doing this, at least in this contest where I didn’t experience multiple stations on the same or near overlapping frequencies where they might be confused on who I was sending my report to.

During a check on 10m to see if I could hear anyone I saw a spot for GU0SUP at 1400z. For me he was strong but dropped out right when he was sending his report. Took a couple retries by Phil but he came back up nice and strong. Thanks for hanging in there for me.

I think I worked HZ1PS from Saudi Arabia on 15m, but a station kept covering up his acknowledgement. I put him in my log so I’ll get dinged if I’m not in his log and he won’t get dinged if I am in his log.

I worked RU0LL late on 20m. He was very strong and I had a perfect copy on him. You can see in the map below he’s the only contact I had with someone near Asia. I heard a couple of JAs but none very strong and that could hear me. I didn’t find any KLs in Alaska or KHs in Hawaii when I was on.

I hit 243 Qs around 7:30pm (00:30z) which was the same as last years total Qs. The score for the 243 contacts was 60,750 this year vs 37,908 last year with the mults being the reason. I hadn’t even gone to 80m at this point and was going to take a bit of a break. I got on a bit later and worked 40m and 80m a couple of times before calling it a night/contest making an additional 68 Qs over last years effort. Thanks to everyone for the contacts!

Here’s a map of the contacts created using ADIF to Map (click to enlarge):


Here’s my score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Are  DXC  Con
  3.5      34     34    0    0    0
    7      70     70    1    1    0
   14     106    106   10   13    2
   21      82     82   16    2    3
   28      19     19    8    0    0
Total     311    311   35   16    5

Score : 79,305

Next weekend is the SuperBowl and I’ll be focusing on rooting the NY Giants onto another win!


2012 ARRL January VHF Contest

This past weekend, along with the NAQP SSB contest was the January VHF contest. I spent Saturday working the NAQP contest and on Sunday I was going to either drive around and work 2m & 70cm from my car in the 4 grid squares (FN20, FN21, FN30 & FN31) for anyone in the area, or work from my home. With the snow the day before I didn’t feel like clearing off the roof of the car, so I decided to make some contacts from home. I thought I’d get on once, work the locals, and get off, but I did a bit more than that. I really was going to spend Sunday focusing on football. Though the NY Giants were playing at 6:30pm ET I wanted to also watch the other playoff game between the Ravens and Patriots.

I have a Diamond dual band vertical I use for FM operations but also can use it for SSB, though it’s not very efficient, especially on 70cm. For 6m, I can tune up the G5RV. Again, not extremely efficient, but it works. In most cases, if I can hear a station, they will hear me. So I configured N1MM, connected the antennas, and fired up the radio. I made some local contacts on 2m and 70cm and checked 6m. I made mostly local 6m contacts and then took a break waiting for one of the locals to get on in the early afternoon. I kept checking back from time to time taking a quick scan of the bands, though really on 6m had much of any activity. I worked a couple on 6m, and then switched to 2m to work them there and only a couple I even attempted on 70cm.

In some radio checks throughout the day, Florida started coming in. When they come in, they are as loud as the locals and working them is cake on 100w and my G5RV. Sometimes they come and go in the matter of a minute and sometimes they are there for a long time. On Sunday they seemed to last for a while (15+ mins) and booming in. I ended up logging 6 Qs to GA, 6 Qs to FL, 1 to AL and 1 to MS. I didn’t log a MS station on Saturday during the NAQP SSB but log a MS station on Sunday on 6m in a random check of the radio. Go figure!! Even worked a couple of stations on 6m I worked the day before on HF.

Here’s my score summary from the contest:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Grd
   50      39     39   15
  144      14     14    5
  420       3      6    2
Total      56     59   22

Score : 1,298


Here’s a screenshot of the contacts using (click to enlarge):


Once the Giants playoff game started I didn’t get back on the radio. The Giants won and head to the SuperBowl to face the Patriots again, like they did 4 years earlier. Hopefully, the outcome will be the same!


2012 NAQP SSB Contest

Didn’t have any other plans for Saturday so I was able to work the NAQP SSB ham radio contest.  A single op can work 10 of the 12 hours and max power of 100w – not a problem for me as that’s my max.

Bands seemed noisy most of the day. We got 5-6″ of snow overnight and throughout the morning so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. I shoveled the driveway twice before the contest started and used the contest as an excuse to not shovel any more. I started on 15m & 10m and it was a bit slow going and a bit noisy across all the bands throughout the contest.  I spent 100% of the contest working S&P and bouncing between all the bands (10m – 80m). I just didn’t feel that I’d be as productive calling CQ, even on the lower bands in the evening.

I did enjoy hearing one op give his name as IDIOT for his exchange. Around 0000z I started to hear some closer states on 20m that were much louder than normal. I recall RI, MA and MD sounding extremely loud on 20m around that time and it seemed odd not just for me but the other ops as well. I also worked the HK0NA Dxpedition. They were operating on 15m SSB split and took a shot working them after they had been on 15m for a long time. Got real lucky and came back to me on my first attempt. Better lucky then good. I also worked them on 20m RTTY Sunday morning.

I had passed my 2010 NAQP SSB score when I hit 242 Qs this year vs 347 Qs in 2010 because of I had 121 mults in the 242 Qs vs 87 mults in the 347 Qs. I ended up with a total of  287 Qs and 135 mults which is almost 1 mult for every 2 contacts which is pretty good. I didn’t log the usual tougher states (NE, WV, MS though CT and ME weren’t logged this time either). What is also odd is I didn’t log a Quebec contact on any band. Normally they are a dime a dozen.

Here’s my score summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Sec   DX
  3.5      63     63   28    1
    7      57     57   28    0
   14      91     91   36    1
   21      47     47   26    1
   28      29     29   14    0
Total     287    287  132    3

Score : 38,745

Here’s a map of the contacts made using (click for a larger view):

Very friendly contest and speaking with the ops, even briefly, is nice. Last night my log was uploaded LoTW, eQSL and sent into the contest.

Today I’ll get on VHF and work some of the local club members that are making contacts in that contest. If the snow doesn’t melt off the roof of the car, I won’t go mobile and work them from my home.


2012 ARRL RTTY Round Up Recap

Happy New Year everyone!

It was a very busy weekend for me that prevented me from getting on the radio for about 6 hours during prime time on Saturday and 9 hours during prime time on Sunday. That left me with early morning and  late evening operating which is reflected in the bands I was most active on. During my operating time there wasn’t a lot of DX, though I did manage to hit all but VT, ID and DC in the US and a few Canadian provinces.

I noticed a few stations that were dropping the last character of each of their transmissions and it was occurring regardless of what was being sent which eliminated it being just a bad macro. It wasn’t that they were weaker either but just completely dropped. With it being a few stations, I wonder if they might have been running a common program that had an issue.

I also noticed a few stations sending 5NN. which is actually slower in RTTY than 599. But at least they were on and participating.

I didn’t work anything new, though on Sunday after I got on there was a VK station calling CQ and ending his exchange with “… QRZ LONGPATH”. He was an easy copy for me and worked him on the first try.

Here’s a map (using ) of the contacts made during the RTTY Round Up (click for a larger view):


Here’s a zoomed in view of US contacts made (click to enlarge):


Here’s my score summary as generated from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Sec  DXC
  3.5     134    134   22    0
    7     111    111    8    7
   14      88     88    2    8
   21      66     66   13   17
   28      37     37    7    4
Total     436    436   52   36

Score : 38,368

My log is sent in and upload to LoTW and eQSL. See you in the next contest!