Monthly Archives: February 2012

2012 NAQP RTTY Contest Summary

Saturday was the February version of the North America QSO Party RTTY contest. The contest lasts 12 hours and a single op can work 10 hours of the contest. Max power is 100w which makes it a bit easier for folks like me without an amplifier. Conditions here in Northern NJ were very windy so my wire antennas were blowing around. It stayed very windy the entire contest.

For the exchange in this contest, it’s your name and state/province (or just name if you are outside NA). I configured my exchange macro to just send my name and state once and I had 5 or less repeats the entire contest. Conditions seemed to be good enough that I was coming in loud and clear, so just sending TU DAVID NJ K2DSL was all that was needed. Also in this contest, after the 1st contact with a station, they have your exchange since it doesn’t change, so that helps with repeats too.

I got on at the start (1800z – 1pm ET) and the going was a bit slow at first. I would have expected for activity right from the start, but it took about 1 hour or so before activity picked up. Started on 20m scanning S&P and then hit 15m and 10m S&P. 15m wasn’t very active either but that seemed to pick up about 2 hours later and 15m was loud and wall to wall stations. 20m activity also picked up too but 10m wasn’t very productive any time I checked, which you can tell from my score summary with just 27 contacts. I always hope for more 10m activity, though it  could be me with just a dipole vs a nice 10m or tribander beam.

I first switched to 40m at 7pm (oo0oz) and had a straight hour of S&P averaging 1 contact per minute.  I checked out 80m for the 1st time at 9:30pm (0230z) and in 30 mins again average 1 contact per minute. I tried a couple of runs earlier on 15m and 20m but it was more productive to just tune around the bands and work stations. I was averaging about the same rate when doing S&P or when I was calling CQ. Finished up the night bouncing back and forth between 40m and 80m.

Maybe some folks waited 1 hour at the start and got on a little later and stayed on later. 40m and 80m was certainly busy at the end of the first 10 hours so maybe that’s a strategy to consider for next time… or waiting 30 mins or taking a 30 min break in the middle and taking advantage of 40m and 80m later in the evening.

I noticed that somewhere around 390 Qs I had surpassed last years score with 31 less contacts logged. The reason, though I didn’t look very closely when I happened to notice, is that the multipliers on 15m and 10m this year was 38 vs those same bands last year producing just 13 multipliers.  I surpassed last years total QSOs with about 35 mins left for me to operate.My goal is typically to improve on my previous best for any particular contest.

I ended up working 15 stations on 4 bands and another 31 stations on 3 bands including V31RR (op AA4NC) in Belize who had an excellent signal. I didn’t work any stations in ND, ME, VT, DE or WV in the US and 6 provinces in Canada. I did work many regulars (WA5ZUP, N2BJ, AA5AU and others) along with KX9X who is the ARRL Contest Branch Manager. Log was submitted right after the contest and uploaded to LoTW and eQSL.

Here’s the score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs  Sec   DX
  3.5      52   26    0
    7     134   41    2
   14     159   42    4
   21      78   23    2
   28      27   10    3
Total     450  142   11

Score : 68,850

Here’s a map of the contacts made using

(click to enlarge):

Next contest is the ARRL DX SSB that starts Friday and I’ll only be able to operate Fri night if I get on the air as I’ll be travelling next weekend with one of my daughters.

See you on the bands,

2012 ARRL DX CW Recap and Map

This past weekend was a big ARRL CW contest. In this contest US stations make contacts with non-US stations and non-US stations work US stations. No US to US contacts except with Hawaii and Alaska. US stations send their State and non-US stations sent how much power they are running.

Friday night after getting home from work and having something to eat I got on the air. It seemed unusual with the first 2 contacts being Asiatic Russia and the stations coming in so strong. They were running 10x plus the power I was running but they didn’t have any issue copying my 100w. Over the next couple of hours I worked more Asiatic Russia stations, Hawaii stations and Japan stations. At 9:30pm ET (0230z) I worked 5 Japan and 2 Hawaii stations in 15 mins. Worked a few statioins on 40 m and called it a night with only 29 stations in the log.

Woke up Saturday morning not feeling well so I didn’t spend a lot of time at the radio. I took frequent breaks throughout the day. But conditions were good and there was a lot of activity whenever I was on. Started out on 40m working Caribbean stations and European stations and even another Japan station and Hawaii station. Switched to 20m for a while, than 15m and 10m. Hit all 3 bands whenever I got on. Early Saturday evening I heard DP1POL in Antarctica again and worked them on 20m. I had previously worked that station as well as a couple others in Antarctica. DP1POL was already confirmed on LoTW on Monday morning. Sat evening I worked TI5W on 80m for the first station in the contest worked on all 5 bands I could tune up. Even though I wasn’t feeling well I stopped with 296 Qs when I shut things down on Saturday night.

Sunday morning conditions seemed to be similar to Saturday and pileups on some stations had become more manageable. I was able to tune the bands and pick off stations at a pretty good clip. I even found A45XR in Oman without any pileup and worked him on the first call for a new DXCC entity. Like DP1POL, A45XR uses LoTW and my new one was already confirmed by Monday morning. I also found 4U1ITU in Geneva without any pileup and worked them quickly. I had previously QSLed via the bureau for 4U1ITU but didn’t have anything back yet, so I’m sending a QSL direct to get this one confirmed for another new one. I also worked EA9EU in Ceuta. I don’t have that DXCC confirmed yet though I’ve worked that station before and a few others without any luck getting a QSL. Might need to go the direct route on that one too.

I shut things down before the end of the contest so I could head over to my clubs monthly meeting. I finished up with 530 contacts encompassing 90 different DXCCs worked in one weekend with 100w and wire antennas. I worked 5 stations on 5 different bands and another 18 stations on 4 different bands. Germany, Hungary and England were the entities with the most stations worked over the weekend. I made 11 contacts each with Japan and Hawaii and 8 contacts with Alaska and 6 contacts with Asiatic Russian stations.

Here’s a map of the stations contacted created with (click to enlarge):

Here’s a score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty
  3.5      23     69   20
    7      59    177   41
   14     222    666   77
   21     177    531   74
   28      49    147   27
Total     530   1590  239

Score : 380,010

See you in the next contest which will be the NAQP RTTY contest this weekend.


Free N1MM & Digital Contesting Webinars

I saw a couple of posts about some upcoming online seminars (webinars) being given by the Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC). There are 2 webinars on the N1MM contest logging program which I use and 1 webinar on an introduction to digital contesting.

Though I’m familar with N1MM and digital contesting, I’m sure there will still be many tips that I can pick up. If possible I will try and make all 3 sessions though I’ll be travelling for the first one and that might be a tough one. The past webinars I participated in  that were given by the PVRC I found tremendously helpful.

Here’s the info that was recently posted regarding the webinars. First go to the referenced link below to register for free and just remember to come back at the time of the actual webinar.

Title:  N1MM Logger in Depth:  Part 1 – Overview
Date:  Tuesday, February 28
Time:  9 PM EST (Wednesday, February 29 – 02:00 UTC)
Registration (free):
(registration link also posted on under the Upcoming Webinars link)
Part one of a two part series provides a overview of the N1MM logging program.
Series presenters include:
Pete Smith N4ZR
Steve London N2IC
Larry Gauthier K8UT
Rich Ferch VE3KI

Title:  N1MM Logger in Depth:  Part 2 – Digital Modes and Multi-Op
Date:  Tuesday, March 6
Time:  9 PM EST (Wednesday, March 7 – 02:00 UTC)
Registration (free):
(registration link also posted on under the Upcoming Webinars link)
Part two of a two part series provides a overview of the N1MM logging program.
Series presenters include:
Pete Smith N4ZR
Steve London N2IC
Larry Gauthier K8UT
Rich Ferch VE3KI

Title:  Getting Started In Digital Contesting
Date:  Sunday, April 1
Time:  3 PM EDT (19:00 UTC)
Registration (free):
(registration link also posted on under the Upcoming Webinars link)
Steve Ford, WB8IMY, QST Editor / Publications Manager provides a beginner-level introduction to digital contesting with a discussion of equipment requirements, software and techniques.


2012 CQ WPX RTTY Contest

Last weekend was a big RTTY contest, but I was going to be away starting early Saturday morning and not returning until late Sunday evening, so I was gone for almost the entire contest. All I was able to operate was a few hours at the start of the contest on Friday evening after work.

Here’s my N1MM score summary for the 150 contacts I made Friday evening:

  Band    QSOs    Pts  WPX
   3.5      45    118   21
     7      71    214   45
    14      32     47   27
    21       2      4    1
 Total     150    383   94

 Score : 36,002

I didn’t work any exotic locations but it was nice to hear the diddles in the headphone for a while. This weekend is the ARRL International DX CW contest and hopefully I’ll have some more time to participate. There’s some new DX for me I want to work that will be active and I’ll probably target those on Sunday if the pileups are big on Saturday.

QSO Parties Galore

There were a few QSO parties this weekend and I made some contacts in them, all on SSB phone. Looks like combined I eeked out 45 contacts in all.

In the Delaware QSO Party I made 5 contacts – 2 on 40m and 3 on 80m.

In the Minnesota QSO Party I made the most contacts of any of the contests with 27 total Qs with 23 of them on 20m.

In the British Columbia QSO Party I thought I’d hear more activity and only ended up with 1o contacts, most also on 20m.

In the Vermont QSO Party I made just 3 contacts, 2 with 1 station.

Now time to watch some football – Go Giants!