Monthly Archives: July 2012

2012 NAQP July RTTY Contest Summary

The July NAQP RTTY ham radio contest was Saturday. Format is a 12 hour contest that a single operator can work 10 total hours in. The exchange is consistent giving Name and State (or Canadian Province). I worked, as I have done in past NAQP contests, the names Dopey and Bambi during this contest.

I reviewed the NAQP July posting from last year that I wrote and recall that the first hour was slow and I might want to consider delaying the start and working a bit later into the evening.  So I started about 40 mins after the official start of the contest. I was hoping 15m and 10m would provide some activity but they were pretty quiet with little activity. I spent the first part on 20m and switching back to 15m & 10m hoping for conditions/activity to improve, but instead conditions seemed to get worse. So with around 77 Qs in the log, I decided to burn a 30 min break and see if things would improve.

After taking a 30 min break (the minimum time allowed between contacts to not count as operating time), I came back and things did seem to improve a little with my first contact after the break being KL7RA in Alaska on 15m. At least they didn’t get worse. With my delayed start and the 30 min break, I could work up through 15 mins before the end of the contest.

Before the contest on the RTTY reflector (mailing list) there was a posting about special event station VE7TUB being in the contest. I found and worked them on 20m.

Conditions were challenging for me throughout the entire contest. 20m became wall to wall with it being the only band seeing much activity, at least as far as I was concerned. Stations that were strong on 20m telling me they were also listening (QRV) at a specific 15m frequency resulting in no signal being heard.

There was also the DMC  RTTY contest going on at the same time so there were different stations calling CQ for different contests. Most of the DX stations calling CQ were in the DMC contest, but I did have some DX stations come back to me and send both a serial number (DMC) and their name (NAQP) in their exchange. It’s always nice when you are running 100w into a dipole and Greece, Slovenia & Czech stations call you.

I switched to 40m just after 0000z (8pm ET) and there was a fair amount of activity already on the band. I guess with 15m not cooperating, you need to move somewhere and 40m is where folks went. The bands weren’t noisy and I didn’t notice any local noise so that wasn’t an issue. I popped back onto 20m from time to time the remainder of the evening to see if any new stations showed up to work. I hit 80m just before 0300z (11pm ET) where at the time I had no 1 call area stations in the log. Noise wasn’t too bad on 80m either.

I surpassed last years score at 0439z (12:39am) with KH6ZM on 40m. 338 Qs this year vs 366 last year made possible by more multipliers – 121 vs 111 at the same score from 2011. I had 1 hour to go when I passed last years score. The last hour was tough as it was getting late and folks were dropping off, even if they were working the entire 10 hours. The last 15 mins of my time I found very little to work and calling CQ resulted in very little activity. Next year, it makes sense to wait 30 mins after the start, but maybe not take a 30 min break, even if conditions seem poor. The last 30 mins of the contest (0530z – 0600z) are pretty dead and not worth holding out for any activity there. Maybe different if you are working 80m on the West Coast.

I finished up with 367 Qs in the log but one was a dup that called me so I have 366 Qs with points which exactly matches last years QSO count. I ended up with 126 multipliers this year vs 111 last year which results in a score increase of 5,490 points on the same number of contacts logged. I worked 45 of the 50 States and 7 of the 13 Canadian Provinces.

Here’s the score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Sec   NA
  3.5      74     28    0
    7      95     34    1
   14     165     41    5
   21      30     15    0
   28       2      2    0
Total     366    120    6

Score : 46,116

My log has been submitted to the contest, eQSL & LoTW.

Good DX,

2012 IARU HF Contest w/ Map

Saturday into early Sunday morning was the IARU HF ham radio contest. I participated on and off during the day Saturday. Conditions early on weren’t great they seemed to improve throughout the day. Spent most of the time on 15m & 20m and switched back and forth. I worked unassisted and wasn’t using the DX cluster so I just kept scanning up and down the bands.

Late in the day before I was reading to call it a night, I scanned the bands one more time and heard 9K2K coming in strong. When I entered the callsign into N1MM, it showed the station was in Kuwait. I called once and he came back to another station and on the next call he came back to me. We each gave our contest exchange and I had my first Kuwait station in the log!

DX contests are often good times to work new DXCC entities and that was the case for me this weekend. I worked a total of 39 different DXCCs (loosely equating to countries) with 1 new one in the log.

Here’s the map of contacts generated using ADIF2MAP

 (click to enlarge):

Here’s the score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  ITU   HQ
    7      12     20    3    6
   14      80    208   15   23
   21      37    117   10    8
   28       3     11    1    1
Total     132    356   29   38

Score : 23,852

Next weekend is the NAQP RTTY contest and I’m looking forward to that one.



2012 DLDX RTTY Contest

Saturday morning started the 24 hour DLDX RTTY ham radio contest. I was able to participate in this after a couple months of a lot of non-ham radio activities and I was glad to hear the diddles in the headset. DX contacts are worth more than US contacts (3 times a US contact) and logging a station in Germany is worth the most (4 times a US contact).

Started out at the start of the contest (7am ET) and there wasn’t a whole lot of activity. Bands were on the crummy side and just 20m had any signals. It didn’t improve too much for me until the afternoon where 15m had a bit more activity. I checked 10m a few times and heard very little activity. I worked a couple TN stations and one in OH on 10m and that was it.

During the day I took a bunch of breaks and did some other errands and early in the evening I needed to head out for a couple hours. Otherwise, I would pop onto the radio, call CQ or S&P a bit and then take a break. Late in the evening I moved to 40m which was ok but found only 1 station on 80m. I don’t know if folks moved there much later in the evening but I called it quits before before 11:30pm.

An interesting note about this contest are the varied categories you can operate under. Besides the standard single-op/multi-op and low/high power categories, you can operate 6 hours or 24 hours and even a dipole/ground plane only category. Since I only have wire antennas, I qualify for the dipole category.

Here’s a map of the contacts run through Adif To Map (click map for a larger view):


and here’s the score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  DXCC  Area
  3.5       1      5     1     1
    7      21    145     4    12
   14     167   1365    26    14
   21      37    230     6     9
   28       3     15     1     2
Total     229   1760    38    38

Score : 133,760


All contacts loaded in eQSL, LoTW and my log sent in.

73 and good DX,

2012 RAC Canada Day Contest

I had a little time on July 1st to hook up the antennas and turn on the ham radio. The annual RAC Canada Day contest was underway and I figured I’d try and make a few contacts. Most activity was on 20m with a few stations calling on 40m. 15m and 10m were dead whenever I checked. I did make a single contact on 15m but it was a US station. Otherwise, I didn’t hear anyone on 15 or 10 and checked a few times while I was on the air.

I spent most of my time just tuning up and down 20m SSB looking for new stations. As I was tuning I heard 1A0C calling CQ on 20m. He must have just QSYed as there was no one coming back to him. I tuned up 5, put out my call and worked him right away for a new DXCC entity – Sov. Mil. Order of Malta. Not a hard contact from the east coast but good to ham them in the log.

Some booming thunderstorms rolled in late in the afternoon so I shut things down and unplugged the antennas for the remainder of the day. I ended up with 43 total Qs with most on 20m.

Thanks for the contacts and maybe I can get some RTTY contesting in this weekend in the upcoming DL-DX RTTY contest.