Monthly Archives: October 2012

Hurricane Sandy – Bye Bye Antennas (Pictures)

I need to post about last weekend’s CQ WW SSB contest and I’ll get it eventually. Hurricane Sandy passed through NJ this past weekend and boy did it do some damage. Things were sort of ok until a huge 70 ft tree from our neighbors yard came crashing down. Luckily it didn’t have a direct hit on the house or detached garage and mostly fell in between both, It took out the gutter on the side of the garage and gutters on both my 2nd floor and first floor of the house.

The tree also took out my G5RV and my 10/15/20m fan dipole. It bent the pole my dual band VHF/UHF antenna is on but otherwise I think that is probably ok. So without antennas I might not be on for a while. Hopefully I can get some new ones made and shoot some rope up to get them in the air and me back on the bands.

No power since since Monday around 6pm and I wouldn’t expect it back until late in the weekend or early next week. At the end of our street we had a huge tree come down and take 5 poles with it. 4 of the poles snapped in half and there’s still piles of transformers laying in the street. I have a generator for keeping the fridge powered and our phones charged but no heat and no hot water in the house.

Here are some pics (click to enlarge)…


Some pics of the downed power lines (click to enlarge):


When I see pictures of the devastation in NYC and the Jersey Shore I know my family and I got away pretty lucky!

2012 JARTS RTTY Contest Summary

Last weekend was the JARTS RTTY contest. It’s been a busy week and I’m just getting around to posting about it. Bands were good and especially 10m and 15m . I worked just a few contacts on Fri night but Sat I was able to work a good amount of the day. I worked 2 stations in China last weekend when I only previously worked 1 China station since I was licensed. There were contacts with Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and many others. I worked 55 different DXCCs across the bands. For me, it again seemed most productive to scan the bands in S&P mode vs put my call out there in run mode.

On Sunday I worked a very short time in the morning before heading out for 8 hours to go the NY Giants football game. But after I got home late in the day I got back on the air for the final 3 hours and the bands were still hot. The JAs were active and the bands allowed me to work a lot of JA stations. To give you an idea of the JA activity I saw… I logged 47 JA QSOs with 36 unique calls so 11 stations were worked on 2 bands. I logged 18 JA Qs on 10m, 28 on 15m and 1 on 20m. For the JA sections I logged all of them except JA0 and JA9. I logged JA3 on 3 bands and the JA call areas gave me a combined 15 multipliers. Japan was my most worked DXCC outside of the US over Canada, Italy & Spain. I’m pretty sure that never happened before.

I worked John WA5ZUP on all 5 bands and he was the only one likely because I didn’t spend a lot of time on 80m. John seems to be in every contest and always one of the strongest signals on the bands.  I worked 5 stations on 4 bands and 33 stations on 3 bands.  The 515 total Qs in the contest is the most I’ve made in a JARTS contest so far and that’s with 8+ hours being away from the radio on Sunday.

Map of contacts using ADIF2MAP (click to enlarge):


N1MM Summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  DXCC  Area
  3.5      18    36      0    9
    7      81    174    11   15
   14     111    269    31   11
   21     184    472    39   19
   28     121    329    34   14
Total     515   1280   115   68

Score : 234,240

Up next weekend (or this weekend as I type the summary) is the CQ WW SSB contest and 10m is again hopping.


2012 Makrothen RTTY & TT8TT

I had only a short time this weekend with family in town and a bunch of events to attend to get on the air. On Fri I made some late contacts in the Makrothen RTTY contest. The exchange is grid square and the points are based on the distance between my station in FN21 and the station I’m making contact with adding a multiplier of 1.5 on 40m and a multiplier of 2 on 80m. You can really rack up a score in this one which has 3 different sessions that make up the entire contest.

Bands were kind of stinky but it was good to get on the air. I also configured N1MM to add a 2nd RTTY decoder window using 2Tone by G3YYD which did seem to decode the incoming signal better then MMTTY. I think I’ll run these 2 different decoders for a while and see how things work out. I do need some more monitor real estate though and a 2nd display seems to be inevitable.

On Saturday I only had a short to make any contacts in the 2nd session and then I was busy the rest of the time. On Sunday I had no time to get on the air during the 3rd session. So it was a minimal effort but fun nonetheless.

Here’s N1MM’s score summary and logs were submitted and uploaded to LoTW & eQSL.

 Band    QSOs     Pts
  3.5      24   46204
    7      36   95856
   14      50  198238
   21       7   30658
   28       5   21082
Total     122  392038

Score : 392,038

After the NY Giants handled the San Francisco 49ers, I checked the cluster and saw the TT8TT DXpedition to Chad on 20m SSB. I hadn’t spent any time looking for them but figured I’d give it a shot. Took about 15 mins before I worked them for a new DXCC. Maybe I can find them on RTTY and get them in the log on that mode before they shut down operations over the next day or so.


2012 CQ WW RTTY Summary, Map & Stats

This past weekend was a big RTTY contest and for the most part I was able to operate whenever I wanted. Last years version of this contest had excellent conditions and resulted in the most contacts made in any contest to date. This years results came in a close 2nd – surpassing the score from last years CQ WW but coming short a couple dozen Qs. I ran unassisted so any station I worked was found by spinning the knob or when calling CQ.

Fri night I spent just 3 hrs on the air and ended up logging 112 Qs on 20m, 40m and 80m.

After waking up Sat morning I scanned through 80m and 40m logging anyone on those bands before popping up to 15m. There were stations being heard from 21.065 thru 21.150. It took quite some time to take one pass thru the band working any station I could hear. I then checked 10m and was estatic to see the band already open to Europe. The 10m band stayed open the entire weekend as it did last year. I needed to tighten down the RTTY filter on my Kenwood TS-2000 at points with so many stations so close to each other. It was great!

Before this weekend I had worked a station in Guam just once since I’ve been on HF. This weekend I worked 3 Guam stations all on 10m! It is so much more enjoyable to work 10m when it is open then to fight the higher noise level on 20m or even 15m.

We went out to dinner with my brother in law for a couple hours Sat evening but I got back on the air after for a couple more hours to log some states/entities on 40m and 80m. I spent most of Saturday doing S&P just because I seemed to achieve a higher rate then when I tried to call CQ. I ended up Saturday night with 583 Qs and 459k points. A good day on the radio!

Sunday is usually slower just from working so many stations on Sat, but it wasn’t much slower this weekend. Maybe I needed to work a little harder then just spinning the dial 500hz to work the next station, but there was plenty of new stations or stations on a different band to make Sunday fun too. 10m and 15m were the most productive but I spent time on 20m to get more multipliers. The bands were still good and 10m and 15m were wall to wall taking up a large portion of each band. I kept expecting to stop hearing stations as I tuned up the band but they just kept coming through.

Sunday @ 6:44pm ET / 2244z I surpassed last years score with 53 less Qs as a result of more mults or more DX Qs vs North America Qs. Late on Sun I was able to work some JAs on 10m though some of those took a few repeats.

I was hoping to match the Qs logged from last year but I came up a bit short with 25 less Qs. My score though was 897,600 which is 39,432 greater then 2011. I’m very happy with how the weekend turned out.

I uploaded my logs to LoTW, eQSL and sent in to the contest. I already have Guam now confirmed on RTTY for a new mode and Bolivia confirmed as a new DXCC.

Some interesting stats show I worked 44 of the 48 mainland states, most on multiple bands. I logged 679 unique callsigns in 82 unique DXCCs within 2 days.  On 10m alone I worked 57 unique DXCC entities. I worked 30 of the 40 CQ zones. I worked 3 stations on 5 bands, 18 stations on 4 bands, 40 stations on 3 bands  & 111 stations on 2 bands. 33% of my Qs were with US stations.

Here’s the score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs   Pts   ZN  DXCC   ST
  3.5      41    49    4     3   19
    7     119    177   8    19   35
   14     228    507  24    60   41
   21     316    772  23    66   27
   28     232    607  21    57   18
Total     936   2112  80   205  140

Score : 897,600

Here’s a map of contacts made over the weekend using ADIF2MAP (click image for a larger picture):

Thanks for all the fun!