Doin’ the Contest Thing

I spent a good part of the day working stations in the ARRL RTTY Roundup. I decided to use “classic” RTTY, rather than one of the new modes (FT8, PSK31, etc). I had to fiddle a while to get all the software working together, but nothing serious. I used Win4Icom, my IC-7300, FLDIGI, and N1MM+ Logger. It all played well together. I was running about 30 watts power out.

My first contacts in the contest …

I had tried to use a different RTTY engine before (MMTTY), but had a few issues with it. It worked … but I was less than impressed with some aspects of it and that’s what led me to try FLDIGI.

I operated AFSK (Audio Frequency Shift Keying), using the sound card in the IC-7300 and the only little nag there, is my ALC was at about 50 percent on transmit. The manual says this is OK, but I’ve always tried to get it as close to zero as possible. I think there’s a way to use both the USB and CI-V cables to use FSK (Frequency Shift Keying). I’ll have to research that.

The IC-7300 will do FSK in the RTTY mode, and there’s lots of memories for preprogramming contest messages, so I guess you could work a contest just sitting there reading the display and pressing buttons, but then you don’t get the integrated logging that N1MM+ gives you. Synergy, I think they call that!

I probably would have continued on a bit more, but !!MAN!! — did that stint at the radio do a job on my lower back. I definitely know I’ve been sitting in a “not too comfortable” chair for a long time. I definitely need to take more frequent breaks and walk around a bit.

So that’s the story! Maybe I’ll get on the air a bit more tomorrow afternoon … we’ll see. I have good intentions …

So far, my stats are 75 QSOs and 2,625 points … only 3 DX QSOs … all the rest USA and Canada. Pretty pathetic, huh? Hey, don’t judge me … I’m playing radio!

UPDATE: I ended up with 161 QSOs, 7 of which were DX stations, and 8,050 points. I had fun!

73 de Dick N4BC

Post-Christmas Stupor

So, Christmas is over for another year, and, as usual, I ate too much! We went over to the kids’ house on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. In addition to a gut-busting meal, the snacks were present in great abundance. Every year, I say it’s going to be different, but once again – I had no willpower!

Oh well, next year it’ll be different!! HA!!

It’s been quite a while since I worked any JS8Call, so I downloaded the latest version and found quite a few changes … keys moved. new functions … lots of new stuff. Plus, it’d been so long, I really had to figure out what I was doing all over again. Interesting mode, to say the least!

I’ve been working a bit of CW and FT8 over the holidays, but nothing to write home about. I’ve just been doing family things. I’ve got a dozen days off and go back to work the 3rd of January, and only had to take 4 days of leave with all the holidays. Haven’t got cabin fever yet!

I hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays in their own way. No matter what you celebrate, I wish you the all best!

73 de Dick N4BC

FT8 Roundup Preliminary Results

The raw scores for the first FT8 Roundup have been published on the website. Here’s my numbers …

My RAW Score … 71 RAW QSOs, 37 RAW Multipliers and a Total RAW Score of 2627

As I said before, mine was a sort of slapdash effort, but still fun. As a reference, the top RAW score for single-op was WV4P 706/97/68482. The lowest score was 1 QSO/1 Mult/RAW score 1. Just looking at physical position in the listing, I’m somewhere near the middle, I think. Of course, these scores will be refined … this is before checking for dupes, busted calls, etc. I didn’t count through the listing, but I read somewhere that there were over 1000 logs received, and almost 600 instances where operators were mentioned in those submitted logs but didn’t send in a log themselves. All in all, a resounding success for a first contest!

BTW, in case you haven’t heard, the new version of WSJT-X is out … ver. 2.0.0. You can get it HERE. UPGRADE!!

Correction: An article on the ARRL website says there were 1300 log submissions.

73 & Happy Holidays de Dick N4BC

2.0 … Workin’ Fine

I got on the air with WSJT-X when I got home from work this afternoon, and everything worked the way it’s supposed to. I made 25 contacts on 80 through 17 meters, using version 2.0 … except for 60 meters … Everybody on 60 was still using ver. 1.9.1.

This is a good sign. Looks like lots of people upgraded. There is a decided increase in the number of stations running the latest version. I even worked a new one on 17 meters … ZD7JC, St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic. This is where the British imprisoned Napoleon after his defeat.

73 de Dick N4BC