Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Well, this contest is in the bag. Had WL7BDO Carl and WL7F myself Wes as operators for this one and broke the 1 million point mark. Of course, this was 100W max so it was under Multi Operator Low Power Radio Teletype. Radio used was a FT 857D with a Microham USBIII interface and laptop. Antennas were a HyGain TH6 up 50 feet for the high bands and Phased ground mounted verticals on 40 meters.

This was the first time using the callsign for the club and seemed to work well for RTTY. Had just gotten the callsign on Thursday and decided to use this one. I started the contest out on 15 meters and Carl ended it on 20 meters. We used the OPON feature in N1MM+ and it was very successful as it one saves the window layout for each operator and is good for statistics and a bit of friendly competition during the contest and after.

The info from N1MM+ and some of the information that can be gleaned this way:

Band     QSOs     Pts       WPX
     7     86      408       32
    14    260      663      176
    21    525     1293      219
    28      8       17        2
 Total    879     2381      429
Score: 1,021,449
1 Mult = 2.0 Q's

Total Time Off 02:44  (164 mins)
Total Time On 45:16  (2716 mins)

65 Countries

Max Rates:

2016-02-14 2131Z - 3.0 per minute  (1 minute(s)), 180 per hour by WL7BDO
2016-02-14 0132Z - 1.6 per minute  (10 minute(s)), 96 per hour by WL7BDO
2016-02-14 0134Z - 1.3 per minute  (60 minute(s)), 75 per hour by WL7F

WPX RTTY - 2016-02-13 0000Z to 2016-02-15 0000Z - 886 QSOs
WL7CXP Runs >10 QSOs:

2016-02-13 0033 - 0113Z,   21116 kHz, 43 Qs, 64.1/hr WL7F
2016-02-13 0130 - 0154Z,   21097 kHz, 27 Qs, 65.4/hr WL7F
2016-02-13 0242 - 0309Z,   14100 kHz, 16 Qs, 34.7/hr WL7F
2016-02-13 1927 - 2113Z,   21100 kHz, 73 Qs, 41.6/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-13 2150 - 2217Z,   21108 kHz, 14 Qs, 30.6/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-13 2232 - 2339Z,   14106 kHz, 57 Qs, 51.5/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-14 0005 - 0146Z,   21104 kHz, 111 Qs, 66.0/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-14 1958 - 2020Z,   21117 kHz, 11 Qs, 29.6/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-14 2114 - 2139Z,   21105 kHz, 34 Qs, 80.1/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-14 2147 - 2220Z,   21096 kHz, 41 Qs, 73.2/hr WL7BDO
2016-02-14 2228 - 2301Z,   21114 kHz, 33 Qs, 61.1/hr WL7BDO

Early on the gremlins showed their face as the radio was just not putting out the power as noticed the power down to 9V coming into the radio on transmit but was showing 12v on receive and the power out was a lot lower. Figured the batteries were low so went out and started the generator and then looked at the power and same thing happening. I grabbed the power cord going into the radio and it was hot so wiggled the wires and walla full power once again. Swapped the power cable out with the backup one and inspected the cord and noticed the solder had melted arggggggg least it is a quick fix and shows the duty cycle of RTTY. New cable went the rest of the contest without a hitch, and much cooler.

I woke up for the early morning shift on Sunday to see Carl in his coat and saying the fire went out.  Started a fire and warmed the place up and Carl went to get his sleep in after working both 20 meter Europe opening and some Japan on 40 meters.

Good runs both Friday and Saturday into Japan and great openings into Africa and Europe. 15 meters opened into Europe sometime in the am on Sunday as when I checked it at 0600 local time it was already going hot and heavy, now this was not over the pole but rather pointed at the lower 48 was hoping to work some east coast and was quite surprised. S9 signals from Europe. Now toward the end of the contest it was a nail biter to reach 1 million point mark and bantering between Carl and I was non stop along with the math flying as to how many more q’s were needed. 20 minutes left in the contest and we hit that mark.

Upgrades that are simple is a movable base for the faceplate to the FT857. As Carl liked to have it in one position and I liked it in another. Making the base for it so that it is semi-mounted would make life easier.