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CQ WW CW 2021

Ignacy Member ✭✭

I participated in the CQ WW CW contest using Flex 6600, Maestro running SmartControl, and Expert 1.3k-fa. The highest score ever with 2500 QSOs in 30h. Compared to earlier contests, everything was running smooth, with no Flex crashes and no problems with disappearing N1MM memories.

Runs from on 80 to 15m. Diversity was great, especially on 80m with 4sq and beverages, and that band was often crystal clear like 20m. Weak signal copy greatly enhanced by running APF with RIT adjusted based on the weak signal visible in the panadapter. 

Before I had lots of trouble with the CW Skimmer. Now with aggressive verification and CQ box checked, the Skimmer was sending reliable spots, more accurate than the regular spots. Working them with N1MM hotkeys was often faster than running. While the Skimmer was crashing every hr and had to be restarted, DAX never crashed.

Many operator errors like weak copy on 20m because the input was a beverage (after moving from 40m). I tried SO2R with an external receive antenna, but did not master it to become useful.

The work was greatly enhanced by hotkeys via FRStack controlling SmartSDR and the amp, including turning APF or DIV on and off. All ant controls by Green Heron.  

IMHO, Flex has a high learning curve for more complex operations.  Now with quite stable software, it became a very good radio, where the operator can focus on the contest and not on bug workarounds.

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