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CQWW SSB 2017 post contest report

RiaRia Member ✭✭
Someone who shall remain nameless asked once on the CQ-contest list if anyone had placed in the top 10 single op with a Flex 6000 series radio. That was a darned good question, and I didn't really research thoroughly to see if anyone did. Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to test that theory.

So this past weekend I did 40 hours in the chair, came up with 3.4M points assisted SOA and about 2400something QSOs. Based on current 3830 scores I'm about 6th place (USA) but it isn't over until CQ publishes the results. Here's hoping it holds!

I should note that I don't have a large station with multiple stacks. I have basically one high band antenna and a field of low band antennas. However I live in a decent-ish location with nice drop offs to Europe and Africa and a bit of a hill (high point state park and stokes state forest) toward JA. I thrive in conditions where the low bands are better, and the high bands are lower. I do run limited SO2R but that will change when I get the Power Genius XL and complete some other antenna work I've been putting off due to time commitments so I will run full high power SO2R with no lag between band changes.

I won't say that it has been flawless with the Flex but it has actually been quite good. There were a few quirks such as minor delays when switching SO2R but those are easy to work with and work around. I did not use Maestro as I am more of a point and click operator and 99% of my focus was on the N1MM+ logger, with the spectrum display which is supported in v2.0 of SmartSDR now. Who needs knobs? Some ops do, I don't. I do have a flexcontrol but it got little use.

Rates were pretty amazing and I found myself often doing 360+/hr rates for several minutes, with sustained hour rates around 170.

image

Anyway, this may be little pistol by some people's standards, but it's my best score ever in CQWW and I hope to improve. My goal was to get points for my contest club so we can win this year again. See you in sweepstakes and CQWW CW.



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Comments

  • Chris DL5NAMChris DL5NAM Member
    edited April 3
    Bildergebnis fr thumbs up
  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited May 17
    3.4M points, that's impressive Ria!!!!  I've never got close to 1M points yet....
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    It's far easier from up here. Now you have the remote guys setting up stations on the coast of Maine. Top three single op unassisted stations were coastal Maine. 
  • Duane_AC5AADuane_AC5AA Member ✭✭
    edited May 2018
    Congrats on a terrific effort, Ria!

  • k0eook0eoo Member ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    Oh, didn't realize guys were doing that but it makes sense I suppose.  In that case is there a category for that type of operation?  So if you're in MN you can't claim high score for MN if your station is in Maine? I suppose you have to claim Maine as your QTH in that case?
  • John - K3MAJohn - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Good Job Ria, following your N1MM+ setup post I was able to get on and do a Single Band 40M effort for 20 hours.  Now I know some of the refinements I need to make using N1MM with the Flex for future contests.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    No, they compete in the regular categories. For DX contesting everyone in the entire USA is on equal footing as far as the rules go. Yes, east coast will have an advantage because of the proximity to Europe. 
  • Gary WiseGary Wise Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    Hey Ria,

    Great job. I heard you on many bands. I thought, "Hey, there's Ria."

    I also heard you during the first night of the Worked All Europe contest when band conditions **** and I felt the same frustration as I heard in your voice. I worked 4 stations in WAE that first night and gave up.

    This was the second time in the CQ WW SSB as SOAB HP. Using my 6500, a KPA-500, a hexbeam and wires, I improved my score 30% over last year and my QSO count by 15%.

    I'm not in your league (yet) but I'm improving. And I can't imagine contesting with any radio but my Flex.

    Vy 73 - Gary W4EEY

  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    Great Ria thanks for posting this 6700 contest success story on the community. 
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    Hi Gary,

    Yes it does get discouraging but I have been told by some of my mentors (especially John, W2GD and Bob, KQ2M) that you should never just turn off the radio if band conditions are terrible. Keep pressing on. Why? The others you're trying to beat are probably gettiing discouraged too. If you stay on and they go, who wins?

    Ria
  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    Nice job Ria.  I can't imagine 40 hours in the chair... I do that all week long...

    I did make one contact at zero hour:59 and 50 seconds.  It was funny the band was like massively congested, I made my contact then it just went dead as everyone turned off.


  • edited November 2019
    Well done Ria - hope the score holds for you.

    One thing that seems very strange to me the that remote operating does not have a seperate category. I think that is is completely wrong that someone (or a group of someones) can build a remote station and then operate from the comfort of their own home and be categorized as working under the same conditions as everyone else. 

    To take it to extremes, what is difficult about setting up, for example, two remote stations, one on the East coast and one on the West coast to take advantage of different propagation conditions ?

    I remember logging for a Ham in the 60's, we operated from his little terraced house with a homebrew G2DAF RX and TX and a 400watt linear and a cubical quad for 10/15/20 and coming 3rd in the UK.

    Far cry from what is possible now. In those days it was a real achievement to do that well, these days, and not to belittle your efforts Ria, it seems so much easier now. 

    I did look at the bands last weekend and 20 and 15 were jam packed all of Saturday and Sunday. Could take any active part because my voice is virtually non existent due to the Radiotherapy I having at the moment. Maybe next year it will be better.

    Tim
  • VaristorVaristor Member
    edited October 2017
    You are kidding, right? What is so difficult about setting up a full contesting station? Have you not seen the zillions of posts here from people that have myriads of problems operating remotely, even with the simplest of stations? Running a remote station is not easy and anyone who claims otherwise has never built one. Have you built one? Have you used one?

    As far as your specific question on dual-coast operation goes, the answer is right there in the rules. All transmitters, receivers, and antennas must be at one station location. A remotely operated station must obey all station license, operator license, and category limitations.
  • Mike_VE3CKOMike_VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    I agree, remote op should have separate category. I also think they should ad more categories similar to QRP, 100 or below and above 100. For example square footage of property 2500, 10,000, and above 10,000. Then no tower, one tower, more than one tower. Single beam, multi-beam. This would level the playing field much more and make it more about operator skills.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    There is not difference between my driving up to my remote station, vs remoting in to it.  I am operating from the same location, a station that I have built.  If I remote some other station on the east coast, it would have to be a separate effort with a different call and would be considered operating from there and not part of the same effort.  In many instances, this is the only way for some of our fellow hams to compete, due to the many stringent HOA restrictions of today.  Its pretty straight forward, and has been written into the rules of contests, and other competitive activities like DXCC.
  • Mike_VE3CKOMike_VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited April 2019
    Nice going Ria. In 2014 my first contest I entered in the Rookie category got N1MM downloaded the night before figured out how to use it with my Flex 5000A. My results using mostly S & P method were just under a million points (946,164) however official results deducted 157,000 points mostly because I changed bands without waiting 10 minutes. Got #1 Canada, North America and World Wide. I took Saturday evening off to watch a hockey game but got back at it 11pm. This was before I got the 6500 and now 6700. I have not yet entered a contest since but do plan to in a year or so. Panadapter is so conducive to my preferred method of going up the dial working every station, using TNF to mark the frequency worked, going back down to the ones I've missed and keep repeating. Then switch bands do the same.
  • Mike_VE3CKOMike_VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited October 2017
    ok, then distance from radio. In shack, on same LAN, on via WAN.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    I dont really see the relevant need for such a rule.  Let me give you my scenario.  I have been building a station K6LRG for 10 years.  for many years I just drove up there and operated.  now I can remote into it.  I can drive up there..  anytime I want.  I have a fridge, A/C.. and some times I do, and some times I dont. But I am always operating from that station, same location, same signal.  whats the difference?
  • VaristorVaristor Member
    edited October 2017
    Mike, don't wait, jump with both feet in. Contesting is a great way to hone your skills and work out any station shortcomings.

    Go to Contest University's file area to read on great advice on improving your score:

    https://www.contestuniversity.com/files/
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Think of the internet link as a virtual extention of your headset.. and footswitch and cable from you paddle.  otherwise its exactly the same deal.
  • Gary JohnsonGary Johnson Member
    edited November 2019
    My guess is that if ARRL and CQ magazine were located in Kansas City vs the Northeast, that rules of contests from US states might be a bit different.  Might have separate categories by ARRL Section or at least time zones.  Of course with CQ, I'd just be happy to get my October magazine in October vs mid to late November.      73,    Gary Johnson  N5BAA





  • DrJDrJ Member
    edited May 17
    Awesome Ria! I was on the radio for a couple of hours and stuck to 20 m SSB only and was able to rack up 155 European contacts in just under 2 hours. I had to manually submit my logs to excel spreadsheet and upload it. Not easy. Must talk to you about N1MM logging. HRD does NOT work quick enough for contesting. I had a lot of fun ! Saturday from 1600 to 2000 utc was awesome!
  • Mike_VE3CKOMike_VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    S & P is a habit from SWLing days of the late 60s thru 70s. Got 6 band DXCC in my first 2 years without CQing. Since got 289 entities. I can see myself  getting into more contesting when I get closer to 300. Right now when I play radio, it's DXing.  I must say using N1MM was a kick. Got addictive with points like a video game. So many aspects to ham radio took on too much initially, HF, VHF, UHF and satellite setups. Gotta leave some challenges for retirement years and contest likely will fill the void.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    This has been beaten to death already. Remote operation is here to stay. A lot of the major players support it. K3LR in particular is a big time proponent of it. His reasoning is that the radiosport community is getting older and if it keeps them on the air it's a good thing. 

    Personally I am not really opposed to someone who owns and operates a remote and/or does it with a bunch of friends, a club or similar group. The idea of just buying airtime on a pre-built remote station though, that is completely different. I can't support that. 

    But again, beaten to death. I'm not really here to argue this. Just showing what can be done with the platform. 
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited March 2018
    You can compete regionally. They give certificates for each call district. ARRL has plaques for each division.

    Also remember the coasts only do well in DX contests. For VHF contests, sweepstakes and NAQP, the central US does better than us. 
  • edited November 2019
    Well done Ria, great effort. I heard you on several bands and i know we worked you on at least one band. We were multi two tx using my gw9j contest call and low power no amps. It was hard going with just 100w to dipoles wire verticals and a wire yagi spiderbeam at 25ft agl but we managed 1519 qsos and a 14yr old club member we were mentoring enjoyed himself. Its a pity my 6300 crashed twice in the first two hours and had to be replaced with my ic7300, but at least the spectrum window support in n1mm for the 7300 meant we still had a bandscope and waterfall available. I think we will be multi one low power in cqww cw. 73 Steve gw0gei / gw9j
  • Mike_VE3CKOMike_VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not against remote operation at all, are you kidding? When it comes to competing in a contest against others who don't have the resources, the property, there should be attempts to level the playing field. Just the same as the guys who want to play the contest but without an amplifier. I don't think there would be as many contesters if there were no power category ? My concern on the subject is basically the potential for cheating by those who are not honest and remote in across the country or use Web SDR sites to assist in getting QSOs they cannot get from their home base. No rules will stop cheating in it's tracks but rules that clarify what cheating is should help to deter, and the rules should continue to evolve as technology does.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Cheating is very much an issue. Sometimes I heard stations delay before they come back. That could either be remote SDR listening OR SO2R delays. Either way the contest committee is looking closely at cheating. Cheaters are already on notice that they will be caught and sanctioned. They are much more serious about this than in the past. Top stations have to supply recordings if asked. This helps. There are also SDR recordings made by the contest committee to identify and correlate.

    Bottom line - you cheat, you will likely be caught, and you'll be disqualified. Period.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Sorry to hear about your 6300. My 6700 performed mostly good. I had a few small glitches but it worked very well. I am hoping your issues get resolved.
  • Mike_VE3CKOMike_VE3CKO Member ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    Ria, it is good to hear this is being taken seriously. Sure it's just paper on a wall but if is not done with integrity then what is the point.

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