Welcome to the new FlexRadio Community! Please review the new Community Rules and other important new Community information on the Message Board.
If you are having a problem, please check the Help Center for known solutions.
Need technical support from FlexRadio? It's as simple as Creating a HelpDesk ticket.

CQWW SSB 2017 post contest report

13»

Comments

  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    That is true. With low sunspots, domestic QSOs play a bigger part so it becomes more "even" on the higher bands. During WPX this year, W2RE didn't even go above 20 meters. 15m was pretty much shut here except for trans-eq, and 10 had a few stations for trans-eq as well. 
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I have to soldier though the solar minimums as the 15m captain at N6RO. Thats... "my" band and my operating position there.  the advantage is that when you spend years of focus on a band, you gain a mastry of the propagation and an understanding of being in the right place at the right time.  I spent a couple years on 160M and a couple more on 80 back in the day.. for the same reasons. (and also you work your way up from the low bands at that contest station ;-)).

  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I made the decision to only play 80 in last year's contest due to time restraints, and my desire to snag some more 80 DX for the DXCC.  I had no idea at all that it would be a winning effort!  LOL.  So this came as a shock to me when I checked the stats.  I had actually forgotten about it until I checked it out!

    If only I could do the same on 10 Meters in a Domestic contest in order to get my last 5 states on 10 Meters, then I would be thrilled.

    And if I could get some of the few DX stations I have worked on 12 meters lately to send their logs to LOTW, then I would have DXCC on that band, too!  (my last HF band for DXCC except for 160 & 6) .

    It is getting really close......

    WAS:  7 more States on 12M; 5 States on 10M; 10 States on 6M

    DXCC:  only 3 more countries on 12M; 67 Countries on 160M; but 91 on 6 Meters!

    ALL of it LOTW....I have 230 countries confirmed on LOTW.  (I never would have dreamed that!)  I am waiting on several more from DXpeditions that haven't submitted their LOTW logs yet...

    I have a not counted the additional I have confirmed via actual QSL Cards, unsubmitted.  And I haven't taken the time and trouble to check the log for QSL's that I can request with $$$ for DX stations that won't do it any other way.

    Once I get DXCC on all bands 80-10, and perhaps 160, then my next goal will be to start getting more diligent on the unconfirmed others....

    Ken - NM9P
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    If they didn't insist that for CQ160 that ALL assisted stations claim the HIGH power category, even when actually running LOW power, then I would probably fare much better on the 160 Contests!  (Which are among my favorite!)
  • Lasse MoellLasse Moell Member
    edited April 2018
    Only having less than a little pistol set up here, but working on improving... I find my Flex 6500 great for contesting, except for the filter/AGC missery! In most contests you do need really sharp (steep) filters, as most signals are strong. But having anything but the least sharp filters enabled, leads to awful clicks and terrible audio. This has been reported over and over again, and I am surprised this is not fixed. A contest grade radio should have proper filter skirts! As I hope some of you beta testers do use CW, please push for this to be fixed!
  • DougDoug Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    Ria complaining about splatter etc is hopeless. I don't even know why I am writing this because it has been going on since I have been a ham in the 60's. Contest turn normal everyday people into monsters ! Also as you know most of the big contest folks don't operate unless there is a contest and they have told me when I have ask them to please be considerate they only operate 10 days a year and I need to **** it up. It is fruitless to ask I have learned this decades ago and just stay off the air until the animals leave. It's just part of the deal and you either **** it up like they tell me or stay off  the air because what you say or anyone else says it isn't going to change.
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited June 23
    Contesters are some of the rudest and most inconsiderate operators in amateur radio. I was on one of our Rv nets and a guy moved in 1kc above us on LSB and he wouldn't move and basically said FO. I wish they would allocate a portion of each band for them to operate in.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    There is QRM and there is wide splatter. QRM is expected in a contest. Splatter, as in your signal splatters across the band - is unsportsmanlike conduct and people are being DQed for it. 

    As far as contest vs non contest, well if they operated every day of the year, the bands would be super crowded like a contest weekend, so I guess it's kind of good that the contests allow us to just let it all out for that weekend and we go silent for the rest of the year. There are 700k licensees in the US alone, and millions more worldwide - imagine if they were on the air all at once!

    Ria
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Yeah I don't think there will ever be peace and harmony between contesters and non-contesters. Likewise I've had net ops just start up on top of where I was operating. One OMISS 40m net operator during CQWW (of course he heard me, I was very loud) started talking to me and said he was just going to stay there until I moved for his awards net. MMSN on 14.300 has been pushing for 5kHz reserved space EACH on BOTH SIDES of their net which is absolutely crazy. On a good non-contest day on 20 meters you aren't getting that, no way no how. Maybe you can get 3kHz at 14.300 and they should be thankful for that, because even that is generous. I try not to interfere with them, even when I don't hear them (they are usually weak). 

    The number of licensees on HF are only growing and there is really no way to get around being interfered with when the band is open. Contest or not. There are also (non-contest) stations with compromise antennas, weak signals and local noise who just don't hear others, or they have no desire to listen so interference happens. It's just how it is on HF. 
  • Mark WS7MMark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Doesn't just happen during contests either.   One morning on 40 I was on 7.165 with some friends and we started to get some serious QRM from a DX chaser so we moved either up or down, I can't remember which.  We ended up pretty much right on a frequency used by some net that started in roughly an hour or so.

    We were only gonna be on another 15 minutes or so.  Well this old guy comes blasting in and says we are on a net frequency and we would need to move.  I came back and said, well sir, I have been listening to this frequency for 10 minutes and it has been completely clear. That is why we moved here.   He came back and said well its a net frequency and it is reserved and we have to move.   

    Another of my group jumped in and said, sir what time does your net start?  He said, doesn't matter the frequency is reserved but it starts in 45 minutes.  I jumped in and said, well we will be clear of here in like 15.  He came back saying nope, we needed to vacate now so the net members could tune up and get ready for the net.

    It was unbelievable.  He sounded about 300 years old so it might have been the "I made it through the night and I'm still alive net".   After the net started I listened for a bit and it was as I suspected a group of guys 300+ years in age bemusing about how they were excited to wake up for one more day and what pills they needed to take and what doctors appointments were slated for the day once the senior bus arrived.

    I thought about checking in but decided against it.  LOL
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Yeah, some of the nets will "reserve" a frequency like a whole hour in advance... I tend to just work around them. Picking your battles is a necessity on HF. That said, the whole "only contesters are rude" mentality is dead wrong. Everyone has their moments... it's HF, it happens. 

    I generally avoid the upper general portion of 40 in the evenings because nets like to park there. Well, except for domestic contests when it's a necessary evil. On 20 I avoid 14.230-236 because the SSTVers will fire up at will during the contest. I also avoid 14.300-304 for the maritime nets,  out of courtesy. The rest of the band is fair game, though. 
  • Mark WS7MMark WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Ya I had no intention in keeping the freq.  But we had listened, even asked if the freq was in use, no response.  We moved there then got blasted.

    I too just work around the nets and for nets were something serious is happening like in the old days when we used to pass real traffic or recently I helped out in comm for one of the disaster areas then I expect people to give that net space.  No issues with that.

    But these old guys did nothing more than complain about aches, pills, procedures up and coming and I guess they felt that since they were so ancient they owned that frequency.

    I have even moved off a net frequency when politely asked to do so.  But this old idiot was not polite and seemed full of venom for anyone that might get in the way of his daily gripe session with his buddies.

    He had a big signal too... Some W9 abd he was probably running 10kw to a big beam.
  • Bill-N6RVBill-N6RV Member
    edited April 2018
    I have been operating SOABLP Unassisted in most contests for years. For the past 10 years (?) I have been running a Flex 5000a. It is no different than using my Elecraft except the Elecraft does not freeze up six times a day. In fact, I use the Elecraft as the second radio when I ran SO2R. I cannot do that now with only one antenna. I placed 4th in North America in the 2017 CQWW SSB contest with 457,000 points. It was not a good showing. I have done much better, well above a million points. Not many multi-million point submissions here and for Low Power... not any. For West Coasters the only way to get a substantial score is S&P on multipliers and run Asia. The Pacific is not that populated. East Coasters have a distinct advantage. They can run Europe on multiple bands. We have a few hours in the morning. At the top of the cycle West Coast scores increase dramatically with longer openings to Europe. The past 2 years I have missed multipliers on 75 & 160. I have no antennas up yet.

    My hope is next contest season I will have the second SteppIR up along with the slopers for 80 and 160. I will be able to do true SO2R with the 6600M running on one band and S&P one the other. That is why I bought it. I have been burning it in for 3 weeks. I had one Blue Screen of Death and I had to reset the computer. That was the day before Easter. So far no other serious issues other than getting over the culture shock. It is much more difficult to find things in SSDR than PSDR and the buttons and knobs are too small for an old timer.

    What I would suggest would be a nice double sided laminated Quick Guide. I am looking at the one that came with the FT1000MP MKV. The Japanese are very good at concise step by step procedures. Americans are too wordy.
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Back a couple of years during the ARRL Centennial Celebration, I was on 40 SSB for about three hours running the frequency and giving away my measly 5 points. I was running fast and furious - the best run ever in my ham life - about 200-250 per hour or more. It was apparently the freq used by the omiss net. The future net control contacted me, very courteously, and congratulated me on my rate, but let me know that the net would be meeting on that frequency in a little while. I asked “how soon?” And he said “in about 45 minutes.” I told him that I was wearing out and planned to vacate the frequency five minutes before his net started. He accepted that graciously and confirmed that a couple times when other net members tried to hurry me off the frequency before then. The whole experience was unexpectedly gracious enough that I stayed around the frequency afterward and checked into the net in order to thank him and the net for their patience and tolerance of my run. I wish that was a more common experience. But rudeness seems to abound, especially on 40 and 80 Meters, where groups of people and nets seem to think they own a particular frequency 24/7, even though they only use it a couple of hours a day/week. I have met a number of rude contesters, but a lot of other rude people. I think it is a lot like one control freak complaining about another person being a control freak because the refuse to be controlled by the other person......
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    This is a good story.. and representative of good ham spirit Ken.  The best of ham spirit.   One thing I can add, as a top contester.  Usually, even in a competitive contest, if someone asks me politely if it would be possible for me to qsy, for a sched, or a net, a genuine good reason, I will consider yielding my qrg.  I genuinely believe in ham spirit and doing the right thing. 

    But if someone drops in on a qrg I have been continuously making contact for hours, with my very clean Flex 6600 and PGXL and says their net is going to happen whether I leave or not or rudely tells me to qsy with no ID or reason, and it will affect my competitive status, they will have to negotiate with my PGXL and 5 x 5 x 5 triple stack.  That usually doesn't work out for all but a scant few in north america. Do unto others. 

    we all need to get along, that starts with not talking down to contesters in a public forum, including this one. 
  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Chris, thats a great way to put it.  I think at times we all wish we had a killer big signal to fight back with but as I learned long ago in marshal arts of various types:

    The most powerful move is often a step back...

    So the qsy can be a good thing.

    I think sometimes the nets can get a little crazy.  The majority of hams like myself avoid them but there are so many I don't always know the frequencies to avoid.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    btw Ken,  the last sentence was not directed to you.  What you did I celebrate as good operating practice and try to emulate even in a competitive situation.
  • RiaRia Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    I am pretty much the same. Ask nicely and I will move. Bully your way in, and I am likely not to move. Interfere with me, and you are being recorded and if you really behave like a lid, I will forward it to your net manager and you'll probably be relieved of NCS duty. Maybe even the FCC if you really decided cause trouble. And if you're stateside my back is likely to you and the european pileups I'm usually running will not care if you are there...
  • Gary JohnsonGary Johnson Member
    edited April 2018
    Where is it that I can apply to reserve a frequency??  Everyone needs that internet link.
  • Mark_WS7MMark_WS7M Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Gary... Just live to be over a 100 and I think the FCC assigns you a frequency for your "made it to another day" net.
  • Chris Tate  - N6WMChris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Gary, it’s good to see a familiar name and an expansion of the N6RO contest team in this forum. Welcome.
  • edited April 2018
    Ria,

    I admit that the Single-Op category is much tougher than the Multi-Single category in any of the major DX contests, but I have managed 5 top ten finishes in the ARRL DX Contests since 2014 using my Flex 6500 (Multi-Single, High Power category).

    2014  SSB HP Multi-Single - 7th place
    2015  SSB HP Multi-Single - 8th place
    2016  SSB HP Multi-Single - 10th place
    2016  CW  HP Multi-Single - 8th place
    2017  SSB HP Multi-Single - 8th place

    I am very fortunate to be competitive from the deep south in Louisiana (40 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico) having only two 75 foot towers with a 4 element SteppIR on one tower and a DB18 SteppIR on the other tower. Only an elevated vertical for 80 meters and no antenna for 160 meters.  The Flex 6500 has been the contest radio in all of these contests.

    As for a geographical handicap, don't hold your breath.  I brought this up years ago and never heard anything back from ARRL or CQ.  I feel there would be a lot more participation if there was a formula that adjusted for geographical location, club stations, super-stations, stacked yagis, number of towers, antenna height, wire antennas, etc. Dream on.
  • Stan VA7NFStan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited April 2018
    Ria,
    Worked you from our club station (VE7SAR) and commented to nearby members that I know you from these forums and that you were running the new amp (which the club wanted to purchase but was over budget).  Excellent signal in strength and quality.  With that combination you may qualify as more than little pistol.
    From the West coast, Europe is much further away but Japan is closer - many call signs but few mults. 

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.