2016 IARU HF Contest

  • 2
  • Praise
  • Updated 4 years ago
I had a great time with this year's IARU HF Contest.

Conditions were not great. 10m was completely close and very bad propagation on 15m. I had to concentrate on 20m and then try to add multis on 40 and 80m. I just did SSB.
I like this contest, it's manageable family wise, as it started at 8AM EST on Sat and finished 8AM on Sun. I took extended breaks to prepare the BBQ and spend time at the pool with the kids.

I end up using mostly SmartSDR for Windows instead of the Maestro. Not being able to use TNFs on the Maestro make it less usable in a contest environment with plenty of stations on top of each other. I really look forward to being able to use both Maestro and SmartSDR in the near future.

I used N1MM+ with the software voice keyer which worked flawlessly.

I also tried VOX for the first time in this contest and being able to use n1mm+ voice keyer via DAX together with VOX is great on SmartSDR 1.8  Didn't end up with pain in my foot!

Setting up the Voice recording is very easy.
I used my own headset connected to the Flex radio.
I selected Mic Stream in DAX Control Panel and made sure TX Stream was OFF.
With N1MM+ open at the log window I simultaneously click on Ctrl+Shift+F1 (which starts the recording) and click Ctrl+Shift+F1 again to stop. It might take a few tries to get it timed correctly. I do the same thing for the Exchange (F2) and for my callsign alone (F4).
Just make sure you select the right audio device inside N1MM+, then make sure you turn Mic Stream OFF and TX Stream ON on DAX Control Panel.

Bug. I think it has been mentioned elsewhere but Mic level will not work for a microphone connected to the front of the radio when DAX is enable and PTT is activated by VOX.

I hope you guys had a chance to work some stations and enjoy some radio this weekend.
Photo of EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

  • 1816 Posts
  • 560 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Tim VE6SH


  • 298 Posts
  • 42 Reply Likes
Salvador. I missed you on the bands, but my Maestro/6700/N1MM+ combination worked flawlessly for 600+ Qs. I did not operate as long as I wanted as I had to take clients to our local rodeo and then we had  storm cell settle over the city for a couple of hours. Conditions were marginal from up here, but improved as the day went on.

The only issue I had was the voicekeyer using N1MM+ "stuttered" a few times. Was able to fix that by giving a higher priority to N1MM in task manager.

IARU is a great summer contest, (but I may be a tad biased)!


Tim VE6SH "AC"
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 763 Posts
  • 164 Reply Likes
Geez, I thought I did good with 220 CW QSOs......   I used N1MM+ for the first time since I was introduced to it during Field Day.  IARU is the first contest I've participated in from my own QTH since a RTTY contest I was in using a nearly new model 28 teletype back in the 70s.

N1MM really makes logging simple.  Like others, logging was on the PC while using the Maestro for control.  I use a wireless headset for audio and it was great not having any wires on my desk....  Now all I have to do is work a lot more on my cw skills.  I don't believe in using decoders because at that point it seems it is no longer cw but instead just another digital mode.  So with no decoder, I really struggled with copying call signs the first time sent.  I believe I improved a little bit as the day progressed though but most importantly, I sure had a lot of fun.

Norm - W7CK

Photo of km9r.mike


  • 425 Posts
  • 62 Reply Likes
Thanks Salvador for the good explanation wrt SSDR and N1MM+ voice keyer. I played with it a little today and like you said flawless. Both recording and playback. Before, I had recorded some wav files differently and every now and then they would stutter when I played them with the N1MM+ function keys. I concluded my computer's performance was being tested. Until, I used the method you described above. Now just like you said, flawless.