2017 CQ RTTY Contest - Single Operator, Low Power, Assisted, All Bands

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  • Updated 9 months ago
I ran a part-time effort (18 hours) in the 2017 CQ RTTY Contest with my Flex-6500.

Running as Single Operator, Assisted, Low Power, All Bands.

The "Raw Scores" indicate a tentative placement of #3 in the 9th Region, behind AB9YC and KG9X.

This means that I will probably place first in the State of Indiana, since they are both in Illinois.  The 4th place is also in Illinois.

 1 AB9YC  (IL).......286,251
 2 KG9X....(IL).......214,896
 3 NM9P....(IN)......184,912
 4 ND9G....(IL)......174,960

My score was less that the 2015 test, but so was my time in the chair, since I have developed back problems and was recovering from 2 1/2 weeks of pneumonia.

Not bad for 100 Watts, a T-11 LP @ 38 ft., 80 Meter OCF Dipole @ 35 ft., and 40 Meter elevated Vertical with only one radial.  I wish I had been able to get my 80 Inverted 'L' up before the contest, but Pneumonia had other plans for my energy!

Again, it was  pleasure to operate this contest.

For the first time I was able to get dual decoders running on both slices, running Pseudo-SO2R, or as Chris calls it - Enhanced SO2V.

I used the 2nd slice mostly for observing changes in band condition and activity in order to time my band switches.

I logged with N1MM+ and used MMTTY and 2Tone for receive decoders.
I used the alternative tone generator in 2Tone for my TX Audio.

I ran mostly S&P, out of habit and lack of confidence.
But late in the contest I mustered the courage to try running on 40 and 80 meters and had some good success for about an hour with a pretty good rate for a low power station.

Anyway...It is becoming very common for Flex Radios to place highly in many contests.
It is one of the easiest rigs to get running for Digi modes.  By far the easiest I have ever run.

It has been over 4 years for my 6500, but again I must say....."Thanks for the great rig!"

Ken - NM9P
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Posted 9 months ago

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Photo of Chris Tate  - N6WM

Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Great job Ken, I think I was the op that worked you on 20m? at ZF1A...  I remember seeing your call come across the screen.  We are in  log check range for first in the world. M/2
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes.  You typed a greeting, but I hadn't worked with the system well enough to quickly type a free-message back to you! 
After that, I programmed a quick "return greeting" macro in case others did the same.
I worked ZF1A on 15, 20, 40, & 80!
Confirmations via LOTW haven't come back yet, but I expect they will soon.

The RTTY contests are some of my most enjoyable.  They are easier on the ears, hands, and voice!
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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RR. QSL will be handled by K6AM, and the logs have been submitted.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Awesome, Ken!!! Hope it holds. 
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k3Tim

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Congrats Ken....
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Rory - N6OIL

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Doggone you Ken, you beat me by 10 places!! Congrats buddy. I did manage to get 1st in my call area. Your right about the FLex, it's so easy just march up and down the band map and pick off multis. I was running N1MM with 2 decoders but I'm still on SSDR ver 1. My antennas used were the Hexbeam and 6BTV.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Hi hi! I wish I had gotten even two more hours in, but I just couldn’t stay in the chair. Had to get to bed Saturday night so I could preach Sunday morning. Then after we got back home I was so wiped out that I had to rest for a while before getting back to the fray.

Too bad. There at the end, I was averaging about a thousand points every couple of minutes. I could easily have added 100,000 - 200,000 points in two or three hours just from QSO’s, not to mention multipliers on bands I hadn’t worked much earlier.

Oh well.... some lessons learned for next contest.
1) move to lower bands earlier... I tried to work 10 & 15 for two long before moving to the “money bands.”

2). On RTTY, even a low power station like mine can run a frequency on 40 meters. And even on 80 if you stake out a frequency early enough.

3) even if it starts slow, you will eventually score more points as a run station once someone spots you...if you can stay focused and respond like a veteran.

That great American philosopher (and Amaterur Radio Operator), Joe Walsh, said in his song, “Lucky That Way,”. ... “If you just act like you know what you’re doing, everybody thinks that you do.”

4) When S&P, don’t waste a lot of time trying to bust a pileup for a new multiplier....mark them, move on, and come back. You may miss several quick multipliers and regular contacts while trying to battle the big guns. (I have violated this rule multiple times.) The mult/QSO stat will let you know how much time you can spend on a new mult.

5). Nothing adds to your final score like BIC time. (Butt In the Chair). Just like your final years of growth in your 401k before retirement, the more hours you spend in a contest, and therefore the more Q’s and mults, the faster your score rises. Every Q or mult is worth proportionally more than the previous one, because of the multiplication factor.

Stu - K6TU, has often said, “it’s all about RATE!”

6). I seriously need to put some of my Radio budget into some more comfortable padding for my operating chair. It may be more important at this point than buying a new set of headphones, a new mic, or even an amplifier! If I can’t keep my BIC then all the other stuff is wasted money.

Good luck! I hope to be able to compete more effectively in the next few contests. However, I have a series of weekend meetings for the next few months. How rude! Right in the middle of contest season. Sometimes retirement is looking better and better! Hi hi!

Ken - NM9P
(Edited)
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Rory - N6OIL

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Yup BIC was a killer for me too, I went to bed about 2am local Saturday morning and got back on around 8am that same morning and Sunday my son had a soccer game at 11 which means I had to leave the house 9am and going to bed at 1:30am made for a real groggy morning.