6700 is CONTEST READY!

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  • Updated 5 years ago
THAT - W A S F U N !!!

Rather than go all out with a new configuration, I opted for a serious but short of full-time BIC (butt in chair) commitment. I'll put a full write up on my blog tomorrow and post a link.

In the meantime...
- 6700 performed flawlessly
- 1222 QSO's in 17 hours...
9 dupes where dupes called me
381 CW QSO's
832 PH QSO's
55 multipliers - missed NT, VT and HI (HI from CA?????)
154,385 points cliamed

HIgh power, unassisted - no (A) category in CQP

Writelog with WinKeyer for CW and Macros
Writelog with PC sound card for Voice Keyer
Writelog with SmartCAT for radio control
DDU V3 for station integration with Alpha 9500 and SteppIR DB-18E
FlexControl and K6TU iPad Control
RadioSport RS-60CF headset - the most comfortable bar none I've tried to date.

A word about the radio...

CQP is a busy contest - the bands are full - not as full as they can be but its still a battle for elbow space. Operating adjacent to high power stations is expected and I wasn't disappointed. But even seeing the signals on the pan adaptor, the clean ones I couldn't hear AND the weakest, of weakest callers still popped out of the noise. Bear in mind that in a contest, there isn't time to tweak AGC-T other than using the AGC-T that came installed in your brain as factory standard.

This radio simply ROCKS!

What is also very cool is the fatigue factor - its WAY, WAY less, In my first review of the 6700 I said that the radio was the clearest I've ever used and it is! I still loath this non-scientific discussion but you have to use this radio in battle to experience it.

My 5000A goes up for sale tomorrow - this contest season its the 6700 ALL T H E W A Y!!!!

Woo-hoo!!!!!!! - Thanks for all the Q's!
Stu K6TU
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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  • VERY HAPPY!!!!

Posted 5 years ago

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Steve Conklin

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Agreed.

For me, the difference in fatigue factor is one of the most striking things about the 6700. I realize it's a fairly subjective aspect and I hate to use it myself, but it's profound.

Working DX, there are still some situations where the radio doesn't perform miracles, and I started looking for a common theme for those - turns out that they're all situations where there just isn't much signal there at all. I've been fighting for things I can barely even tell exist on the panadapter. I think I need to calibrate my own decision level for when to move on.
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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There were still stations I passed on today - they were right in the noise/QRM level and there is a limit to my hearing. If the radio and their TX/Antenna got me a signal I worked them.

I 'm still waiting for the radio with miracle happens here preamp that cuts the noise and only boosts the signal. Until that arrives, the 6700 is the state of the art for me!

Stu K6TU
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Great work Stu! Thanks for the good report.

I believe that the lower fatigue factor is due to our brick wall FIR filters that are linear in phase across the passband. Crystal roofing filters are non-linear phase devices and they can also have in-band IMD. Phase and IMD distortion inside the passband will cause distortion in your ears that over time causes fatigue. This is my theory.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Thanks, Stu. I looked for you a little while this weekend just for fun, but missed you. I haven't done any hard core contesting with the 6500 yet, but I have already experienced the rig's ability to pull out signals that I would have missed with my TS-850.

I will be attempting some of the winter contests after I get a 160 meter dipole and a 40 Meter Vertical up. Until then, I need to get the rust off of my CW fist.

I'll look for you the next time.
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Paul RN3A

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I have worked Russia UHF Cup Contest this past weekend, using Flex-6700 and 23cm transverter. Contest time - 12 hours. This was the first real test for 6700 in Contest mode. The overall QSO rate is always very low, but the overall quality of your complete RX path is a key to success. What can I say - great improvement on RX to compare with the old radio. Not a single glitch - all worked good.
On the down side - I really missed full Transverter functionality (correct frequency indication, etc.), so logging Qs was a bit tricky...
There will be ARRL EME Contest in 2 weeks, so I am getting me ready for this one. And, of course, CQ WW CW in November! This will be the REAL test! :)
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Charles - K5UA

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Stu, could you elaborate on your WriteLog setup using WinKeyer for the CW Macros. Did you use the WriteLog/Function Keys for the contest messages? I don't have a WinKeyer but would get one in a heart beat if it would allow me to send writelog messages.

In the past I would use the MicroHam keyer with its two CAT channels to enable WriteLog to key the radio through the MicroHam keyer, but I am reluctant to mix smartCAT and the microHam CAT system together. Or is that exactly what the WinKeyer does with its own CAT channels???
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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Charles,

Not sure which MicroHam model you are using but I'm pretty sure that it has a WinKeyer2 built in...  I know my DigiKeyer II has which I use with my DXpedition-in-a-box with an IC7000...

I wouldn't worry about mixing the COM ports - you should see my control computer... it has Eltima VSP, drivers for my Ethernet Serial Servers from Moxa, FTDI USB/Serial drivers... and a couple of others including SmartCAT.  They all behave themselves just fine.

I have a physical WinKeyer II plugged into the same computer on which I run Writelog... I simply configure Writelog to use the appropriate COM port for CW in the Ports tab under Setup and then also tell it that the keyer is a WinKeyer II.

I find that no matter what, Writelog produces really ratty CW when using a COM control line to do the keying (ie Writelog is the keyer)... the dots are variable length!  So i switched to a WinKeyer II a long time ago.

You should be able to set the COM port for the keyer in the Router tab of the MicroHam unit.

Then I simply configure the macros with the function keys in Writelog and as the English say - Voila!

The CW "keyboard" works also - Alt-K to bring it up, key the transmitter and Bob's your uncle.  Works the same way under WinWarbler of DxLab similarly configured to use the WinKeyer - that's how I operate CW since I have never been happy with the way I remoted the CW paddles using WKremote and a second & third WinKeyer II.  It works but there is a one character delay and too many pieces of software to have to configure - I did get very good at assembling WinKeyer II units after building the second and third however! :-)

Hope this helps - if you need more details, let me know!

Stu K6TU
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Charles - K5UA

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Thanks Stu, will try it Monday night after work.