ARRL DX CW 2015 contest report...

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I just finished and submitted my scored for the ARRL DX CW Contest for 2015.

I almost doubled last year's score.

This year I used N1MM+ and CW Skimmer.  
This is the first time I had figured out how to direct the Skimmer Server to the spotting function of N1MM+ so all my spots were only what my receiver could hear.  It worked very nicely.

An hour before the end, I loaded the new updated version of SDR-Bridge and it seemed to work a little more smoothly.

Still no "big gun" score, but it is starting to get into respectable territory for barefoot and dipoles & verticals.  My best score ever.  Thanks for a great CW rig!

Let's hear what the big boys put up with their flexes!

Running 6500 barefoot, 160 Meter OCF Dipole at 38 ft. and Homebrew elevated vertical at 4 ft. with four radial sets under it.

Ken - NM9P
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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  • Satisfied...

Posted 4 years ago

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Larry Davis

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nice going Ken good job 
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Great isn't it?  I didn't try to post a contest score but spent the weekend pouncing on LoTW users who can get me closer to DXCC on 40 and fill in Challenge points on the higher bands.  I made something over 125 QSOS, including 2 with Z81X in South Sudan which was an ATNO for me.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I found few stations that I could hear that I couldn't work. My 40 meter vertical was especially good compared to the dipole, except for the Caribbean stations. I wish I had been able to get the 160/80 meter inverted 'L' up. It would have been nice to snag more DX on 80 meters when 40 died. I am still trying to get HI and AK on 160. Perhaps next weekend on the 160 SSB test.
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Duane, AC5AA

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Nice job, Ken - you're way ahead of me.  I dabbled in the contest for about 6 hours and managed around 70K points on 80-10m, also running vertical and a G5RV Jr.  I don't have WriteLog integrated with the FLEX-6500 yet, so it was a manual logging effort and using CWX for the exchanges.  Still, the Flex hears as well as my Orion did, and is just as easy on the ears, which is rare.  Can't wait until I get the software integrated better and it plays well together - just need to set the time aside to do that.  Anyway, congrats on a great score considering your antenna farm!
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Mike Hoing

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Congrats Ken. I just dabbled and didn't have time to commit. The bands seemed alive.

Again. Well done.

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W5XZ - dan

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nice job ken; how much time did you put in? isn't that sad that arrl rules with local skimmer feed puts you in the 'assisted' category? 73..
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Duane, AC5AA

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Not sure why that is sad.  It's actually a lot better than having an "assistant" at another receiver finding mults for you, or trusting the spots on the packetcluster since it is what you can hear at your QTH.  Maybe they should invent a new category!  :-) Oh, I didn't mean to say that out loud . . .
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W5XZ - dan

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way way back there was some discussion that use of a memory keyer was 'cheating'...back when we used paper logs and dupe sheets...

i just can NOT see why my own local skimmer feed would put me in the 'assisted' class...just 'cause i have a hi tech rig ??
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Steve W6SDM

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Good numbers, Ken.  I somehow managed to avoid the contest this time.  I bought a new FT400DR for the Jeep on Friday and I spent most of the weekend learning the menus and setting it up.  My wife has been threatening to get a catheter so that I don't have to leave the radio during contests.  If I do that, ARRL will probably come up with another classification for those who use them.  :)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Gives new meaning to the term "assisted!"

I put in 17 hours. More than usual in a contest for me. But I would have liked a few more at the beginning on Friday and Sunday morning. Also didn't get to go past 2 am Saturday night. I needed to be at least a little fresh for Sunday morning. Didn't get to the rig until about 1:30 pm on Sunday.
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Steve, you are lucky to have such a supporting wife. Catheter + Loperamide = contesting heaven without pressure of bodily functions.
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W5XZ - dan

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as usual, the league is behind the curve re: 'assisted' me, that means 'off site support / feeds'... oh well..
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philip.theis, Elmer

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Nice job Ken, Contrats.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Nice going, Ken! How did we ever live without the panafall? I spent the weekend in Yuma, listening to K5GJ talk SDR and DXing. Got home in time to work South Sudan using his pro tips. I hope having great rig software "assistance" doesn't put us in a different category from the knob guys.
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Richard Clafton W4/G7EIX, Elmer

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One of my neighboring hams is N4YDU, just posted a score of 2950008! Not a flex owner, but imagine what he could do with one!
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Steve W6SDM

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You bring up a good point, Richard.  While a good rig definitely helps bring up your contest score, it takes a certain amount of skill and endurance to score in the millions of points.  Someone who can score almost three million points in a DX contest with a box radio could murder them with a Flex - especially when running search and pounce tactics.
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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Congratulations Ken,

also on this side of the ocean things went very well.
I worked for 15 hours in two days (8+7) on 10/15/20 bands 2 elements and 100 watts of my 6300 - (Only rotary dipole and 25 watt on 40m).
In the beginning I was a bit skeptical, but the 6300 proved to be a strong  and reliable rig. Never a bug or a fault, everything worked perfectly.
I used the new SDR bridge (1.1.1) and CWSkimmer as local cluster for QARTest contest software. In the end I collected 418 qso for a total score of about 183,000 pts; really not bad.
Just a note: it was really a pain having a contact with Idaho friends. Only once in 20m and 15m but no Lotw confirmation, so I have to wait for my WAS award.

After this experience I think that also the small 6300 can be considered a little war machine for contest usage. Really great.
Thank a lot Flex!

73' iw7dmh

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5 Watts QRP / Flex 6K3 / Cushcraft R8 / 2x37m Doublet for 80m up 18m / Total Time Off 42:09  (2529 mins) / Total Time On 05:51  (351 mins)

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With just two wire antennas and a 500 watt amplifier, I decided that Assisted High Power was the best way to make a good score. 

The radio is my Flex 6500 which was a joy to use.  The receiver is bulletproof with my antennas.  The amplifier is a KPA500.

For software I used N1MM + and N4PY for radio control and to interface with a TMate 2 knob and button setup to run the Flex without losing focus from N1MM.  Everything worked.  Murphy must have lost my address.

I managed to stay in the chair for 20 hours, good for me.  Here's my claimed totals -

Band     QSOs   Countries
   3.5      92        42
     7     156        56
    14     373       87
    21     284       75
    28     252       68
 Total    1157     328

Score: 1,138,488

That's my best ever in this contest and about 10% better than last year.

S&P Friday night for 3 hours and 10 hours on Saturday.  Sunday mostly ran until the afternoon when I went looking for multipliers.

I do all the paddle work by hand with my Logikey keyer.  When I was running Sunday I wished I'd hooked up the Winkey and set the macros.  Next year for sure.

Bottom line -  The Flex 6000 Series is a contester's radio!

73 de K1ESE

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Duane, AC5AA

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Nice job, John!  When I use my Logikey in a contest, I program the buttons for all the common exchange stuff, and then use the paddle for fills if it's not "common." 
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Bill -VA3WTB

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You know Ken, soon they will make new rules for SDR radios, to keep the field level....
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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All my contacts were S&P except one. I called CQ and was quickly made aware that it is another world being on the receiving end of a contest run. I can do it on phone, but I need a lot of work to be ready for prime time on a CW pileup, even with Skimmer. The spotting function was fabulous. But the decoder often did not track.
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Steve W6SDM

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Just do what I did the first time:  Program a "?" key.  :)
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Nice work John and Ken!
One-Million Plus, Wow!

In So CA, 15 meters was loaded with CW stations.  

Regards All,
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 Band     QSOs     Pts    Cty
   3.5       6            18        5
     7      34           102     29
    14     105         315     48
    21     114         342     31
    28      63          189     20
 Total     322        966    133
Score: 128,478
1 Mult = 2.4 Q's

Almost 15 hrs w/ 80w into a multiband dipole @35 ft. My first cw test w/ the 6300 and it's operation was flawless. I did not utilize skimmer except for my eyes and the panadapter. Nothing wrong w/ skimmer just giving full disclosure. I wish I had a great antenna farm, qro  and true so2r features like the 6700 but they are beyond my means right now. Despite that I had a blast in this contest. Not because of the totals but because of my 6300.