ARRL DX CW Contest 2016

  • 1
  • Praise
  • Updated 4 years ago
This year I did the ARRL DX CW contest with my Flex 6500.  The radio performed well.  What issues there were were not the radio's doing.

I used my KPA-500 for an amplifier and have two wire doublets at 80' high.  The tuner was a Palstar.

This was my best contest result to date.  The Flex heard well and the selectivity was excellent.  I felt good knowing my signal was clean, especially compared to many of the wide, clicky signals on the band.  Being able to see the signals on the panadapter was a big help when doing S&P and invaluable when trying to find a clear frequency to run.

The FlexControl knob did lag a bit when tuning fast, but was great normally.

One issue was that when working a pileup on 40m all the signals calling me sounded the same and it was hard to pick one from the bunch.  Only after the contest did I realize that I could have easily cured that by turning off the AGC.  Made a note for next time.

The other issue was when I started the computer Sunday morning the mouse cursor went to the top right corner of the monitor and wouldn't leave.  I tried everything I could and finally, when I disabled the Microsoft mouse driver, all was fine.  However, I lost an hour in the effort.  That is one drawback of using the Flex with the computer.  If the computer is out of business, so is the Flex.  The cure is to buy a Maestro.  I'm considering that much more now.

Here's my results -

Call: K1ESEOperator(s): K1ESE 
Station: K1ESE

Class: SO Unlimited HP
QTH: ME
Operating Time (hrs): 29.5 
Location: USA

Summary:   Compare Scores
Band QSOs Mults
160:    14     12
80:    116     48
40:    428     89
20:    552     94
15:    505     94
10:     61      37
Total:
      1676    374

Total Score 1,880,472

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club


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K1ESE

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Posted 4 years ago

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Barry N1EU

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Congrats on a fine effort with limited antennas John!  

(fwiw, my 6500 sat idle in favor of my K3s/P3 - I just haven't warmed yet to the 6500 as a cw contesting platform)

73, Barry N1EU
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Charles - K5UA

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Time to try the best CW transceiver (except for APF of course) on the planet in the next CW contest, Barry.  You and I own both radios, so it is an embarrassment of riches for us.  Flex 6500 + N1MM + CW Skimmer = hand-over-fist contacts for as long as the band holds out.
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Barry N1EU

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Thanks Charles, I appreciate the spirit, but the 6500 cw rx latency (165msec), lack of PTT MOX Winkeyer support alongside paddle breakin, lack of SO2V, and overly steep filtering (can't hear off-freq callers) have me convinced otherwise.
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Duane, AC5AA

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Hi Barry - I have no more complaints about latency on either CW or RTTY. Just ran 2 contests with zero problem related to that. In contest, I was running around 30 WPM +/-, sometimes 35-40 from the other guy, and still no problem. Turnarounds were clean and neat. I didn't do any "running", so can't speak to filters other than just suggest running as wide a filter as you can that keeps nearby runners at bay! For S&P I ran 400 Hz filters perfectly, and usually an XIT offset to keep me a little outside of the others where were dead ZB with the running station. (CW, of course). I enjoyed a contest as much as I could with the rig. Still need to either get WL to work as I'd like for CW, or, as Charles suggested, move to N1MM+.
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Duane, AC5AA

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Good job! My 6500 performed very well during the contest, except I'm hoping Wayne will code up a Flex CW interface for WriteLog (not requiring me to add a serial or parallel port to my PC.) Your one comment about the PC problem holding you up in the contest, what would you have done with another rig - logged by hand? PC's are central to contesting these days, so if they're down for the rig, they're down for the logging software too! That is both good and bad....
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K1ESE

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Good point, Duane.  You convinced me not to get the Maestro.  Won't help.

73,
John
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Charles - K5UA

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Hi Duane,

Used Writelog for years and years, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread until I used n1mm+.  Little bit of a learning curve,  but use it in a contest and you will never look back.  If you know anyone using n1mm+ they can help you get it installed and running.  
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Bob K4RLC

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While not a serious contester, I enjoyed using the 6500 in the cw contest. I liked both "seeing" the other stations, especially big guys. The receiver continues to amaze me as the most quiet and sensitive rcvr I've had.
Bob K4RLC
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Charles - K5UA

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Very, very good score John, especially on 40M.  Maine QTH is good for about +10dB TX and RX from here in the deep south.  Nevertheless, nice single op score with wire antennas.

Charles  K5UA
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K1ESE

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Charles -

It doesn't hurt that Maine is semi-rare, either.

73,
John K1ESE