Contest report using Flex 6300
Finally got round to writing up my cqww cw effort after heavy work days.
I had planned a semi serious effort in cqww cw this year in order to try my new Flex 6300 out in the biggest cw contest, having been impressed with its performance on 40m ssb in cqww ssb. However, a heavy week in work and a bad cold were leaning towards my fallback position of a single band entry on 10m low power. I took Friday off work and got the antenna work done - put up my 10m moxon plus reconfigure my dipoles for the cw end of the bands. The weather was kind for a change and I was back to final testing of the Flex 6300 integration with n1mmplus software and a manual atu. I managed to doze for three hours prior to the contest start and ran successfully on 40m for the first hour and a half before going mult hunting through the RBN fed bandmap. I then dropped down onto 80m and a mixed sweep plus 30min run before dropping down to 160m for a good mix of sweeping and running (mainly europe but some stronger W stations. After sunrise I hit 80m again for a short run of W stations and then back to 40m for a short session before a breakfast break. I then hit 20m for an hour before going up to 15m/10m,
The Flex performance on the low bands in pulling out the weak ones sat next to strong signals was amazing with filtering down to 50hz or less, and using the TNF notch filters either side of the desired signal.I took 5.30hrs sleep on Sunday after midnight in order to rest my cold infested head and felt better at 0530 when I hit 40m, and 160m before settling into a nice run on 80m.The rest of the day was a similar pattern to Saturday band hopping and a mix of s and p and running.
Despite running just 85w barefoot I managed to hold my run frequency for 95% of the time and only gave up when the run rate was being effected heavily. Tiredness started to creep in again by late evening when a massive pile up on 80m became difficult to handle due to stations not heeding my request for dx or the station I had gone back to. I need to learn how to handle these big cluster pile ups better! Lack of cw activity on hf due to limited hobby time available plus still being on the initial learning curve with the Flex 6300 didnt help. I finished on 40m and 160m picking off last few mults.
Over all I enjoyed my first multi band cqww cw single op entry in over 5 years, and the Flex is proving to be better than my previous ft1000d, ts590s and current pro3 radios for cw and ssb under difficult qrm conditions in a major contest. I am happy with my score totals which exceeded my modest targets for countries and zones. I should have run more perhaps as I had set a target of 2000 qsos which I failed to reach. However, in the context of currently living in the very bottom of a river valley in west Wales, with no towers and only simple wire dipoles and verticals in trees plus a 10m moxon at 10ft agl and only 85w going out into long coax runs I am happy with that and had fun. I know the big hill behind my house to the NW restricts my hf performance to usa//ve but the Caribbean mults all came in well on all bands apart from 160m. Conditions seemed down on the two lowest bands and I heard some aurora type rasp on some stations on 40m on Sunday evening. N1mmplus software played very well with the Flex 6300 and no knob, with macros to drive the Flex cwx keyer which eliminated my microham middleware and keyer. Time and work committments will tell whether it will be multiband or single band next year. Score summary below, which may or may not be a new GW lp assisted soab record (previous record was 300k odd points).
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty
1.8 240 272 9 49
3.5 328 545 13 67
7 309 552 18 68
14 335 562 20 66
21 161 272 21 64
28 216 406 23 76
Total 1589 2609 104 390
1 Mult = 3.2 Q's
160m - dipole in tree at 15m
80m - dipole at 10m
40m - wire 1/4 vertical hung in tree with two elevated radials
20m - dipole hung off the 160m antenna feedpoint
15m - 40m vertical used as 5/8 wave
10m - 10m alu moxon on 10ft agl rotating pole
Radio: Flex 6300 plus bencher paddle
Software: N1MMplus with api macros to key the cwx in the flex 6300
Steve gw0gei io72wc Lampeter, West Wales