Top ten ARRL DX SSB score

  • 7
  • Praise
  • Updated 3 years ago
Placed 7th in the nation in the 2014 ARRL DX SSB contest in the Mulit-op/Single xmtr category. Best score ever nationally. Only the second DX contest entry with the 6500. Validates my opinion that the 6500 is, indeed, contest ready. Should only get better with time and refinement of SSDR.
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Charles - K5UA

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Posted 4 years ago

  • 7
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KM4CQG

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Charles

I am waiting on my 6500 as well thanks for report. Did you use the flex control when contesting or can you do well without it?

Ian
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Charles - K5UA

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Hi Ian,
I use the Flex control for both SSB and CW contesting. It is useful in SSB contesting because stations are not typically on khz or half khz frequencies. The Flex knob is a classic way to tune these stations in, although some Flex users are so accustomed to the mouse wheel that they would prefer that to a knob. In CW, for me, the Flex knob is unequaled for fine tuning. I guess some users would still prefer the mouse wheel for CW tuning.....it all depends upon the ergonomic preference of the user. The 6000 series is F-l-e-x-i-b-l-e.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I agree, the FlexControl Knob offers precision that the mouse and mouse wheel will never have. I use mouse & key on RH and FlexControl Knob on LH. Now I am adding K6TU iPad control program on LH side also. Great combinations.
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Have you tried the CMD micro?

https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...

I especially like the possibility to tune two slices for split operation and to change VFOs quickly.
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Marc-Andre

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I use 3 dell 23 inches monitor but one of them is touch screen dedicated for the flex, it is lightning fast ... when you see signal on the pan adaptor, just double tap the screen and you are on it !!! So when multiple slices are "on" you change band or frrquency very very fast. Most of the time you don't have to retune or only little bit with the flex knob.
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km9r.mike

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For contesting, I think flex control is vital to maintain software focus on the logging program. Well at least until focus assist is up and running again.
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Mike Hoing

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Congrats Charles. I did my personal best this time out as well and finished first in single op low power category for the southeast division using my 6500. I too think it is well suited and with some adjustments and a few more tweaks will be right there with any rig.

Mike
N9DFD
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Charles - K5UA

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Good show Mike. Another positive data point for the 6000 series.
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Douglas Maxwell

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How does the Flex control work with regards to focus? I hate when I can't tune the rig because focus has passed back to my contesting software. If I switch the focus return feature off I hate having to constantly click back in the logging field after tuning. Seems very clunky.
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km9r.mike

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Flex control will tune the rig ( can also swap between two slices via flex control pushbuttons ) and still maintain software focus on logging program w/o focus assist selected. Last time I tried focus assist it was not working. Sounds like it is working again.
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Ernest - W4EG

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Congratulation Charles K5UA.

I am a member of the San Diego DX Club and we have many members that berate the Flex radio owners with the typical remarks that the Flex Radios is not ready for prime time. 

Well, I am one that will be praising how well you did, placing 7th in the ARRL SSB contest.  I know that this will be discussed at the monthly meeting and I'll  be expecting the usual condemnation of the "BETA Radio" on the Yahoo sddxcnews group.

We (SDDXC) operates (all) the ARRL and various other international contest.  Thank you for posting the results. 73's

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Ernest - W4EG

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I just checked my email from the group and found a believer!  AK6ZZ just put his K3 for sale! 
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Charles - K5UA

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Sorry to hear that there are still detractors to the 6000 series. Maybe this contest result will be a positive data point for those contesters who are considering the 6000 series but are negatively impacted by what you described.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Very nice! I haven't gotten to run any contests for a few months, but took about seven two hour shifts on 40 SSB as W1AW/9 in Indiana two weeks ago. This is a nice rig to run splits, and the receiver is awesome.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Although I came first in San Diego Section ARRL SSB contest using Flex, Flex 6000 series still has a long way to go to improve workflow to the point where one can consistently win contests with it.

Until someone WIns a major contest like WRTC no one will believe that Flex is a contest machine
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Top 3 positions on the 2014 WRTC were mostly Icom gear. Notable mention to 3rd position with 2 x IC756Pro3. I think the radio is important from the ergonomic point of view, in that reward Icoms are often very well designed. Interesting how radios with panadapters beat radios without. If you ask in the contest community the weapons of choice were for quite a long time FT1000 and now K3s, and then you go and pin them against each other in an equal antenna, location and propagation contest condition and the winner is Icom. 


Winners K1A N6MJ / KL9A with IC7800 + IC7800  and WINTEST
Runner-Ups W1L OM3BH / OM3GI K3 + IC7600 and WINTEST
Third W1P DJ5MW / DL1IAO IC756-3 + IC756-3 and WINTEST

(I know, resurrecting an old thread, but interesting info nonetheless)
(Edited)
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Ned K1NJ

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     Well, the -operators- were the winners. They were very experienced
with the equipment that they used.
    Hopefully, skills prevailed.  I wonder how many hours were spent with
 those particular radios prior to the contest developing those skills.
 I don't know how many competitors there were, but I'll bet there were
 many radios from each manufacturer trailing the field as well.

Ned,  K1NJ
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Well... not really Ned, an overwhelming majority favored the K3. Look at the numbers:



I do agree that 99% is the skill of the competitors! But with identical conditions as far as antenna, location and propagation it is is quite telling that the top 3 teams had 5 Icom radios and 1 Elecraft.

My point here is that making the Flex a competitive piece of gear for contest will come down to how to make it flexible for contest operation.... and that boils down to being able to customize to your hearts content in order to create a consistent setup.
Many features, such as focus, are great, band stacking, integrated voice keyers, etc... will definitely add value.
Maybe the really interesting advances will be in the area of accessories through the USB ports.... can't wait to hear anything from FRS on that regard.

Otherwise, my personal opinion is that the 6000 series is already the best receiver you can get.
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Ned K1NJ

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   Thanks for the additional info, Salvador.  It's also true that to a large extent,
contesting drives much of today's market.  I don't think that idea has been
lost on FRS.  There is a saying in the auto racing world, "Win on Sunday, sell
on Monday".  The impact on FRS of picking up a significant portion of that
market would be huge.

"73 and good luck in the contest!"

Ned,  K1NJ
(Not a contester)
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km9r.mike

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Perhaps flex could sponsoring a WRTC team. I think they allow a few teams to purchase a spot in the contest correct ?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Way to go, Charles!  
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Charles, congratulations!  Thanks for posting your results to the Community.
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Duane, AC5AA

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Nice work, Charles.  We all know that the radio is important, but even more so is the operator, so congratulations!
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Mark Griffin

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Charles, fine job on the contest score. I am a member of the Frankford Radio Club. There has never been much discussion regarding SDR's for contesting in our club. Most members use Kenwood, Yaesu or Elecraft. I personally have a K3. I am looking to purchase a 6500 in the future and see what she can do contest wise. Would love to talk to you sometime regarding your contest setup. Mark KB3Z
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Charles - K5UA

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Hi Mark,

Drop me an email with a contact number and I'd be happy to discuss the setup with you.  My email is on QRZ.com
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Mark Griffin

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Charles, I will do that this evening. Mark KB3Z
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KM4CQG

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I wonder if it's like Racing where the driver makes the most difference.

Perhaps we need to view Contesting as an entire package rather then a singular device like the Radio.

Just a thought
Ian
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Duane, AC5AA

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While the capability of the radio is important, the operator makes, by far, the crucial difference!
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Practice, Practice, Practice + Skill + Simplified Efficient Workflow = Wins
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k3Tim

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Patron to Chef after eating a great meal:  Chef that was a terrific, you must have a good oven.
Patron to Photographer - You must have a good camera, that is a great picture.

It would be an interesting contest that was setup so the operator skills made the biggest difference.

Expanding on Ian's comments about racing,  As we know their are classes of cars that are tightly controlled and matched, hence the driver skill is hte key element.

Contests should have referrers listening in and disqualify those who cheat, bad operating manners or poor signal quality.

Congrats to folks posting their Contest achievements, I applaud you.


k3Tim
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Dale KB5VE

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Great job Charles. No matter what radio it needs a great operator.