Sunday, December 18, 2016

Winter Contesting Summit

Had a few contesting friends over Saturday afternoon for a winter contesting summit.  The plan was to spend the first part of the day working on our radios, coax and other misc equipment.  Justin re-terminated two ends and before the guys got there, I worked on some new powerpole connectors.  We also put a bunch of good labels on our cables.  We broke for lunch, which was the traditional bacon cheddar burgers, beans and mac-n-cheese.  We ate and then spent the 2nd part of the day going through N1MM, how to set up each contest for consistency and how to become better familiar with the software.




Within N1MM, we spent quite a bit of time on the band map window and how to use it to our advantage while searching and pouncing.  There are many ways to use the band map window, as the instructions are spread out through out the help files.  We didn't come to a conclusion on how we would use it, but we did figure out how to spot stations to come back and work them at a later date, how to populate it with confirmed QSO's and how to erase those after a specific amount of time.

We ended the day by stress testing N1MM.  Each person entered in call signs starting with K0AAA, N0AAA and W0AAA, changing the last number in the alphabet to help track entries.  After everybody got to AAZ and completing a resync of all our stations, we noticed Kevin had 1 more QSO than the rest of the stations.  We saw this behavior in the IL QSO party where N1MM missed some QSO's.  N1MM tech support said it was a network error, but we saw the same thing with very strong wireless network connections.

With the horrible weather we've been having and loosing time to just setting up and general chit-chat, we didn't get a lot done, but was very productive with the time we did had.  We will try and schedule these "contesting summits" at least once a quarter to become more familiar with our rigs, N1MM and how to reduce network errors when working in our portable setup.


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