Sunday, January 29, 2017

NA QSO SSB Jan 2017

I worked the Jan 2017 NAQP contest again with Justin (KE0HXL) running mult-two.  We had come in 11th in Aug, so we tried for the top 10 this run.  Last year Aug we had right at 400 QSO's for 9 hours of operating.  This year we bettered our QSO's by 86 and our score by around 20K.

Since we pulled up some rope during the Aug QSO party, Justin left it in his trees, so stringing the 80m - 6m Windom was easy.  We also put up a my NVIS 40m - 80m dipole for close communications.  Justin ran a 20 and 40m fan dipole.

I started out on 15m running while trying to search and pounce on another VFO slice.  After around an hour 15m started to dry up and I came down to 40m.  For some reason I do really well on 40m, unlike 20m which I have a hard time making contacts.

I did pop up to 20m a few times to run, but I let Justin have 20m.  Once night fell, I switched to 80 and ran there for a bit.

Looking on 3830 scores, looks like not only did we better our score by 20K, we dropped in rank to around 14th or 15th in the multi-two category.

One thing we did try was streaming the whole contest on YouTube.  You can see the links below of the video and my audio.  Justin's audio was not included in the stream because I could not find a mixer.

I also purchased a copy of SH5 which does some contest analysis of the log file.

Contest results

YouTube Video

Part 2

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Live YouTube Streaming the NAQP 2017

Next week (Jan 21st) is the NCJ NA QSO Party.  It's a really fun contest with little pressure as it's a great first contest for someone trying to get into contesting.  The contest starts at 1800 UTC and runs for 12 hours, so it's not taking your whole weekend away from you.  The goal is to make as many contacts on 160 through 6 meters, minus 20, 17 and 12 meters with contacts only in North America.  The rules can be found here :

I'll be operating over at Justin's house (KE0HXL) as his house has a quiet signal with a low noise floor with lots of tress for dipoles.  We operate as multi-two, meaning we can have two transmitted signals on the air at the same time, as long as we are transmitting on two different bands.

This year we'll be trying something new.  Along with my basic YouTube video I'll be putting out at a later date, we are going to try and stream the whole contest via YouTube.  Not sure of the particulars quite yet but it should be fun to try and experiment with this technology.  

Be sure to follow my YouTube channel (search for N0KTK or click on the YouTube tab above) for information around the stream location starting around 11:45am central time.  We will go on the air around 15 to 30 mins before the contest starts.

Hope to see you in the stream and work you on the air!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Tracking Contest Stats

Along with piping all my contest results into SH5, which gives great stats from a Cabrillo file, I've decided to keep track of all my contest results to help me understand where I can improve and beat my last performance.

I created a Google Sheet to keep track of the stats.  Here are the columns in my spreadsheet, as I will enter in info as I submit log files and find out the results of the contest.

The columns are :

Contest Name
Claimed Score
Actual Score
% Errors (calculated)
Actual Contacts (if known)
Actual Multi (if known)
Group/Single Op

Just another little way of keeping track of your contest performance through out the years.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 New Years Resolutions

As I reflect back on my amateur radio hobby in 2016, I didn't do nearly as much as I would of liked to during the year, but did I did accomplish quite a bit.  But more than I did in 2015.  I hope to do more in 2017 to help build on what I learned during 2016.

When I wasn't working portable, NPOTA or contesting in 2016, I was building antennas, testing equipment, repairing and making my portable setup more streamlined.

Here are some of the items I'd like to accomplish in 2017.

1) Work more state/NA contests.  NAQP SSB Jan, Winter Field Day, NAQP RTTY Feb, MOQSO Apr, NE/DE/IN/7QP May, Field Day June, NAQP RTTY July, NAQP SSB Aug, ILQSO Oct, AR QSO Nov are on the list to work.

2) Participate in the WFF (Parks on the Air) program.  Activate as many parks around STL and chase as time permits.

3) Attend W9DXCC in Sept in Chicago.

4) Continue to streamline my portable setup for easy and quick deployment.

5) Blog as least twice a month.

6) Continue to participate in my local ham radio and ARES club.

7) Work on my SO2R contesting configuration with N1MM.

8) More YouTube videos on my channel!  The goal is to post 20+ videos in 2017.