I learned something new today. I had posted my score via the web form (worked
great, less filling) and noticed I forgot to add my soapbox comments. When I
went back to "repost" my score / soapbox, the robot would only accept the
submission if I made a change to my score(s). It wouldn't let me just append my
soapbox. No problem.
I'm posting my soapbox here so you can read my long-winded comments about the
NAQP on RTTY. If you want the short soapbox version: "I had a great time!".
73 de Bob - K0RC
It was a pleasant surprise to have 10m and 15m open with solid signals for a
change. There was no need to check those bands on the hour, they were wall to
wall with RTTY signals on my bandscope!
I even worked a few DX stations: PY2SRB, 9A7R, YZ1DZ, OK1UDJ, S51MA, OH8JT,
5F50KD. But the most fun was playing with RUFF, the K9SEX station. I got K9SEX
on 3 bands!
I changed my strategy from strictly S&P to sweep a band first, then find a
place to park and start running. This works better in the contests where all
stations are limited to Low Power.
The station worked nearly flawless, with only one software "glitch". Apparently
a bug worked its way into the N1MM Digital Interface when some new commands
were added a couple months ago. It showed up when I used a macro key to call a
station before I had clicked their callsign into the logging window. Clicking
their callsign after starting the macro would abort my transmission. Even
though I discovered what was happening, it was difficult to change my old
operating habits, so I ended up dumping my TX a lot!
I took 2 one-hour breaks and timed them very close to the minute. It was a good
time to check the reflectors and catch up on emails. I took my first hour break
at 23:00z and my second break at 02:00z after my first hour on 40m.
80m was pretty noisy here so I didn't spend a lot of time there. But I didn't
want to pass up some easy Section multipliers either. Ended up with 38 Q's and
23 Sections. I bounced between 40m and 80m the last two hours. My final contact
for the contest was with the King of RTTY, Don Hill - AA5AU. Don's QTH is being
rebuild after the Katrina storm so it was a surprise to hear him in the last
There are more and more YL RTTY operators that are showing up in my logs during
contests. I heard good signals from WN1G - Linda, KU5Z - Mary, NE1F - Mary,
KE7AJ - Barb, and W1DY - Wendy. I grew up using the mechanical machines that
spit oil, make a lot of noise, and left a trace of ozone in the operating room
after a contest. I don't recall working YL's during that era so it's great to
see these women are joining in all the fun! Thanks for the Q's!
Here's how many times I worked our NAQP MWA Teammates:
K0RC - Bob - x
KT0R - Dave - 5
N0AT - Ron - 3
N0KK - Kirk - 1
KE0L - Jim - 3
K0JJR - Joe - 2
K0PC - Pat - 0
KS0T - Mike - 4
WA2MNO - Bob - 1
I heard Pat, K0PC but couldn't get through his pileup! I remember this because
I looked him up on QRZ.COM to see where he was located (Chanhassen, MN). That's
one drawback of my QTH. I am about 40 miles NE of Minneapolis, just far enough
that my signals are pretty weak into other MWA locations on 20-15-10. I have to
time my call just right to sneak a few letters through an opening. If you guys
don't turn your antennas toward my direction, some of these contacts are on the
edge of ESP!
I could tell Dave, KT0R was going to town as he moved me to other bands. I
typed his alternate frequency into the callsign field, hit the enter key,
bam!... we put another Q in our logs. Dave is running SO2R and you can see how
this helps the score, even in a short, 10-hour contest. Great score Dave! There
were times I would be CQing for 5 minutes without an answer and thinking "boy,
if I had a second radio...".
I like the NAQP format of 10/12 hours. It's just enough time to satisfy my need
for contesting. The previous weekend's IARU/WRTC was a lot more demanding and
it took me a couple of days to recover from that 24-hour event. This pretty
much tells me my 48-hour single-op contest marathons are behind me!
That's all I wrote.
73 de Bob - K0RC
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