Hi gang: Here's more details on our multi-multi operation at N6RO, now
that the dust has settled, and I'm somewhat caught up on sleep!
Results Summary, after dupecheck: (Gross QSOs before dupes: 4664)
Band CW Phone Total Operators
10 33 63 96 WA6O, KJ6EN, N6RO, W6ZZZ
15 310 788 1098 N6BV + relief
20 531 1046 1577 K6AW +
40 488 649 1137 N6RO, WA6O, K4VU, N6KLS, W6ZZZ
80 252 267 519 WX5S, WA6O, N6BV
160 98 70 168 WA6O, WX5S
Total 1712 2883 4595 Score = 632,316
An 'approximate' rate sheet will soon be on the CQP website, or I can
attach the .txt file to an email reply request from you. This will show
you when the 10m opening occurred, and the unusually good 40m condx on
Sunday morning, peak activity per band, etc. Despite computer and
software problems, our team effort produced nearly a thousand more QSOs
this year over 2005. Here's some of the high and low lites:
Part of the fun of this operation is competing with previous years'
performances. Nearly every year, we've managed to surpass some band/mode
record for N6O since 1997. This year, K6AW achieved the highest ever total
and CW QSOs on 20m, despite the band closing earlier than at the sunspot
peaks. Steve "sat in the chair" in iron man fashion for the entire daytime
openings with only a few 'necessary' relief breaks.
The 40m team made contacts during each of the 30 hours, and set new total
and SSB QSO records for 40m. Vicki, N6KLS, drew a big crowd on the mid-day
SSB shift on Saturday. On Sunday daytime, new team member W6ZZZ dredged
40m SSB to help secure the record score there. Our other new team member,
K4VU put his experience to work on both CW and SSB Saturday night,
achieving the highest rates of the whole contest. Welcome to the team,
Mark and Robin!
Another iron man effort was N6BV's 15m marathon. Although he did not
beat his previous band records (1620 Qs in 2003), Dean netted 600 more Qs
than last year. He also did a couple of shifts on 80m. WA6O and WX5S did
most of the 80 and 160m work all night Saturday, and the band totals were
only slightly below our record numbers in 2005 on these bands. 160m
activity seemed to be down, although the band was relatively quiet.
10m showed a glimmer of hope on Saturday. I happened to be in that chair
at 1930Z when the band started to open. By 1945, signals from FL to MD
were well over S9. I had 10 minute rates of 180/hour on CW and 240/hour on
SSB. But it didn't last long! By 2030, the opening was gone and we were
back to scrounging around for W6s and PYs. Thanks to KJ6EN, W6ZZZ, WA6O
for slugging through the boring hours on 10m.
A fine tradition at our Multi-Multi events at Radio Oakley is the Saturday
afternoon BBQ by chef Matt, WX5S. The chicken, with Matt's special spices,
and Portabella mushrooms were the usual excellent reward for a hard day's
work at the radios.
Now, the rest... of the story. Although we thought we were prepared, the
computer network and logging software hampered our efforts. Steve
installed a new version of NA on Friday night, and the five computer
network seemed solid, but we could not give it a thorough practice. (NA is
the only DOS program that will send NR by band in a MM setup.) Within a
few minutes after the start of CQP, one computer locked up, and refused to
function again. We later sensed that familiar smell of hardware failure. A
spare computer would not power up. After a couple hours of valiant
attempts by Mike to a computer at station #5 to work, we moved antennas
around and became a four TX setup, which is enough for this time in the
sunspot cycle. The whole team, particularly the night shift (actually
early morning - WA6O, WX5S, N6RO) missed the network functions of knowing
what frequencies/modes to pass QSOs to the other band, and the messaging
capability to keep everyone awake and motivated. So we did it the
old-fashioned way, shouting info to the other stations.
Special thanks to WX5S for his continuing software work on the CQP
committee, and assembling the logs from the computers at N6O. To get
usable logs, he had to repair several corrupted lines in several of the
logs. Then when he got home Sunday night, Matt compiled the files into one
log using his own special program.
You may ask why not transition to a modern Windows program? Everything we
do has to be done six or seven times over: new computers, network
connections, etc. So we stay with the old DOS programs as long as
possible. Matt has developed custom programs to merge the band logs and
create a suitable log for entry, as neither NA nor CT can yet create a
Cabrillo log. Further, we feel the current versions of the Windows
programs cannot handle every detail of a six or seven transmitter computer
network in the contests we choose to operate. We'll need that when the
spots return, and hope that N1MM, WL, etc. are improved by then.
Despite the problems, we all had a good time and many laughs, even after
the frequent lock-ups! We're already looking forward to the forecast
improvement in high band condx for 2007 CQP.
Thanks for all the Qs!!, N6RO hmfic
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