ARRL 160 K4XD M/S HP
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Sun Dec 8 14:39:04 EST 2013
ARRL 160-Meter Contest
Class: M/S HP
Operating Time (hrs): 3
Total: QSOs = 342 Sections = 60 Countries = 8 Total Score = 41,940
Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club
N1MM says I operated 2 hours and 37 minutes - pretty sure I did more than that,
closer to 4 hours. Mostly S&P and the rate was between 70 and 110 when I
was active, lots of stations on. Company holiday party was Friday night so
missed that leg of the race.
I've used WriteLog for 98% of my contesting but in preparation for operating
K4V (not a typo, K4VV has a 1x1 call, K4V, especially for the 10M contest)
next week remotely, I installed the latest N1MM and used it for the 160. I
have to say I am very impressed. Compared to my experience with N1MM six years
ago, it installed and configured easily and operated smoothly. No crashes, and
I found the support for S&P assisted mode to be very slick. I started with
just clicking entries out of the mults/spots box, then found the ctrl-up/dn
arrow key approach, and toward the end of the contest started using the \ key
to do some S&P on VFO B while CQ'ing with VFO A. I am really tempted to
switch from WriteLog over to N1MM based on this experience. I'll have to see
how it goes with SSB and RTTY as well.
This contest was also my first real workout of the new K4XD QTH's 160M
capabilities. The SAL-20 (Array Solutions Shared Apex Loop receiving antenna)
worked well, and I didn't feel that hearing was an issue. I often found that
using the bi-directional mode was the best normal state for both S&P and
running, as it provides a stronger signal. I did switch to uni-directional
mode when S&P'ing some of the weaker ones. The NE BOG continued to be the
quietest antenna and especially for EU stations, it was usually the best
In general I felt that my receiving is now ahead of my transmitting ability. I
was able to hear quite a few EU's who couldn't hear my 800W signal on the
inverted L. I have about 30 radials down so far, and will keep at it until I
get at least twice that many. I suppose a full 1.5KW would also help, but
probably introduce some other issues like truly testing the limits of my
I was able to work 99% of what I heard that was in the US and in the Eastern
half of the country. MN stations seemed to have trouble hearing me. Worked a
couple of AZ's, one EWA and one MT, but not a single 6-land station heard me,
even though I heard a couple of them. Also had a good try with an ID station
but ended up NIL.
Only one EU worked, a UA. Heard several others including 9A and F but couldn't
get a response. Was able to work Caribbeans OK.
A 160M four square (switchable for 80, of course) would be nice but...
This is a fun contest, lots of good ops, a bit of a challenge for the station
but still plenty of activity throughout the sunspot cycle. Hoping for killer
ARRL 10M next weekend...
Thanks for the Q's and CU in the next one.
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