[CQ-Contest] CT Version 9.57.003 has Cabrillo output for CQ160 Contest

Fritz Reuning K4OAQ k4oaq at mindspring.com
Thu Feb 1 18:47:13 EST 2001

The following was lifted from the "CT-User" reflector.

[ct-user] CT9.57.003

      To: "CT-User" <ct-user at contesting.com>
      Subject: [ct-user] CT9.57.003
      From: "Ken Wolff" <kwolff at ultranet.com>
      Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 19:47:49 -0500
      Importance: Normal
      Reply-To: "Ken Wolff" <kwolff at ultranet.com>

I have uploaded CT9.57.003 to the vault:

* fixes a bug where the .BIN file can be overwritten in the VHF contest.
   The way to cause it was to start CT with the full file name, IE
VHFTEST.BIN, not just
   VHFTEST. The run writelog. A bug in the file generation name caused one of
the ouputs to go to
   VHFTEST.BIN. (tnx K1EP)
* The VHF output file for 1296 and up now have real outputs. They were going
in the bit bucket
* fixes ALTW and ALT F8. They now wipe the entire QSO
* Adds Cabrillo output to CQ160 contest. Use the SETSTATE text command to
set your
   state or country for Cabrillo output
* changed ARRL operator category from SINGLE UNLIMITED to SINGLE ASSISTED

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>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com  Fri Feb  2 05:02:13 2001
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 21:02:13 -0800
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Today's Radios
Message-ID: <098901c08cd5$4ef3d820$ede3c23f at kr6x.org>

Bill's (W4AN) praise of the R4C/T4XC combination as a fine contest station
certainly meets with my approval.

I used an R4A/T4X combo during my one-and-only SS CW victory over three
decades ago (from W6HX), and that was at a time that the R4A/T4X was already
considered a somewhat antiquated design, having already been in production
for nearly a decade.  Most young contesters would never consider the old
tunable 50 kHz L-C IF filters to be an advantage in contests, and, indeed
the older design truly is probably no longer optimum due to changes in
activity -- the tendancy for contesters to crowd in closer has increased as
filters have improved over the years.

However, a number of very experienced contesters, such as K3ZO, would agree
that the wide skirts of the L-C IF filters, combined with the wide 1.1 KHz
filter option, allow you to copy responses to your CQ's that would go
unnoticed with a highly selective receiver.  In 1970 this appeared to me to
be the ideal contest radio, although the crowding on the bands these days
might make it difficult for operators who are not accustomed to listening to
contests with wider filters.

The R4C/T4XC combo is the "highly selective filter" version of the rig that
I favored.  I've always loved these radios.  I must point out, however, that
there are some serious weaknesses of the R4C/T4XC combo when compared to the
top-of-the-line radios of today:

  1) For those among us who are not equipped with two stations (SO2R), the
transmitter retuning requirement is a severe drawback that is very costly in
terms of lost seconds during a multi-band contest.  If you are contesting
with the R4C/T4XC because you like their features, consider investing in a
second pair and going SO2R.

  2) The inability of the older radios to communicate band changes to the
computer and the contest logging software or to otherwise be controlled by
the logging software presents difficulties to operators who have become
accustomed to operating with these features available.  Band maps are quite
useful, even to operators who are not using packet network spotting.

  3) The wide first IF filter and the second mixer that follows present a
serious weakness in the face of typical contest activity.  In a typical
modern CW SS contest some bands will suffer from IF desensitization across
much of the useful frequency range during peak signal periods unless
external front-end attenuators are used and the IF amplifiers are somewhat
modified to improve signal handling.  Phone contests are typically worse
than CW.  If you want to contest with the R4C/T4XC, consider upgrading the
filters -- go narrower on the first IF for CW operation, and be certain to
become familiar with the mods to correct IF/2nd mixer desensitization.

  4) Front-end attenuators are not built in.  The front end of the R4C is not
adequately sensitive for use from low noise receiving sites on the higher
bands. (10 and 15 meters)  This may not be obvious to the typical suburban
operator, but even the up-to-date FT1000 and TS950 contest class radios with
modern front end transistors cannot hear the noise level on the bands from
highly desirable receiving locations.

  5) Although the T4XC produces low phase noise outputs on transmit, the CW
keying typically has somewhat objectionable characteristics.  I forget
whether it its the leading edge or the trailing edge, but one of the two
edges of the T4XC radios is typically more harsh than desirable in terms of
clicks.  This compares with, as an example, the TS950, which is equipped
with menu selectable keying characteristics allowing some degree of control
to the operator.  This can be of some interest to contest radio clubs with
members who reside near each other.  Also, the T4XC phone transmit signal
quality is notoriously vulnerable to operator misadjustment by comparison to
modern radios.

During the 60's and 70's, when the R4C/T4XC radios were available, many
highly experienced operators still preferred the crystal phasing filters of
the Collins 75A3 receiver for low band DXing.  I believe that tuning the
shape of the phasing filter made it possible to pull signals out of the
atmospheric noise that cannot be copied otherwise.  Crystal lattice filters
simply do not have this characteristic.  Of course, K3ZO would disagree with
me on this point, and on the usefulness of item 2 above... The selection of
a great contest radio is a highly personal choice!  And, despite the list of
complaints I've generated above, I agree with Bill that the R4C/T4XC is a
classic radio that ranks with the Collins 75A3/32V3 combination (or 75A4),
the National HRO-60/Johnson Valiant II, the Collins S-line, the TS950SDX,
and the FT1000DX as the finest contest radios built... in their day.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Fisher - W4AN" <w4an at contesting.com>
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2001 10:23 AM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Today's Radios

 > Just done with the 160 contest this past weekend at W8JI.  Tom has
 > gradually upgraded his station to the finest receivers and the
 > cleanest transmitters we can find.  We had 4 Drake R4C's and 2 T4XC's.  On
 > the low bands, I will argue that this is still the finest radio you can
 > buy.
 > I've also been trying to find a mint TS-830 for my collection of old
 > radios.  In the process, I've managed to stock pile 3 of them which didn't
 > quite fit my requirements for cosmetics.  However, I've been using these
 > radios from home and find them to be as good or superior to my FT1000MP.
 > I've decided that for this year's WPX contest I'm going to shelf the
 > FT1000MP's and use two of these 830's.  I want to confirm my theory that
 > these receivers are as good as anything made today.
 > Oh, one more comment... I think the little Elecraft K2 is supposed to be
 > as fine as any of the expensive radios for receiver performance.  This is
 > at least what I have been hearing through the grape vine.
 > At the very least, if you are trying to contest on a tight budget, you
 > definately have options.  I bought these 830's for around $400.00.
 > 73
 > Bill Fisher, W4AN
 > --
 > CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
 > Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

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