[RTTY] What does it take to finish in the top 10?

Mark n2qt n2qt at verizon.net
Sun Feb 26 11:25:14 PST 2012

RTTY contests generally allow domestic contacts to count, which means 
'little guy' installations
are not as penalized as much as they might be in CQWW SSB for example.  So 
it's not just NAQP
were small stations are competitive.   (For example look at AA5AU's 
remarkable string of RTTY
Round Up wins)

I find so2r is worth about 30-40% more score, but more importantly makes the 
contest more 'fun'.
There is always something to do with two radios, so I don’t have to either 
cq for limited responses
or s/p for low rates, I can do both!  (Doing just one or the other gives me 
time to start thinking about
how uncomfortable my chair is becoming and how many other things I could be 

Unless you have good separation on your antennas, even at low power you can 
get interference to
the point of damaging equipment.    Before you go making stubs or buying 
filters, pick up a copy
of Managing Interstation Interference (sold by Inrad) and do the evaluations 
he suggests, and
understand his terminology and methods.

Both WriteLog and N1MM have well thought out SO2R implementations, and you 
don't need all the audio
switching that is used for cw/ssb.  RTTY is the easiest way to operate SO2R, 
as reading two data streams
is far easier than decoding two in your head.   Skill, strategy and 
competitive drive still figure prominently
into the mix.  (see again AA5AU's results!)

Unfortunately I haven't entered a NAQP RTTY so can't give you a score 
comparison (I chose to beat myself
up on 160 SSB), but I am competitive in the other RTTY contests, with a 
station remarkably like AA5AU's!

Mark n2qt

-----Original Message----- 
From: Al Kozakiewicz
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2012 12:43 PM
To: RTTY reflector
Subject: [RTTY] What does it take to finish in the top 10?

I'm curious about the operating techniques part of RTTY contesting.

Forget, for a moment, about the DX contests where the station QTH and 
antennas can be a major contributor to score. The just ended NAQP is kind of 
a great leveler - low power, $20,000 antenna systems are not a tremendous 
advantage and there aren't too many rare multipliers.  I looked at Don 
AA5AU's QTH on Google satellite and it doesn't look like a world class 
contest station.  A decent tower on a suburban lot - well within the 
resource limitations of many hams.

I put an honest 9 h0our effort in.  It would have been 10 except that it 
snowed here for the first time this winter and my planned 2 hour break for 
dinner out with my wife turned into 3.  But, in my case, I doubt the extra 
hour would have made a huge difference.  I had a total of 429 QSO's and my 
best one hour rate was 69.

I did learn this time to be more aggressive in switching from run to S&P 
when the running QSO rate slowed down.

But what I really want to know is how many of the contesters who score north 
of 500 QSO's are running SO2R?  When I consolidate my 2 QTH's this year, I 
will build SO2R capability, but I need to know how much is dependent on my 
ability and operating techniques and not station capabilities?

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