[RTTY] Roundup observations - a bit long!

Phil Cooper pcooper at guernsey.net
Mon Jan 6 15:19:32 EST 2014

Hi all,

Well, this wasn't my best weekend of contesting, that's for sure.
To start with, my 7800 is still away being repaired (sent 18th Nov!). Seems
it will be repaired this week - I can only hope, but when will I get it back
- who knows!

Although I used to love my IC756Pro, it has nothing on the 7800. The Rx side
is way better on the bigger rig, as are the ergonomics, especially when

A week of exceptionally high winds, thunderstorms, not to mention gallons of
rain, meant that I wasn't in the best of spirits prior to the contest.
Last Friday afternoon I was in the shack, and bagged V5/DL9NDS on 10m RTTY.
Not new, but nice to work. Shortly after that, we had a bit of a
thunderstorm. Not right overhead, but obviously close enough, as one flash
caused my MFJ ATU to crackle and fizz.
Thankfully it wasn't damaged, but it was mighty scary at the time.
The winds had loosened my dipole and Inverted L, so I needed to sort them
out, but although it didn't rain too much on Saturday, it was windy, and I
had to forego any chance of sorting out the wires.

Coming up to 1800UTC on Saturday, I was instructed that we were going out
for a meal. OK, I'll play when we get back. Ah, but by then the rain was
bucketing down, and all I could hear was frequent static crashes and noise.

So, Sunday morning is upon me, and I QSY to the shack. Only ONE station
audible on 80m, and that is W3LL, who actually heard me! On to 40m, and work
a few W's, including W7ZR in AZ.
Then on to 20m. Worked a few JA's, plus a lot of EU stations, so I decided
it was time to call CQ.
Only a few minutes in, and I pick up some deliberate QRM.
Someone was sending a single tone on my Mark, and then Space frequencies,
and sometimes right in the middle, just as I was receiving an exchange. I
stopped for a while, thinking it may go away, and it did, until I started to
CQ again.
Thankfully I managed to keep going, but I then got one of the big UT
stations, who worked me, then parked so close to me that I had to give up
and QSY.
15m was OK for a while too, but I then had the QRM back again. This time,
the keying was sweeping back and forth between the Mark & Space, then
sending fast dits.
I moved again, a little higher, but then had to suffer an RW6 station who
called me, so I sent a report. He called again, report sent again. And so it
went on. QSY once more. The Same RW6 finds me, and starts again, but he is
slow to respond, so I am sending someone else the exchange when he calls.
Finally, he gives up, but another UT calls me, works me, but HE calls CQ.

Fed up by this time, so the rest of the contest is S&P, and I decide to hell
with it, and used the cluster to maximise my mults.

Had to cook Sunday tea, so I did that, and then came back to find a few
final mults and gave up around 1930UTC.

There were very few UA's around, and I only saw - and worked ONE solitary
UA9. Not sure why.
A few stations had really huge signals, but weren't hearing many of the
callers. On 15m, XE2K was needle-busting here, but he just kept CQ'ing.
Conversely, several W6/7's weren't anywhere near as loud, but got me first
time, and without the need for repeats. A couple were strong on 20m, but
couldn't hear me, yet on 15m, were weaker, but did.

Enough moaning, but 10 days of rain/gales/thunder takes the shine off life!
I'm just pleased I don't have to suffer the temps currently being NOT
enjoyed on that side of the pond!

Thanks to all for the points, and overall, I did have some fun!

73 de Phil GU0SUP

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