[TenTec] New Computer --> CONTESTING

rick@dj0ip.de Rick at DJ0IP.de
Sun Oct 29 15:32:26 EDT 2017

Well a typo crept in.
I first logged CQWW in 1977 but only parallel to paper logging.
In 1978 the boys trusted my program and we logged on computer!

-----Original Message-----
From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
rick at dj0ip.de
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 8:25 PM
To: 'Discussion of Ten-Tec Equipment'
Subject: Re: [TenTec] New Computer --> CONTESTING

Hi Jim,

Always interesting reading about the path others took.

Like you, I began my radio career in Chicago in 1958.
However at the time, my only radio was a home-brew crystal radio and I
mainly listened to WLS.

My father was a Captain in the army at the time and in 59 we moved to

I soon built a Heath AR3 receiver and a homebrew 6L6 single-tube
transmitter.  The Germans would not allow us to get on the air until we were
18 so I used a home brew call sign (DL4EU). I worked only CW.  The real
DL4EU only worked AM so we never had a problem.

We returned to the states in 1962, got my novice (WN5ETA), came in 2nd in
Oklahoma in the novice roundup.  Then I came in 2nd in Sweepstakes in OK,
two years in a row.  I was running wires and a DX-40, the winner had Collins
S-Line, tower and beam. 

For the next 8 years I was mostly active in the National Traffic System, net
control, regional rep, etc. 

Moved to Germany (as a soldier myself) in 1972, and in 1973 I organized an
MS effort in CQWW SSB, taking 1st place in DL, beating out the Technical
University of Berlin (DK0TU) who had always won in the past.  They invited
me to participate with them in CW and we won again.  I could not have
fielded a team of CW operators so I was lucky to join that team.

I remained on the DK0TU team for 8 years and we always won.  ALWAYS.  Every
contest we entered.  We had over 80 members in the University club, but only
14 of us were allowed  to operate in the CW contest.  Sounds today like a
lot of operators for a MS station, but back then we operated with 4
operators at a time.  We had a drake T4X in the middle with an operator
manning it and logging.  Left and right we had R4C's with one man manning
each.  Each had a foot switch which enabled him to take over the
transmitter.  On another side table we had a 4th man searching for
multipliers on other bands.  Later we set up a remote listening site
operating out of my VW camping bus.  They were located way up north in West
Berlin, outside of the noise blanket of the city.  They had a 2m link into
us.  So then we were up to 5 operators at one time.   Ancient History now,
but winning combination back then.

In 83 I moved to Munich, was only mobile for 3 years until I finally got a
QTH where I could put up antennas.  I then joined the freshly founded
Bavarian Contest Club and coached them into team contesting.  I also taught
them the benefits of a separate RX site and  3 years later we broke the long
standing EU records for CQWW SSB and CW - using a separate RX site.  
This 2nd RX site was not my idea. That was standard operating procedure in
the US Army Signal Corps where I served 3 years.

10 years later we shattered the all time world record for SSB and CW (CN8W).
In getting to that point, I co-founded Germany's first Packet Radio Cluster.

Over the years I collected over 20 1st place certificates in CQWW but mostly
as one of the Ops in a MS or MM station.

I still am listed on CQWW DX All Time High Score web site about 5 times, but
only once as Single OP.  The others are MS or MM op. 

When I came to DL in 1972, I joined one of the Berlin Clubs and together
with DL7AV, we (2 operators) took 2nd place in DL field day contest (CW
only).  Then the contest bug really bit me.

The last two times I ever operated FD contest in DL was 2004 and 2005 where
my 3-man team took 1st place overall.  It's also the last time I ever won a

TODAY: I generally fall asleep at the desk and wake up "whenever". GAME
OVER.  :-(

COMPUTER LOGGING:  I guess I am a  pioneer in computer logging.  I brought a
computer to DK0TU in 1978 and we logged on the computer...parallel to
logging on paper.  Nobody trusted my computer - that's why they also logged
on paper.  In 1978 we logged on my computer.  NOTICE: NINETEEN
"SEVENTY"-EIGHT, logging CQWW on a computer!  I had one of our software
gurus at my QRL (Rhode und Schwarz) write the program for me; cost me only
two bottles of schnapps. It logged, checked duplicates, and calculated the
score at the end of the contest.  It did not calculate score in real-time.
So far I have yet to meet anyone who began computer logging in major
contests earlier than that.

I still enjoy contesting . . . if only I could stay awake.

I am now at the other end of the scale:  contesting QRP.
I am using my own brand of radio, the "Aerial-51, Model SKY-SDR".
It's an all band 5w all mode transceiver with one @ss-kicking receiver!

BTW, I dropped out of team contesting long ago when all of the stations here
began running illegal power.  Our license only permits 750w.  I only work
under the terms of my license.

 > I ran Collins in my MARS station in the Army.
 > We ran Drake Line at DK0TU
 > Non-Contesting I had Argonauts from 1975 until TODAY.
 > In 1979 I got my first OMNI and ran Ten-Tec until 1983.
 > Ran a SWAN 110x mobile for 3 years
 > Icom from 1986 to 89.
 > Ten-Tec Omni V in 1989, followed by Omni VI, Omni VI+, Orion, and now

So you see Jim, I have been contest focused for 55 years now...if only I
could stay awake.

Always a pleasure, even though we sometimes don't agree.

Rick, DJ0IP

-----Original Message-----
From: TenTec [mailto:tentec-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Jim Brown
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2017 6:37 PM
To: tentec at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TenTec] New Computer

On 10/29/2017 1:48 AM, rick at dj0ip.de wrote:
> For the non-contesters, CT is the old DOS-based contest logging software.
> I stuck with CT until WIN-TEST announced.
I started contesting in 1956 or 57, all CW. It was paper logs and paper dupe
sheets. As I went through life, I was on and off the air for decades at a
time, and the next time I contested was in the '70s. Still paper logs and
paper dupe sheets, but I had a programmable AEA keyer that could do serial
numbers! From a very modest station on a postage stamp sized Chicago city
lot, I placed 1st or 2nd in a LP CW SS. All the great ops must have been
running HP. :)

Fast forward to 2003, and I was doing research into RFI to audio gear. A
friend arranged for me to set up the gear next to his club's Field Day
antennas. After I'd finished those tests, I saw an empty chair at one of the
CW stations and asked if I could sit down. I got up 5 hours later. 
They were using WriteLog, and I had a terrible time with it. Did OK with the
CW though -- thanks to my early proficiency, it always came back for me.  I
got back on the air at home, first with an antenna that ran through my attic
and partially outdoors, and eventually the antenna farm that's on at least
one set of Power Point slides. I bought WriteLog, got back into contesting,
and got pretty good with the software.

When I move to W6, I immediately joined NCCC, a great contesting club
centered between San Francisco and Reno, and was invited to join the
multi-op team at N6RO's super station. Depending on the contest, they used
CT or another popular DOS logger, both of which I found varying degrees of
inscrutable. Around 2007, my second FD in W6 was with a group whose leader
advised a few months before that we were going to use N1MM for logging, so I
downloaded it, installed it, and started using it in some contests. Within a
year, I had dumped WriteLog and have used N1MM ever since.

> We actually did the premiere announcement of WIN-TEST on our "Appello" 
> booth (the TEN-TEC booth) in Friedrichshafen, either the first or 
> second year that the Orion was launched (can't remember which).

A few of my friends out here who are great contesters love WinTest. It does
not support CQP, and maybe not RTTY, so I haven't bothered to buy and learn
another one. I'm quite happy with N1MM.

> The French authors gave us
> all a free license for WIN-TEST so I finally dumped CT and went 
> Windows for logging - but still on a laptop.
> Rapid recovery in contests was the reason I continued with a laptop.

That's certainly part of it, and also a reason why I won't do contest
logging on a computer running Win 10.  But i leave my computers running
24/7, so protecting them from power failures is a primary reason.

> NOW:  Jim, if we are both honest with ourselves, I don't think either 
> of us old men are ever going to win a contest again.  I haven't won a 
> contest
> (overall) since 2005.  And we're not getting any younger.

I occasionally place well, and even win for my ARRL Section or Division in
my class, and a year ago, set a world record for 80M in All Asia CW. That's
a contest for which I have the same advantage of location that stations in
W1 have in WW DX contests.

> I put ferrite (clamps) over both ends of all the cables and so far I 
> haven't had any trouble with it interfering with the station.

Simply placing a ferrite clamp on a wire is pretty much useless for HF
-- multiple turns are required.

73, Jim K9YC
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