Topband: ARRL 160m

Larry (K8UT) K8UT at
Mon Dec 9 11:53:00 EST 2019


RE: CQ hole
 >If you left a run spot to go pee, it would be gone within about 1 or 2 

The latest rev of N1MM's Spectrum Display includes a "CQ Freq Search" 
enhancement whereby up-to 5 frequencies of sufficient width (based on 
mode) and vacancy (one minute) are highlighted. You can mouse-click and 
jump to a new "CQ hole" and resume RUNning.

-larry (K8UT)

------ Original Message ------
From: "VE6WZ_Steve" <ve6wz at>
To: "Topband" <topband at>
Sent: 2019-12-09 11:35:49
Subject: Topband: ARRL 160m

>This was the first time I made a serious attempt at the ARRL 160m contest. Usually I will just poke around and hand out mults.  Since condx were looking pretty good, I decided to stay in the chair a bit longer.
>I must say I forgot how this contest is really more like SS with some DX thrown in rather than a real DX contest. I knew the band was in great shape to EU because of how loud the EU callers were, at least 4 of which were dupes. At around 4 AM, John SM5EDX called in to tell me I had a great signal at his local NOON! So I knew the band was in good shape over the pole at my morning. The band was wall-to-wall during prime-time, but I could usually find a CQ hole somewhere.  If you left a run spot to go pee, it would be gone within about 1 or 2 minutes.
>1319 QSOs (1381 total QSOs but 62 dupes!!! some guys just kept duping me, multiple times…I just kept logging them)
>83 sec (I worked all sections  before I went to bed Friday night)
>52 DXCC:
>EU- 114 QSOs, 25 DXCC
>AS- 97 QSOs, 5 DXCC: 86 JA, 7 UA9, 2 HL, 1 BY, 1 JT
>OC- 8 QSOs, 2 DXCC: 7 KH6, 1 5W
>SA- 3 QSOs, 3 DXCC: 1 CE, 1 YV, 1 PJ2
>AF-1 QSO, 1 DXCC: 1 D4
>I was operating my remote station using the Flex 6600, ACOM 2000a, 2 el TX, and multiple RX.
>My preferred radio is the K3s because it has superior weak signal RX, but it has no waterfall via the remote.
>My remote station is a challenge to operate a contest like this. Here is some info on how things are set-up.
>I am not "a boy and his radio",  I am "a boy and his PC".  I use the Flex 6600 PC software on one monitor, and the remote station PC is on the other monitor where I log with N1MM and control the station.  There is no physical radio or switching at the operating table. Just the PC, a mouse and a keyboard.
>I always use diversity RX with my 9 circle array in one ear, and the Beverages in the other. Each has 8 compass directions and each are controlled with a clickable rotor compass dial on the PC. change directions I need to click the 9 circle, then click the Beverage selector, and then click the TX array direction, then get the cursor back to N1MM to log. Often I would be RX in multiple directions in each ear which was handy, but boy....Im pretty sure I'm developing carpel tunnel syndrome from using that mouse!  During the morning run was really crazy...JA, OC, NA, N polar and EU all possible signal arrivals!
>If I was RX for JA, and some polar EU would call if I had one ear on EU I might hear them, but then if they are weak, I need time to switch the other RX to have good copy.  If the callers are only dumping their call once…I might not get it.  Same with NA calling from the back of the RX.  The Beverage broadside phased pairs are very sharp, and the difference can be copy-no copy just between N to NE.  I may consider adding my RBN skimmer 30m loop into the RX mix so I can have “omni” rx, but it does not hear as well.
>So if I missed any callers, or seemed really slow responding, it was probably because I was busy switching my RX and struggling to get the mouse back into N1MM to type in a call.  This is one disadvantage of the remote compared to having a physical direction switch so I could keep the focus on N1MM.
>There were some very exceptional EU signals, some of which when they called I was sure they were NA.
>On Friday night at 0730z JE1BMJ and JE1CKA got my attention even though I was RX for EU. This was just at JA sunset. I switched to JA and had a nice run on 41 JA till I went to bed at 0830z.
>Congrats to Joel VE6WQ at VE6JY and Eric VE6BBP who were both rocking the band during the contest.
>Thanks to those how called me and could hear me.
>Lets hope these great conditions persist throughout the season.
>73, de steve ve6wz
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