• [PE4BAS] FT-RU 2020 contest review

    From PE4BAS via rec.radio.amateur.modera@21:1/5 to All on Tue Dec 8 18:28:13 2020
    XPost: rec.radio.amateur.moderated

    PE4BAS Amateur Radio Weblog

    FT-RU 2020 contest review

    Posted: 08 Dec 2020 03:44 AM PST https://pe4bas.blogspot.com/2020/12/ft-ru-2020-contest-review.html

    Event: FT-RoundUp contest 2020 Section: Single Operator
    Logger: N1MM+ / WSJT-X
    Station: Icom IC-7300 100W
    Antenna: Inverted-V @ 12m

    Well, actually I did not intend to participate but some of my buddies from
    the PA6AA contest crew did. They told me to connect N1MM+ with WSJT-X for
    this contest so I saw a new challenge....took some effort in the
    end....about that later.
    First of all, the weekend, I was planning to mount some christmas lighting, first of all the LED star I mounted last year. A great opportunity to mount
    the high bands balun I made in the tower between the remote antennatuner
    and the vertical antenna. Well, I forgot to make a photo, it was not a
    pretty sight anyway. Over the years I learned the ugliest antennas work the best... After I mounted the LED star in the tower and the tower was
    straight up I did some testing. Yes, the LED star was working right.....but what about the balun. Well, so far all bands except 12m tuning fine, that
    was the case before I mounted the balun as well. Did not make contacts with
    it yet but theoretically there should be less common mode, I can't confirm that. I wished I had less interference on RX but that wasn't the case, it
    was exactly the same on all bands. Strange enough when trying the antenna during the contest it didn't work.....well, it started raining, something
    went wrong and I couldn't do anything about it...
    Connecting N1MM+ and WSJT-X, it is all described on rttycontesting.com. However, the setup is described for a WWDIGI contest. For this FT-RUcontest
    I assumed I needed to choose 10m RTTY roundup since I did read somewhere
    that the FT roundup was made instead of this contest. I don't know why I
    did choose this but it went wrong. And so when the contest started I had
    the problem N1MM+ didn't read the received exchange from WSJT-X. A few chat apps with my radio buddies revealed I'd choosen the wrong contest, it
    should be ARRL RTTY roundup instead. Then everything went well, but unfortunately lost the 3 first contacts, I'm very sorry. Everything went
    smooth from then on. I had no issues with automatic logging anymore like 2 years ago. And with N1MM connected I could instantly see my score. The
    bandmap has no real use in this setup, there is a new screen "WSJT-X decode list" in which you see multies, dupes and possible contacts. Not shure how
    much use this screen has since I didn't look at it much.Experimental setup N1MM+/WSJT-X

    Above a screenshot from the setup. Actually you need big monitors for this,
    I really didn't have enough space to fit all the screens. But overall you
    don't need all of them for this contest. I have to write that after a few
    hours the contest bored me. When running it is only a matter of clicking
    the "enable TX" button. Everything else goes automatic. So, once and a
    while I changed running for S&P just to stay alert. I started on saturday evening on 80m only, propagation was average, not many DX and again FT4 was
    not really present on that band. The propagation was not really good on 15m
    and 20m on for me on sunday. 40m in the evening went well, some nice DX
    could be worked but I expected more Japanese stations which I didn't see in
    the end unfortunately.Some of the contacts displayed...
    But several Indonesian and one Malaysian station were worked on 40m. Not
    that bad...I'm shure if I had more time more DX (multipliers) could be
    worked. But time is a issue as always. This time we had a raingutter
    leakage and some water was pouring into the house below my radioshack. It
    took time to see were the leakage came from and I couldn't do anything
    about it since it was already dark outside....well shit happens. I made a emergency repair on Monday so problem solved for this winter.
    I decided to try my vertical antenna again to see if something changed at Monday evening. What happened? I don't know. All bands tuning fine now,
    even 12m. I really have no idea why??? I didn't change anything...could be
    a 12V line interuption....I turned the rotor a little. Have to try while turning the roto to see if something is wrong....Could be a bad coax cable
    as well? We'll see. At least the vertical is working again.

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