. Steve moved to Mission Viejo after 34 years on the east coast. He loves low band DXing and contesting as well as VHF contesting. He operates mostly CW. He says he was among those at the very first SCCC meeting.
(formerly KK6RDY). Wyatt now has the call formerly held by Carl Cook, who passed away in December, 2014. Wyatt is a senior in high school and is President of the radio club there. He operates in most of the big contests.
In June, I shared the Dayton releases by Kenwood and Yaesu. Not to be overlooked is another release, this one by Heil Sound. The company announced its new BM-17 lightweight headset. It's available as either a single-side or dual-side model, and is available with either a dynamic mic element or an electret. The headset has many features that will make it attractive to amateur radio operators, contesters and DXers alike. Read more about these headsets at
According to an ARRL announcement on 16 July 2018, Dan Craig, N6MJ, and Chris Hurlbut, KL9A, who operated as Y82V took third place in the recent WRTC contest. They racked up 506,461 points, putting 3,769 CW contacts and 1,052 phone contacts into their log. Chris posted recordings of their entire Y82V 24 hour operation and the log
. Caution, Google will be unable to scan for viruses due to the file size. I would suggest you download the audio files and scan them with your own anti-virus software just to be safe. (I'm personally pretty careful/anal about this stuff.)
In the February NAQP RTTY contest, SCCC #1 placed 9th overall. KI6RRN, K6PO, WN6K and KA6WKE logged 172,932 points. KI6RRN finished in 9th place with 101,908 points!
In the February NA Sprint CW, SCCC #1 finished 4th, scoring 56,005 points! It was N6WIN, N6AA, N5ZO, K6LA and AC6T driving the bus on that team. SCCC #2 (K6AW, K6PO, W4EF and NE6I) finished 16th with 21,702 points. Tim, N6WIN finished 3rd in California posting 13,156 points. 20 meters was only open a short time for this one, so 40 and 80 were the money bands. Good show, guys! Some good scores in the results!
In the January NAQP CW, KI6RRN operating at K6NA and using Glenn's call took 4th place overall with 318,886 points! N5ZO was right behind him, finishing 5th with 303,580 points! K6LA finished 4th in California at 185,444. The SCCC #2 team placed 11th overall with 769,102 points. SCCC #1 was 13th 737,513 (only 4 of 5 members submitted logs).
KI6RRN placed 5th in the 2018 CQWW WPX RTTY contest in the USA all band low power category. SCCC had 19 entries and 3,3333,848 points.
Axel also placed 7th in the 2018 ARRL RTTY Roundup in the single op low power category (and tops in W6). K6LL took top honors in the single op unlimited high power category! N6ZFO placed 8th in W6 in the all band high power category. The club had 8 entrants and 212,805 points.
Conditions have definitely left something to be desired so far this year, so all of these scores are especially impressive.
Contest University has published many of the videos from the 2018 sessions. You can find them on their web site at www.contestuniversity.com
On a humorous note, we ran off on a Palm Springs getaway during the CQWW VHF Contest weekend (July 21-22). I figured I'd slip in a few afternoon QSOs when we got home Sunday so I turned the rig on Thursday night to see how the band was doing. Ugh! Receive was fine but there was no transmit audio using WSJT-X! It was working a few days earlier so I started checking my settings and cables. Nothing seemed to cure it. I only had a couple of hours Friday morning to troubleshoot before heading out on the trip with the XYL. I frantically tried this and tried that between packing my bag and loading the truck. Nothing seemed to work. I normally run a Rigblaster so I tried using the internal PC sound card and listened for audio on the output jack of that card. VOILA! I had audio there. Could the Rigblaster have gone south on me? Sure seemed like it. I rebooted it and double checked the cable connections. Nada. I tried reloading the driver for it but that didn't work either. Drat. And now I was out of time. I powered everything down and headed out for a weekend of sun, pool time and adult beverages. I returned Sunday to a parched yard (heat wave in SoCal ramping up!). After watering the thirsty lawn and plants and unpacking from the trip, I sat down at the computer to update the SCCC web page with the NAQP RTTY results. Then I turned on the rig and opened WSJT-X. I changed the settings back from the internal PC sound card to the Rigblaster. And VOILA! All was working again! Who knows what gave there but I was pretty darned happy! Maybe the cat got bored, did some troubleshooting in my radio room, and fixed the problem. I dunno, but I'm not going to complain! I clicked the NA VHF Contest box in the software (thanks for the reminder from N6GP on the SCCC reflector!) and started CQing. In short oder, N6QQ answered. We did the contest exchange and I logged the QSO. This at 2135Z. As I started CQing again, I checked WA7BNM's Contest Calendar to look up the contest. Double Drat! The contest had ended 35 minutes earlier at 2100Z! Oh well, at least the software was working again...
Speaking of VHF contests, there has been much discussion on various reflectors, forums and in the mags lately about FT8 usurping VHF activity, especially on 6 meters. While much slower than CW and SSB, the mode allows for QSOs up to -24 dB S/N! That gives it a distinct advantage over the other two modes from a signal level standpoint. This has driven an amazing increase in activity on all bands, 6 meters included. Many have lamented that most contesters are no longer bothering to tune CW and SSB portions of the band, or at least spending very little time there. It's probably not hard to understand why. Contesting is about making QSOs at the highest rate possible. While no one would argue that FT8 is slower than CW and SSB, no one would argue that FT8 has a distinct signal level advantage. And many (most? all?) of the little pistols and casual contesters are spending most of the contest on FT8. So where do the serious contesters go? To where the QSOs are of course. And right now on VHF, that's FT8 (and to a lesser extent, MSK144). That said, it might be a good thing if we agreed to check the CW and SSB portion of the band at some point every hour. I'm mostly talking about 6 meters here but this applies to the higher frequency bands as well. Perhaps at the 30 minute mark. This strategy has been used with great success on other bands long before FT8 came along. In SoCal, we used to tune a narrow segment of 10m during down years of the sunspot cycle and work each other fast and furiously. We've also done this in CQP years ago, tuning 40 and 80 meters during the day at a pre-determined time when propagation was very short on those bands. We were able to log dozens of "local" contacts that we would never had logged at night, or that would have just "got in the way" of working longer distances. So this technique is not unprecedented. Give it some thought and talk it up on the SCCC reflector. It's a very healthy discussion with FT8 storming the bands and contesters figuring out how to leverage it while balancing it with the legacy modes.
By the way, the developers of WSJT-X are working hard on version 2.0, currently expected to be released in mid to late September. The new version addresses some VHF contest issues currently being experienced. For example, if only one of the users in a VHF contest QSO has the "NA VHF Contest" box checked, exchanges do not work properly. Additionally, rovers (who of course need to append /R to their callsign) have had trouble running FT8 and MSK144. By increasing the number of bits from 72 to 77 in the transmission, the developers are able to cure both ills. And there are other benefits anticipated. You can read more about this at this site.
You probably won't be surprised to learn that it was Albert Einstein who made the following sage observation: "A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it."
73 for now,