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RE: [wsjtgroup] RE: Contest rumored scores page

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  • Russ K2TXB
    Hi Mark. My strategy, if you can call it that, was simply to call CQ on the calling frequency, with an offset. About every 10-20 minutes I changed antenna
    Message 1 of 25 , Dec 15, 2004
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      Hi Mark. My strategy, if you can call it that, was simply to call CQ on the
      calling frequency, with an offset. About every 10-20 minutes I changed
      antenna heading. Since I was calling CQ D35, my receiver was always tuned
      to 144.105, and that could be a problem as I would not hear other CQ's and
      would miss potential QSO opportunities.

      I solved that by connecting the receive side of my antenna relay in parallel
      to two receivers, and utilizing 2 computers so I could use the second rx to
      monitor the calling frequency during my receive periods. By doing that I
      picked up at least 4 contacts that I would have missed otherwise.

      I don't have six meters here so deciding which band to use was not an issue,
      but if I did have six, I would set up a third computer so I could monitor
      the calling frequency on both bands at all times, while listening to the
      offset channel on the band I was actively calling CQ on.

      I kept the audio on both receivers turned up (low) and usually while calling
      CQ, I was across the room working on my computer, even if just playing
      cards, to keep awake in the wee hours. When I would hear the pings start to
      come in I would go over and investigate. Every ten minutes the CW ID would
      go off and I used that as a way to remember when to change antenna heading.

      Since I was calling CQ hour after hour after hour, I usually operated with
      reduced power to lighten the load on my amplifier when calling CQ. Instead
      of driving with 40 watts, I reduced the output of the TS-2000 to 30 watts,
      dropping my output power to just 1000 watts. When I heard someone calling
      me I then increased back to the legal limit for the duration of the contact.

      Another thing, when I was in contact, I would put both receivers on the
      contact frequency. Sometimes one would get a good decode when the other did
      not, and vice versa. When working FSK441 in a contest it is important to
      figure out what the DF is and adjust the receiver RIT quickly. Having two
      receivers tuned to the frequency helps because you can adjust one receiver
      one way and the other a different way if you are not sure.

      I guess that does amount to a strategy after all. How to improve it? I
      probably would have done better not staying awake until 3-4 am every night,
      and instead quitting earlier and then get started around 7:00 am. I
      probably missed some of the morning crowd. I did stay up all night on
      Saturday night, and did hear a couple of stations on .140 in the morning,
      but they were in QSO with each other and did not respond to my calls or my
      CQ's.

      Hopefully my strategy will give you and others some ideas on ways to improve
      your unassisted score. I'd like to encourage everyone who is running
      assisted to keep one receiver monitoring the calling frequencies all the
      time. You will probably be able to pick up a number of 3 pointer contacts
      that way, and will help make the day for the unassisted operators.

      73, Russ K2TXB


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Mark Brueggemann [mailto:qrq_cw@...]
      > Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 6:43 PM
      > To: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [wsjtgroup] RE: Contest rumored scores page
      >
      >
      >
      > Got a question now that I see some of the results being posted.
      >
      > For those of you running "unassisted", what was your strategy? Were
      > you CQ'ing on the calling channel, running split, or ? What drove the
      > decision to work one band or another, and for how long?
      >
      > I was on the air for probably a total of 24 hours during the contest,
      > most of it on 144.140. I did "peek" at pingjocky a couple times to see
      > how other people were doing it and it looked like everyone was running
      > skeds somewhere away from the call channel. I tried to do it
      > "unassisted" and follow the intent of the rules, but ended up only
      > hearing one other station (W0IOH), and making 0 complete contacts. Did
      > you "unassisteds" make your QSO's on the calling freq or did I miss
      > something in the rules about hanging out somewhere else for the
      > contest? FKO who is just a couple of miles away scored well and has a
      > modest station like mine, so I'm thinking it was me off in left field.
      > Where did this newbie go wrong?
      >
      >
      > =====
      > Mark K5LXP
      > Albuquerque, NM
    • Mike H
      Mark, I admire your dedication for running the contest unassisted and for putting in the time you did. I heard you on 144.140 quite a bit calling CQ (we live
      Message 2 of 25 , Dec 15, 2004
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        Mark,

        I admire your dedication for running the contest unassisted and for
        putting in the time you did. I heard you on 144.140 quite a bit calling
        CQ (we live just a few miles apart). I had some decent results in the
        contest but that was entirely due to the decision to operate assisted.
        I'd much prefer to be in the unassisted category, but for where we live
        (central New Mexico) that does not make for a particularly interesting or
        enjoyable weekend as you found out.

        I can count on one hand the number of stations I've worked random from
        DM65 in the last 15 months. Of these four stations, there was no
        guarantee any of them would be active during the contest. In the off
        chance I work all 4 of them, then what? I like to make QSOs, score
        points, and add new grids so that means I'm hanging out on PJ making
        skeds.

        The best operating techniques and equipment aren't going to help if there
        are no stations out there to copy your CQ's. Until random activity in
        this part of the country improves, I will be in the assisted category.
        That said, I did manage to work two randoms (KM5PO and KI7JA) and got
        close with another (WA5UFH). Thanks guys!

        Mike WB2FKO
      • Russ K2TXB
        Hi Bruce, sorry I missed you. The only station in your area I heard calling me was AC5TM, and he had a good signal but disappeared after I started answering
        Message 3 of 25 , Dec 15, 2004
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          Hi Bruce, sorry I missed you. The only station in your area I heard calling
          me was AC5TM, and he had a good signal but disappeared after I started
          answering him. Actually that happened a few times - where stations would
          answer me and then disappear. The rocks are very random and it takes a
          certain amount of patience.

          One possible reason is that the station suddenly got a sked on Ping Jockey,
          and abandoned the attempt to work me. That is just the breaks, but it would
          be nice if they would try me again when they get free.

          73, Russ K2TXB

          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Bruce Brackin [mailto:bbrackin@...]
          > Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 2004 7:24 PM
          > To: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [wsjtgroup] Random technique
          >
          >
          >
          > Mark - I'm pretty well totally random when on the road so I CQ D7 from
          > .260 In rockmobile (or here), I'll call about 10 minutes and then
          > monitor 10 and call again. If nothing heard after a round or two, I
          > park on .260 to monitor till ready to try calling again and back to D7.
          > Goes without saying to make sure you are in right sequence for the main
          > direction you want to try and work (but 6m can fool you on back
          > scatter). In running randoms, I think a wide front lobe is really an
          > advantage as many of the long booms guys have got to be looking almost
          > straight at you for you to get their attention, particularly those
          > closer in. I don't have to worry about that in the truck with the loop!
          >
          > As an aside, it seems a number on 6m consistently use CQ D7/D5 or U5/U6
          > so no harm in listening around a few minutes on each. I saw 3-4 q's on
          > .260 using RH message formats. 2m always tuffer but heard and tried
          > Russ on his D35 CQ. Somebody that runs more 2m than me may want to
          > comment on likely spots to catch folks - my experience would say .113
          > and .144 are two of the most common U/D freqs.
          >
          > GL - Bruce, N5SIX
        • Andrew T. Flowers, K0SM
          ... You know, if you have one of those *fancy* radios, with two receivers, I don t see why it wouldn t be possible to leave the 2nd VFO on the calling
          Message 4 of 25 , Dec 15, 2004
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            Russ K2TXB wrote:

            >Hi Mark. My strategy, if you can call it that, was simply to call CQ on the
            >calling frequency, with an offset. About every 10-20 minutes I changed
            >antenna heading. Since I was calling CQ D35, my receiver was always tuned
            >to 144.105, and that could be a problem as I would not hear other CQ's and
            >would miss potential QSO opportunities.
            >
            You know, if you have one of those *fancy* radios, with two receivers, I
            don't see why it wouldn't be possible to leave the 2nd VFO on the
            calling frequency and run that audio to another computer such that you
            could monitor both frequencies when the radio isn't transmitting. You
            would at least be able to catch other CQers on the opposite sequence. I
            gotta try this in the January VHF contest....

            Andy K0SM/2 (back in EN10 this coming weekend....)
          • Mark Brueggemann
            Thanks everyone for passing on your secrets . This gives me something to work on until the next event, meanwhile I ll keep trying during random hour on
            Message 5 of 25 , Dec 16, 2004
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              Thanks everyone for passing on your 'secrets'. This gives me something
              to work on until the next event, meanwhile I'll keep trying during
              random hour on saturdays.



              =====
              Mark K5LXP
              Albuquerque, NM
            • jim_mcmasters@tandybrands.com
              Hi Andy- I keep getting a bounce when I try to reply to your last message from frontiernet.net. Do you have an alternate? Jim
              Message 6 of 25 , Dec 29, 2004
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                Hi Andy- I keep getting a bounce when I try to reply to your last message from frontiernet.net.

                Do you have an alternate?

                Jim

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