RE: [wsjtgroup] RE: Contest rumored scores page
- 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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
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
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!
- 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: email@example.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
- Russ K2TXB wrote:
>Hi Mark. My strategy, if you can call it that, was simply to call CQ on theYou know, if you have one of those *fancy* radios, with two receivers, I
>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.
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....)
- 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.