Category Archives: Contests

Dx: Ducie Island and W2LK Les

Press Release #11
18. 10. 11
After 18 months of intensive planning we will soon begin our long journey to Ducie Island. This is a team effort and you are part of the team. Please help us to work you by reviewing this important information.

1. You can follow our progress as we sail to and from Ducie Island. CLICK HERE
Tracking will be available on Oct. 16th as we depart Mangareva.
2. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook – updated from the ship and island.
3. As time permits, we’ll send Press Releases to the DX-bulletins and upload photos to VP6D.com from the island.
4. Your only email route to VP6D is through the pilot team.
5. The pilots do not have the logs. Please don’t ask them about NiL, busted calls, skeds, etc.
Do send them helpful suggestions.
6. There is no access to personal email while on the ship or on the island.
7. The log will be uploaded daily, OQRS will be available at VP6D.com shortly after we leave the island.
8. The process for reporting busted / missing QSOs will be available when OQRS opens.
9. We are uploading the log only to VP6D.com – there is no Leaderboard.
10. We plan to use WSJT-X Version 1.9.1 as a Fox on all bands except 160 where we will not use DX-pedition mode. VP6D FT8 operating guidelines posted at VP6D.com
11. DXA at DXA3.org/VP6D will update about 3 minutes after your contact. Check here to see if you are in our log.
12. The log may show FT8 dupes even if you didn’t dupe us, we will resolve dupes after the DX-pedition.
13. Thanks to Lance W7GJ our plan to activate 6m EME is a first for Ducie Island.
There will be at least 3 DX-peditions operating from the Pacific during Oct/Nov. Ensure you are in the correct pileup for the DX you are trying to work. If you see your contact on VP6D’s DXA that contact is in our log.

Please consider a donation at VP6D.com to help offset the team’s significant investment to put Ducie Island on the air. Those who process a donation on VP6D.com before we sail on 16 October will receive their LoTW confirmation while we’re on the island.

We wish everyone the best of luck in getting in the log, we’ll do our best to get you the Qs you want.

73,
Team Ducie – 2018

W2LK Les – Co-Team Leader 

Les discovered ham radio with some high school friends and became K2SHL when he got his General.

He became interested in DX and discovered that contests were a great way to find more DX and started contesting in the early 1970’s.

In 1996 he received W2LK.

In 1992, he operated from the US Virgin Islands for his first experience on the other end of a pileup. In 1998, he and his friend Steve Weinstein, K2WE, were the first Americans licensed to operate from Vietnam since the war as 3W6LK and 3W6WE. Since then for CQWW CW, he has operated from J7, KH6, CT9 and V3 and for many years from K2LE and W2AX in Vermont. In 2011 he was part of the VK9HR Lord Howe expedition and in 2012, ZL9HR on Campbell Island, the VK9MT Mellish Reef team in 2014 and TX3X Chesterfield Island. He is active on all bands from 160 to 6 meters and particularly likes 160 and 80 meter Dxing.

He is a member of CW-ops (726), North Jersey DX Association, Hudson Valley Contesters and Dxers, Order of Boiled Owls of NY, the Yankee Clipper Contest Club and ODXG.

Professionally, he started his career with IBM as a programmer, worked in several banks and brokerages and eventually ran a successful consulting and staffing business with his wife, Barbara.

Contesting: What are those contesting guys doing?

Short answer:

We have formed a contest team of BRARA members interested in RTTY contests. We  send and receive RTTY encoded messages to as many other stations as possible. We operate as a multi-operator, single transmitter entrant meaning we share the allowed operating time individually operating a single radio, amplifier station. Contests usually allow 24 to 48 hours of operating time. We use N1MM+ software to encode and send the required messages and to log the replies from other stations. No typing is required. A contact takes about 20 seconds to complete.

We have the ingredients for a competitive station, and we have had some success. With more experience and a few more members our team can be truly competitive. If you would like to explore being a RTTY contesting team member, please contact K4KGG, Larry 561 213-4317, llibsch@bellsouth.net or Lou, W9IL@comcast.net.

More detail:

The goal of a contest is to get the highest score. Score is calculated as # contacts X # multipliers. Multipliers are different in different contests but typically each state and DXCC entity counts once for a multiplier. When contesting, you can run, i.e. call CQ and work stations as they answer you, or search and pounce (S+P) i.e. find and work stations calling CQ. Running is the most fun, but only when stations answer your CQ. If stations answer you CQ infrequently you may work stations more quickly by S+P. Keeping contact rates as high as possible means better scores. Working every multiplier you can is also very important as you can see if you look closely at the score calculation.

Contestants are put into classes to even the playing field somewhat. Common classes are single operator QRP; single operator low power; single operator high power; multi operator low and high power using one transmitter; multi operator low and high power using multiple transmitters simultaneously. While this evens the playing field somewhat, stations with large antenna farms do better than those with more modest hardware.

Our station hardware is an Elecraft K3 exciting an Elecraft 500 watt amp. The amp is solid state and automatic. It tracks the frequency on the radio and automatically applies any needed tuner adjustment. Turn it on and forget it – almost. I am awaiting delivery of an Elecraft 1500 watt solid state, automatic amp.  We use the Steppir antenna and the 80M vertical. Our station is single radio, two VFO. Each VFO can operate on a different frequency on the same band. Left ear in the headphones hears VFO A. Right ear hears VFO B. You can S+P on both VFOs or run on one and S+P on the other. This can increase Q rates.

Our N1MM+ setup has a Telnet connection to nc7j, a spotting site. N1MM+ filters the RTTY spots into a list of multipliers. Left click on a multiplier QSYs VFO A to the multiplier’s frequency. If you can hear it, work it. A right click on a multiplier QSYs VFO B. Very cool. N1MM+ is also setup to enable very rapid operating. A typical contact takes about 20 seconds.

Strategy is important. Run or S+P? What band should I be on? Keep running or go collect that mult? When should we take our required off time?

There are hams that work 48 hour contests alone. Most don’t have that kind of endurance, and is that kind of self-abuse good for you anyway? One solution is to form a team and share the operating time. A team member needs to be able to operate the contest station hardware and software. He needs to be willing to grow into using the station to optimize its capability. It takes motivation and experience to attain good rates. Very important, a team member needs to show up for the game. Being able to make ahead of time and keep a commitment to operate for agreed upon hours during a contest is essential. Our team is new, has talent, and has a great station. Watch for our scores and our smiles.

By Larry K4KGG

 

2017-2018 Remaining major contest season

Provided by Ed Callaway – N4II

November
2100Z Nov 4 to
0300Z Nov 6
ARRL Sweepstakes Contest CW
0000Z Nov 11 to
2359Z Nov 12
WAE DX Contest RTTY
0000Z Nov 25 to
2400Z Nov 26
CQ Worldwide DX Contest CW
December
2200Z Dec 1 to
1600Z Dec 3
ARRL 160-Meter Contest
0000Z Dec 9 to
2400Z Dec 10
ARRL 10-Meter Contest
0000Z Dec 16 to
2400Z Dec 16
OK DX RTTY Contest
January
1800Z Jan 6 to
2400Z Jan 7
ARRL RTTY Roundup
2200Z Jan 26 to
2159Z Jan 28
CQ 160-Meter Contest CW
1200Z Jan 27 to
1200Z Jan 28
BARTG RTTY Sprint
1700Z Jan 27 to
1700Z Jan 28
Winter Field Day
February
0000Z Feb 10 to
2400Z Feb 11
CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest
0000Z Feb 17 to
2400Z Feb 18
ARRL Inter. DX Contest CW
2200Z Feb 23 to
2159Z Feb 25
CQ 160-Meter Contest SSB
March
0000Z Mar 3 to
2400Z Mar 4
ARRL Inter. DX Contest SSB
0200Z Mar 17 to
0200Z Mar 19
BARTG HF RTTY Contest
0000Z Mar 24 to
2400Z Mar 25
CQ WW WPX Contest SSB
April
1600Z Apr 28 to
2159Z Apr 29
Florida QSO Party
May
0000Z May 26 to
2400Z May 27
CQ WW WPX Contest CW
June
1800Z Jun 9 to
0300Z Jun 11
ARRL June VHF Contest
1800Z Jun 23 to
2100Z Jun 24
ARRL Field Day
July
1200Z Jul 14 to
1200Z Jul 15
IARU HF World Championship
1800Z Jul 21 to
2100Z Jul 22
CQ Worldwide VHF Contest
1800Z Jul 21 to
0600Z Jul 22
North American QSO Party RTTY
1200Z Jul 28 to
1200Z Jul 29
RSGB IOTA Contest