E51E: RTTY Alert
W1XX

Norman, 5B4AIF, is on a one-man DX-pedition to So. Cook Is. with his family signing E51E.  He is on ClubLog and also has a FB website with details.  His mode of choice is RTTY… actually various digital modes.  He apparently has limited CW skills so has not done much if any CW as yet…but has been on SSB a fair amount.  I have been fortunate to have worked him so far on 4 bands SSB.  This morning at SR he came down to his announced SSB frequency (3793) on 80 meter SSB at about 7:30 AM local time and I think I was the first one to get through.  Anyway he was anxious to switch  to RTTY and was posted there after about 9:30 much to late for the East Coast on 3585. 

He indicated he would be back tomorrow morning on 80 meters so I am sure he will be looking for RTTY contacts near our SR…our SR is now about 7:05 AM.  Best to look at least a 1/2 hour earlier.  So you RTTY folks may want to look for him. He may come up on sideband on 3793 first.

If you check the spots during the day on ClubLog he will probably be much easier to work on RTTY on the higher bands as well.

GL & 73!!

— John, W1XX

 

2012 WPX RTTY Plaque Received
2012 WPX RTTY Plaque Received avatar

Today I received the 2012 WPX RTTY plaque for #1 North America in the Multi-Two category for the NG1G operation at W1AN (W1AN, K1DM, K3IU, W1PN, and NG1G). This original plaque will go to John to place in his station.

I’m hoping that this time next year we’ll be hearing about a plaque received for #1 World in the M2 category from NP3U.

73,

Pat, NG1G

ARRL LoTW …significant program update
W1WBB

Members at November’s club meeting will recall how we discussed the problems that ARRL’s Logbook of The World was having related to lost electronic log uploads and extended processing delays as well as a lack of ‘customer feedback’ and transparency.  It appears that the problems have gotten the attention of HQ ‘higher ups’ resulting in a recent LoTW update letter on the ARRL website directly from CEO Dave Sumner K1ZZ.

His initial letter around the beginning of December acknowledged some of the difficulties LoTW was having and provided some info as to when initial repairs would be complete, allowing logs to again be processed.  Logs *are* again being processed as of December 3 but the delay to get your log processed has grown to 9+ days presently!  Plans are in for hardware upgrades to be implemented within 8 weeks.

ARRL has now provided a new web link with *daily* updated LoTW info.  Details on that AND the newly created LoTW *hourly* log processing Queue update page can be found here:  http://www.arrl.org/news/logbook-of-the-world-web-page-now-features-daily-and-hourly-status-updates

The specific newly-created Logbook Queue Status page link is here:  http://www.arrl.org/logbook-queue-status

The November LoTW shutdowns has caused the many major Fall contest log files to accumulate or be re-sent by users unsure if LoTW ever rcvd/processed their file(s) thereby causing additional back-up/delays.

For those using LoTW… 1) First ensure you know/have documented the exact date/time (UTC) that you uploaded your log or logs to LoTW.  2) You can then check the Queue Status Page as to how long it will be until your log is actually processed (presently over 9 days).  Caution: DO NOT re-send logs until you KNOW the log processing time has been exceeded AND that you have double checked your upload times (Zulu not local) AND (*important*) verified whether or not your own LoTW account status page shows the log as processed.  Questions can be e-mailed to the LoTW ‘help-desk’ as well.

My Sweepstakes logs and my general DX log file (Nov. QSOs) were uploaded late Dec 3 to LoTW and were all processed mid-day today so the system is slowly chugging along.  (Nice to see multiple QSOs from NH8S & PT0S show up).   Many many big contest logs  still to go (CQWW DX CW, ARRL 160m, & ARRL 10m) but the lack of major events now through Jan 1 should help the processing rate significantly…although many folks will be forwarding end-of-year DX logs as well.

Those wanting to wade deeper into the weeds on this can try checking out the LoTW Yahoo discussion group!  Weblink here:   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ARRL-LOTW/

Bill  W1WBB

PJ5J on 80 meters
PJ5J on 80 meters avatar

I am a very happy camper!  I just worked PJ5J on 80-m CW.  He’s working split, calling on 3510.98 and listening up the usual 1 to 3 kHz.  Since I got the Sub Receiver in my K3, I just turned on the SUB, set both VFOs equal, and tuned up with the main VFO until I started hearing what was going on, still listening to PJ5J on the Sub receiver.  With just a little patience, I found he was tuning up a bit after each QSO, so I listened for him to work one that I was hearing, turned up slightly, called with my 100 watts, and bingo!  He called me back!  Done!  So now I have a new one in the log on 80 CW.

I know none of this is new to you guys, but that’s the reason I bought the SUB receiver as part of the K3, and this is the first time I was able to make the contact.  There are other techniques, using SPLIT, but I like the two-receiver technique, since you can hear what’s going on at both ends.

So, enjoy the rest of your day!

73, Mike, K1DM

Cushcraft R7000 Vertical
W1XX

This morning I helped out Jim, N1WWE, check out his Cushcraft R7000 vertical prior to final installation.  This is a 40 -10 antenna that mounts on a mast.  The directions (TNX de K1DM) says if not mounted on a tower or structure, a 10 foot mast on the ground will do.  Well, prior to permanent installation on a mast in his back yard, I checked all the dimensions and propped it up against his deck to check the SWR on each band with my MFJ analyzer. Some of the dimensions were “off” from those given in the instrctions by about an inch…but the top section was over a foot longer than indicated in the instructions.  After making the lengths correct, what were the results? 

Horrible!  It was pretty flat at about 2:1 across 10 meters…just as the directions say.  12 meters the best point was about 2.6:1.  But there was no resonant point anywhere near 17 meters….15 and 20 meters were not much better…and 40 meters was resonant (that is around 2: 1 at best) below the band. I didn’t even attempt to tweak the antenna adjustments since there was really no place to even start on 17, 15, and 20 meters.  

This seemed to coincide with the reviews on eHam that for the most part concluded that this antenna is CRAP!!.  Some indicated that when you tweak it on one band, it then srews up the other bands.  Based on the comments, s-canning this antenna seemed to be the preferred route. Could this antenna be really that bad?  Or could it really make that much of a difference by getting it up in the air and off the ground?

Jim seemed to  remember that when originally set up some time ago at a previous location, that Cushcratf had sent him some addendum of instructions as there was a change made in its configuration….maybe the directions I have are for a different earlier (or later) version? 

Jim’s previous antenna at this location (before Sandy) was a coax fed 135 foot dipole that with a tuner he used successfully on all bands.  It goes from the peak of the house (about 40 feet) to a flagpole.  It seems that we will re-do this antenna with new wire and coax …and leave the R7000 on the garage floor.

Anyone have any thoughts or experience with the R7000 that would explain the results we got? 

— John, W1XX

 

 

     

RTTY/CW INTERFACE QUESTION
RTTY/CW INTERFACE QUESTION avatar

To all…
Radio Ansonia needs to upgrade its RTTY/CW interface. I presently use a W3YY unit.

Presently our RTTY/CW interface is serial port driven. I purchased a serial to USB converter, but it doesn’t work for some reason.

I use the same serial to USB converter for rig control and it works fine, but NG on RTTY/CW.

So I would like to find a RTTY/CW interface that uses USB and retire the old technology.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I was in North Carolina over the Thanksgiving holiday and the following week looking for property for Radio Ansonia South.

73
Dave
W1CTN
Radio Ansonia

10 Meter RTTY Contest Results
10 Meter RTTY Contest Results avatar

Good evening all.  As this was my FIRST contest that I was able to enter, I must say I had fun, even though it wasn’t booming like I thought it would have been.  Bill N1HRA said it was probably due to the band it was on.  But still, it was fun.  Looking forward to more, and definitely Puerto Rico.

Here are my results:

Band  Mode  QSOs   Pts  Mult

28     RTTY    96     192   39

Total  Both    96     192   39

Score : 7,488

73

Jay KB1LCQ

2012 ARRL 160m Contest *Post scores here*
W1WBB

Topband contesters can post their claimed scores for this year’s event here.  Conditions domestically were quite good (very quiet conditions here each night – low background noise and lack of storm QRN – but particularly Friday eve).  DX certainly seemed harder to come by and less numerous than in past number of years due to poor long range signal strengths and few non-US/VE participants (ie. not really a DX ‘test)…this event appears to remain the ‘Sweepstakes of Topband! 

Got a 12 ft Mast?
W1XX

I recently met Jim, N1WWE, an 88 year young ham in Wakefield recently who I am trying to help with his antenna.  His wrie antenna came down in the storm.  But he has a Cushcraft R7000 vertical that may be a better bet.  Reviews are not very good…but we contemplate ground mounting it to a 10 to 12 ft HD mast section…like maybe 2 in diameter steel.  He could order it…but that’s too big for UPS-shippable.  Anyone got one lying around doing nothing that could be used….sell or donate…or whatever?  Also, he doesn’t have the manual for the R7000..so tuning it could be a problem.  Anyone happen to have the manual for  a R7000?  I know it can be ordered on line…so he may be doing that. He’s in a covenant restricted area…but his house seems to have enough tree/bush cover so that maybe no one will notice enough to complain. Please reply here with comments or e-mail me at w1xx [at]cox [dot] net.  TNX & 73!!

— John, W1XX  401-783-1588