Digital Contesting – AB1QB Enters The 2013 ARRL RTTY Roundup

AB1QB Contesting

AB1QB Contesting

I worked the 2013 ARRL RTTY Roundup contest this weekend for the first time with the new station and the difference from last year was amazing! I also got to use my new Flex-3000 Software Defined Radio for the contest. Band conditions were very good (the sun spot numbers were high) and 10 meters was open. I entered the contest in the Single Operator High Power category, which did not allow me to use a spotting network.

Software Defined Radio

Flex-3000 Software Defined Radio

This was the first time I tried to “Run” during a contest. That is to find a spot in the digital sub-band that nobody is using and call CQ (as opposed to “Search and Pounce”, which is to tune across a sub-band looking for stations to work). “Running” allows you to work QSOs at a much higher rate. Using our two Yagi’s and 500 watts of power from our the amplifier,  I was never “lonely” – I always had a constant stream of callers answering my CQs and sometimes several at once.

Multipliers for this contest were individual US States, Canadian Provinces, and DX Countries. To calculate your score, you multiply the total multipliers by the number of QSOs that you made. I had 111 multipliers for the contest and 759 QSOs. My total score before log checking is 84,249 (the final scores for the contest will be posted here in the near future). Below are some statistics for the QSOs that I made during the contest by area of the world and by band.

RTTY Contest Stats

AB1QB Contest QSO Statistics

Most of the US and Canadian multipliers were easy to get, but it is usually the closest (or most remote) states that are the most difficult – and I did not get Vermont or North Dakota. Saturday evening, I pointed the Yagis toward Europe and worked stations from many different European countries on 40 meters. Sunday toward the end of the contest, I was running on 20 meters with the antennas pointed West working W6s and W7s and I started seeing JA stations calling me. Before we upgraded our station, the only QSOs with JA’s in my log were made during our DXpedition to Bora Bora Island. I moved the antennas around toward Japan and worked approximately 20 Japanese stations and started completing calls with other DX stations in Asia including South Korea, Indonesia, and New Zealand.
RTTY QSO In Contest

RTTY QSO During The Contest

All in all this was a very enjoyable experience. Planned improvements for the next contest (CQ WPX RTTY) will be to work more hours (this time I took time off to sleep, working about 20.5 hours of the 30 hour contest period) and include trying to search out more DX stations. Also, we will be trying contest oriented logging software (we are considering WriteLog and the N1MM Logger). I have been using Ham Radio Deluxe because its well suited for Digital Operating and chasing awards. But logging software designed specifically for contesting will do a better job of keeping track of multipliers and duplicate contacts as the contest progresses. (Generally multiple QSOs with the same station on the same band do not count – and  also wastes precious time for you as well as the other station).

If you work contests, please complete our poll and tell us what logging software you use. This will help me to choose which contest logging software to try for the next contest.

– Anita (AB1QB)

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3 thoughts on “Digital Contesting – AB1QB Enters The 2013 ARRL RTTY Roundup

  1. Hello Anita – san,
    Thank you for the QSos on 40,20 and 15m during the RTTY WW contest.
    When I saw your callsign on my screen, I could hardly believe that the signals coming from east-coast of the USA and even from NH which is very hard to work from JA on low bands!
    I received your QSLs yesterday, thank you for the beautiful QSLs and I sent you mine today, so you will receive mine in a week or so.
    Your station is just very wonderful !
    I hope to see you again in near future, maybe in other contests!
    Best wishes to you and your family.
    73’s Al JA9APS

    • Hi Jeff,

      The devices that you are looking at are programmable band pass filters. Each of the radios in our shack have one and it allows us to operate on different bands at the same time from each of our four radios.

      – Fred (AB1OC)

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