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.
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.
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)