NA Sprint CW Contest - February Call: WF7T Operator(s): WF7T Station: WF7T Class: Single Op LP QTH: TN Operating Time (hrs): 4 Summary: Band QSOs Op Time --------------------- 80: 91 120 40: 55 90 20: 15 30 --------------------- Total: 161 Mults = 36 Total Score = 5,796 Club: Tennessee Contest Group Team: Comments: Better than last year yet I still suck at this! This contest format vexes me to no end. Still awful on 20M, 40M was great but very long from here. 80M was my best band tonight. Was going to attempt SO2R but found the headphone audio was reversed with no time before the contest to mod the cable. What a mess...Please forgive this lid! Thanks as always for all for the QSOs! 73 Brad WF7T Nashville, TN --- Icom IC-7600, 20M [email protected]', [email protected]' N1MM v11.2.1, YCCC SO2R+ (keyer)
After the contest, K4RO sent some very kind words. He made me think a bit, and I sent this in reply:
“Thanks Kirk! I DID have a few good moments but this contest (and the Thurs. sprints) put my skills to the test:
1. Code speed and accuracy. In my youth circa 1978 I could copy and send 35WPM or so. I find it is not like riding a bicycle! I seem to be stuck around 28WPM now and my accuracy gets worse the higher thespeed. Do I practice my code? No. Should I practice my code? Probably. I think I know what the prescription is here.
2. Focus and concentration. The Sprint format takes what I don’t haveat the moment. My best Thursday Sprints are the ones where I am happy-go-lucky and relaxed. My job and health are both keeping me stressed out to a very high level. When I am running on fumes mentally and physically I lack the ability to focus and concentrate.
3. Station engineering. My station is always in a state of flux. I have not made the time to finish my filtering setup for SO2R, and Iknow I will need some addition coax stubs. This will just take some time and time is in short supply.
4. Antennas! I spent a few hours yesterday doing minor adjustments to my wire farm. Put up a nice 90′ Inv. L but it doesn’t tune well for 160 with an auto-tuner at the base…too short. I intended to use it on the second radio for 80/40M. I wanted to keep a signal on 40M as long as possible and go to 80M early. I DID do exactly this but without benefit of the second radio!
5. 20M is my nemesis! Again, I have plans for a wire yagi on my roof pointed W. I will still be low (25′) but I believe I will make a better signal on 20M for domestic contests toward CA/OR/WA. I have also been thinking about a rotatable wire yagi (like the Optibeam) up on a pole in the backyard. There is one spot where I can manage this and a gossamer yagi might do the trick…2 elements likely.
On the bright side, I did manage to optimize my macros for the sprint format. They will switch automatically between run and s&p keeping the exchange on the correct side of the couplet. I also have them working with ESM. Also, I am “this close” to being able to play SO2R…six solder connections away! I have all the parts for a KK1L controller box, and he informs me of the availability of an Icom daughter-card.
I am still working on how to get a better signal into EU for RTTY WPX. I have shown pretty well in past outings treating WPX as a domestic contest. Now I need to figure out how to get a better signal into EU on 20 and 40M to pick up more multipliers and points. A couple thoughts are to simply put up a some half-squares to see how they would play.
All this is positive, Kirk, as it means I still get to tinker around with my station and continue to build my skills! I can only imagine what WPX might be like from a better setup. I would love to guest op or be a part of a multi-multi effort someday. In the meantime, I am enjoying small improvement in each endeavor. Progress!
This didn’t start as a long message but you made me think some, Kirk! Reply only as you have time.