NA Sprint CW WF7T LP, Feb. 2011

NA Sprint CW Contest - February

Call: WF7T
Operator(s): WF7T
Station: WF7T

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 4

 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



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.

73 Brad”

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