WAE DX CW and Wide Signals

I was not able to take part to WAE DX CW contest this weekend since I was chilling out on holidays in a wonderful and sunny place. I had internet and the computer with me for other purposes and I happened to check around the bands in a few “slow” moments while my girlfriend was busy with other duties before and after heading out to the seaside or heading to town for some tourist activities.

I connected to the well-known Twente University online SDR (a really nice one to listen around in the HF spectrum for both broadcasting, utility as well as hamradio signals). I’m rather new to SDRs and seeing the whole CW subband on the screen is always a thrill, especially in CW or when there are a number of signals active on the band. During WAE CW 40 20 and 15 were quite busy, also due to the rather good propagation.

Bandmap

It is nice to see so many signals and especially on CW (or digital modes) where all the traces are thin and closely spaced. Unfortunately what I saw was not exactly a perfect thing (perfect thing doesn’t exist but still…you can get close).

Lots of signals seems pretty wide and my head started thinking. Its not long ago since CQWW introduced the “clean signals policy” into its rules with the aim to limit the bad and distorted audios and signals during the competition. It is not that the bad signals are always wanted, let’s be clear, but still it gives a lot of issues to the nearby contesters that are splattered and disturbed by the wide and non-regulated nearby signals. A perfect “guide” is the one that you can find on the cqww.com website at the following link.

With a quick visual scan of the bands I could isolate some sort of wide CW signals that were for sure being an issue for the nearby competitors. I will not disclose callsigns for sake of “privacy” and because I do not like to name names but I definitely hope that someone reading this (I know I have less than the 25 readers of Manzoni) will double check its gear to make sure he is both compliant with the rules and a gentleman on the air.

One of the identified wide signals, notice the difference with the clean close by signals

One of the identified wide signals, notice the difference with the clean close by signals

At times when you have a noisy neighbour you might get noisy too…and you don’t notice yourself till someone makes you notices that.

Cattura1

Two wide signals quite close each other

Another wide one in a less crowded band

Another wide one in a less crowded band

Getting worse and worse

Getting worse and worse

Spectrum bully

Spectrum bully

How can you hold a run here?

How can you hold a run here?

As I said no callsign named (but I have my sort of black book with the calls well written). I spent quite some time listening to these signals during the weekend at different times and I have to admit most (but not all) were Europeans.  It is a real pity contest organizers do not look for such stations and ask for clarifications. I am not saying they are all doing it on purpose but I think contesting is a really technical part of our hobby and if you are able to build your own contest station, maybe even a multi op multi transmitter station, the engineering skills to try to reduce such a problem are at your hands and, if someone tells you “Your audio is distorted/Your signal is too wide” you should definitely backtrack the problem trying to solve it (or at least, do your best). Did you see/heard anything similar? want to share your opinion? let me know more about that in the comments, I will try to get back to all of you.

Thanks for reading till here.

EU HF Championship 2016

                    European HF Championship

Call: IZ3NVR
Operator(s): IZ3NVR
Station: IZ3NVR

Class: CW Only LP
QTH: 
Operating Time (hrs): 7
Remote Operation

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Mults
---------------------------
  160:   10            10
   80:   70            34
   40:   83            38
   20:  137            50
   15:  133            49
   10:   86            42
---------------------------
Total:  519     0     223  Total Score = 115,737

Club: Worldwide Young Contesters

Comments:

Wow, that was fun. I was not sure to take part to it due to other duties but
finally gave it a go remotely using Teamviewer to access N1MM in my shack PC.

The lack of a "real knob" limited me to a simple click and pounce
technique and some CQs here and there. I got really lots of fun CQing, hope
some little delay didn't made me sound like a lid. Judging by the rates it
doesn't seem like (lots of run with rates >100Q/h with an Amazing top of a
213Q/h on 80m just before quitting).

Highlights:
- 10Qs on 160m on a run frequency!! WOW
- 100W really does the difference 
- final rush around 1AM local with a 213QSO/h rate on 80m. A pity I had to shut
down after a while.
- Nice virtual battle on cqcontest.net with IT9CLN :)
- Was fun to hear OQ5M (ON5ZO) slowing his rate to say hi to me, thanks Franki

Definitely want a better low band antenna. It is Amazing for working EU but I
need a more "DX" type antenna for the CQWWs.

FT450AT @90W
10-15-20 Verticsl
40-80 Dipole
80-160 "ugly" Inv-L

                    IOTA Contest

Call: IZ3NVR
Operator(s): IZ3NVR
Station: IZ3NVR

Class: SO12Mixed LP
QTH: JN65EP
Operating Time (hrs): 11
Radios: SO2R

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  CW Mults  Ph Qs  Ph Mults
----------------------------------------
   80:   10       6                 
   40:   40      12        6       6
   20:  104      41       69      27
   15:   56      31       32      17
   10:   10       6        2       2
----------------------------------------
Total:  220      96      109      52  Total Score = 526,436

Club: Worldwide Young Contesters

Comments:

Nice contest as usual. First "serious" attempt at Low Power SO2R so
forgive me if, especially in the early hours of sunday, I have been much of a
LID on 40CW while running, I was for sure busy with the second radio.

It is nice to leave the QRP category and compete among the "big guns"
and set in such a score. I know it is nothing special but still it's half a
million reached in a bit less than 12 hours.

The initial idea was to park a radio on 40m to work as many G/EI as possible
but that definitely didn't work and 40m netted way less QSOs than expected.

10m showed some life no matter the number of sunspots and the A and K indexes.
Lots of flutter and QSB everywhere none the less. I need to improve timing as
well as the technical part of the station. Won't be easy as lots of things are
happening. 

Found EI2KM on 10m SSB with a pretty good signal on saturday late afternoon
calling CQ with no breaks at all. A pity he went that way till the signal
faded. Could have been mult number 3 on 10m SSB.

Hard to hold a frequency on 20m CW, completely useless on SSB. Three times I
got zero beated by an Ukrainian station that came to my frequency and started
CQing (no matter I was there since the last 30 mins or so). Tried to battle a
bit but was useless, he was probably not even listening to me (hope so).

Total Qs (with dupes): 331
Radio 1 QSOs: 297 (89,5%)
Radio 2 QSOs: 35 (10,5%)

See you next year under hopefully better conditions.

FT-450 / FT-857
Vertical 10-15-20 / Fritzel FB33 rotative dipole
40-80m dipole

iota

IARU HF Championship 2016

Wow !!!! WOOOOOW!!!!

It was quite some time since my last serious contest and I dare say I enjoyed till the last second of it. I love contesting and you guys know that. I like those endless 48h marathons on CW or SSB and I like the little few hours occasional sprints. I love the thrill of working mults, I love the thrill of having a far away station looking for me or copying my Exchange.

I am a competitive guy generally speaking and contesting just fits me well.

I was in contest abstinence and I really wanted to play around with the big boys. IARU was my chance. All plans were aligned except for the fact that I didn’t really planned an operation in this contest but since I was alone at the station and all the major duties (both work and family wise) were ok I thought of giving it a go. Now the dilemma….SOAB LP or SOAB QRP?

Well, since the start of the solar minimum I got this dilemma going on. I’ve Always enjoyed playing QRP but things gets more and more difficult and there’s lots of bad habits in such a category (cheating?).

I personally know what I am doing and how much power I am using and I am compliant with the rules and all the results, may that be a nice one or a plain “hole in the water”, are my own and achieved within the rules. Seems like someone else does not think it that way, and there are a number of such people around…in all categories honestly.

For a period I went playing with the big boys in the High Power categories (I was using only 100W though since I don’t even own an amplifier). I got some nice results overall, mainly in Single Band entries on 40 or 80m. Entering a LP All Band was in my wish list but playing QRP has Always been nice to me so I went that way. I have no regrets !!

Propagation wise the contest was supposed to be really boring. With a really low SFI propagation never really opened towards DX zones (with the exception of a few quick openings at weird hours). Lots and lots and lots of EU stations active made the contest way far from being boring.

The final number of QSOs is one of my best.

iaru

I used a lot the second radio with an overall second radio QSO number of 12% more or less.

radio_nr

radio_hr

All in all a super contest. Poor DX propagation but the activity made up for it.

Next one? likely RSGB IOTA. This time I guess SOAB Mix Low Power 12 or 24 hours will be a fun category 😉

 

ARI DX 2016

                   ARI International DX Contest

Call: IZ3NVR
Operator(s): IZ3NVR
Station: IZ3NVR

Class: SO CW HP
QTH: JN65ep
Operating Time (hrs): 3,5

Summary:
 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  RTTY Qs  Mults
------------------------------------
  160:                            
   80:                            
   40:   69                     28
   20:  101                     26
   15:    7                      6
   10:                            
------------------------------------
Total:  177     0       0       60  Total Score = 10,980

Club: Worldwide Young Contesters

Comments:

Just a few hours to give out my province in CW. Almost only RUN, no S&P just
to enjoy the thrill of having someone to call you back.

Really poor propagation and low activity as well. Rules should be modified a
bit to make it more enjoyable or activity will be lower and lower, especially
from italian stations.

  Best Rates

  Best     QSO/h     QSO  Period
   10 min     96     16   1953...2002 07/05
   20 min     78     26   1945...2004 07/05
   30 min     72     36   1949...2018 07/05
   60 min     58     58   1938...2037 07/05
  120 min     38     77   0651...0850 08/05

See you next one

FQP 2016

Wow, a QSO Party. I’ve been involved in County Hunting since a few and already have more then 400 but QSO parties are pretty difficult to work as US operators are usually interested and focused in working fellow americans rather than DXes.

Florida QSO Party 2016 got quite some DX running the contest and all those great mobile operators gave me the chance to work an almost complete SWEEP in CW.

Cattura

“SUN” SWEEP completed twice and almost all counties were worked. Of the remaining OSECOLA and VOLUSIA were heard but couldn’t work the mobile station in there. Great jo to K4OJ/M, NO5W/M and KY4N/M

1

Yuri Gagarin Cup 2016

Call: IZ3NVR
Operator(s): IZ3NVR 
Station: IZ3NVR
Class: SOSB/40 HP
QTH: JN65 
Operating Time (hrs): 1 
Location: Southern Europe
OPERATORS: IZ3NVR

Band  QSOs Dupes Points Mults
160      0     0      0     0
 80       0     0      0     0
 40      33     0    194     5
 20       0     0      0     0
 15       0     0      0     0
 10       0     0      0     0
======================================
 Total   33     0    194     5

Final score: 970 points

Comments:  2016-04-11 02:20:16 

Just a few contacts the very last hour of the contest.

FT450 @ 50W 
Dipole