I worked the BARTG RTTY Sprint this weekend. It seemed a bit quiet at times — certainly not the wall to wall signals that you encounter with the CQ WW or WPX RTTY Contests. But it was fun none the less. Plus, I managed to conduct a few runs on 20 meters and 40 meters. I also discovered the source of a problem that I encountered during the last contest.

I was in front of the radio for 8.5 hours out of the 24 hours of the contest. That was mostly daylight hours. During that time I worked 243 stations. This is compared to a friend of mine who had around 2,000 contacts when last I saw her, Khrystyne, K1SFA. I did manage to work her on all five bands, the only station I found on all five. I sure hope she wins this contest. She won it last year.

My contacts were fairly evenly split between 20 meters and 15 meters, both in the 80 contact range. 40 meters came in at 55 contacts. 80 meters at 15, followed by 10 meters with just 6 contacts. The vertical antennas worked well.

In a previous contest I had run into problems with MMTTY switching to 2125 Hz RTTY tones from my normal 915 Hz tones. The first time it happened I had a devil of a time figuring out what had changed. Once I sourced the change, I would just reset the tone settings. During this contest, it happened again. My friend, Dave, N3BUO, suggested that it had to do with the profiles set up in MMTTY. That was news to me. I didn’t even realize there were profiles. Checking those, I still couldn’t zero in  on the problem. However, during this contest it happened again. For some reason I checked the N1MM messages and found that there was a command embedded that referred MMTTY to Profile 0. Once I deleted that command, all was well. Thanks, Dave, for giving me that lead.

The next contest is the CQ WPX RTTY. For that one I’ll set up my Moxon and point it at Europe. Still considering entering in the QRP category. We’ll see how patient I feel in a couple of weeks.

Thanks everyone for your hard work digging my signal out of the QRM and QRN and for handling the few bobbles I made during my runs. 73 and see you on the air.

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Jim, you have a nice score for only 8,5 hours of activity! I did around 16 hours and scored 378 Q’s. Indeed no “wall to wall”-signals this contest, but enough to score some points. I worked your friend Khrystyne, K1SFA on all bands too! If I look at her shack (K1TTT) I know why 😉
    I should check this tone thingy (2125 versus 915 Hz), if I remember correctly my transceiver is set on 2125 Hz. Is better to use 915? I really have no idea, as you might notice.
    Hope to work you in the WPX RTTY!
    73, Jim PA1JIM

    • Hi Jim,

      Great to compare notes. Yes, Khrystyne’s station is not only a few notches better than ours but she’s also in a great location for reaching Europe.

      On 2125 vs 915. I use 915 because it is easier on my ears. The 2125 is typically chosen when running AFSK to ensure that no harmonics leave the transmitter, since the 3 or 3.5 kHz bandpass for SSB prevent the harmonics from getting through the rig. Via my P3 panadapter I’ve actually seen full signals rise up roughly 915 Hz apart from such a transmission. This usually means they are first running at 915 Hz AFSK and overdriving the audio that causes the harmonics. Of course, if you’re running FSK, it doesn’t really matter. Hope that helped. The best source of such information is at http://rttycontesting.com Take care and will watch for PA1JIM during CQ WPX RTTY.

      73, Jim, K5ND

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