Running a QSO Party with New Software

Decided to work the Wisconsin QSO Party and wanted to try N3FJP’s logging software.

A quick download from the website, and a registration (I registered the whole package as I intend to use it for other contests this year) and it was time to install & debug.

I received my version passwords quickly by email, installed the software & completed the configuration. Wanting to use the Band Tracking feature I did set up the Rig Tracking with my Flex-Radio Flex-5000A.

Not having a Serial-Port sharing program running (yet) I found it easier to select a virtual pair within the range of the N3FJP software. Within a few moments I had the software up and ready to go.

Having used N3FJP’s software during our club’s last several Field Day operations, it was about a 30 second familiarization and I was ready to go!

Bands and conditions were difficult and 80m was my best band. I did make some 40m QSOs and just a few 20m QSOs (found Japan was easy at 150 watts on 20m though I could hear Taiwan but couldn’t work the BX5 back at 150 watts).

I kept my Alpha well throttled back, giving it minimum drive for an average 150 watts. Perhaps I shoudld have used a patch cable to skip it and the extra in the shack, as the cumulative in shack losses otherwise cut me back to 60 watts on 80m.

I fell well short of my hope of a clean-sweep of Wisconsin Counties, with 30 of 72 works (42%), 18 state and one Canadian Province (DX doesn’t count as a multiplier) for a meager 6100 points.

Here is an abbreviated version of the log the N3FJP software created for submission:

START-OF-LOG: 2.0
CREATED-BY: N3FJP’s WI State QSO Party Program 1.7
ARRL-SECTION: WISCONSIN
CONTEST: Wisconsin State QSO Party
CALLSIGN: K9ZW
[QRZ type data deleted]
COUNTY: MAN       CLUB AFFILIATION: MANCORAD W9DK
ENTRY CLASS: Single OP Fixed
POWER LEVEL:  LOW
CONTACT POINTS:
CW QSOs    0 X 2 = 0
Phone QSOs 83 X 1 = 83
Power Multiplier  LOW 1.5
TOTAL CONTACT POINTS =  124.5
MULTIPLIERS:
Wisconsin Counties =  30
States =  18
Provinces =  1
Total Multipliers =  49
SCORING: CONTACT POINTS X MULTIPLIERS =  6100.5
BONUS POINTS =  0
CLAIMED-SCORE:  6100.5
SOAPBOX: Had a great time, even throttled down to 150 watts!  First event I worked with a new Flex-5000a
QSO:  7000 PH 2009-03-15 1826 K9ZW              MAN    KI9A              IL
QSO: 14000 PH 2009-03-15 1830 K9ZW              MAN    KV5WS             TX
QSO: 14000 PH 2009-03-15 1831 K9ZW              MAN    N6RZR             CA
QSO: 14000 PH 2009-03-15 1833 K9ZW              MAN    W5KTT             TX
QSO:  7000 PH 2009-03-15 1842 K9ZW              MAN    VA3SWG            ON
QSO:  3500 PH 2009-03-15 1849 K9ZW              MAN    NN8L              MI
QSO:  3500 PH 2009-03-15 1851 K9ZW              MAN    K8AO              MI
QSO:  7000 PH 2009-03-15 1901 K9ZW              MAN    N2CU              NY
QSO:  3500 PH 2009-03-15 1906 K9ZW              MAN    KS9WI             CAL

…… [about 75 more contacts deleted]
END-OF-LOG:

Within ten minutes of the end of the contest I had all my housekeeping done, my log submitted to the QSO Robot email address, the QSOs added into my master log in MixW and uploaded to eQSL.

I did take a couple breaks, to make coffee, to go outside for a while (I moved my 1/2 sloper 75 degrees to cover the state a bit better and to inspect the damage deer did to my vertical antenna when they got caught in the counterpoise loop in deep snow.

Also broke for dinner with the family, a phone call and to change footwear (my shack is in what was to be a wine cellar and I was feeling the cold from the tile floor).

All in all a lot of fun and I am looking forward to using the software/hardware combination again soon!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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