Special Event Commemorating the Louisiana Purchase – April 21 to 28, 2018

A special event commemorating the Louisiana Purchase will take place from April 21 to April 28, 2018.  Sponsored by the NorthEast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club, the event will use the call sign W5L.

A commemorative full-color QSL card has been created for the event.

Operators will be from locations across Louisiana, activating the HF bands in CW, Phone and RTTY modes.

A schedule of the on-air times and more details are available at https://W5WZ.com/W5L 

 

DXer’s tool: ClubLog

DXing is enjoyed by many hams.  There are countless tools available to assist.  One very popular online tool is ClubLog.  There is nothing to install on your computer.  Just browse to https://clublog.org/

Club Log is an online database with a suite of powerful tools supporting active DXers.  Club Log was designed to enable, in fact to encourage club activity and friendly competition between club members through its league tables and charts.

Once you have registered on Club Log and uploaded your log, you will be able to:

Generate personal reports, showing which DXCC countries you have worked and/or confirmed, when you first worked them, which ones you still need, and which are the most likely to QSL (Club Log’s reports are both comprehensive and flexible);

See how you stand relative to your peers in various league tables and challenges (again, the reports are very flexible – for example with a few clicks you can generate a specific league table listing how many DXCC countries or CQ zones have been worked by various African hams on 20m CW in the past year almost as easily as a global league table covering all bands, all modes and all years since 1945);

Analyze your log for possible/likely errors in the DXCC allocations (Club Log’s painstakingly-researched DXCC database is a tremendously useful resource supporting the DX community);

Predict the bands and times on which you are most likely to work almost any DX station, based on actual QSOs in the logs uploaded to Club Log, and draw great circle maps;

Set up a personal DX Cluster feed that filters out the DXCCs you have already worked, leaving just the ones you still need …

… and much more.  This is just a taste of things to come!

73, W5WZ

2018 NAQP, SSB, January M/2

North American QSO Party, SSB – January

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/2 LP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 12

Summary:
Band QSOs Mults
——————-
160: 46 28
80: 461 46
40: 612 56
20: 602 50
15: 39 11
10: 0 0
——————-
Total: 1760 191 Total Score = 336,160

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

2018 ARRL DX SSB M/2 HP

ARRL DX Contest, SSB

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): WM5H K5ER W5WZ
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/2 HP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 37:20

Summary:
Band QSOs Mults
——————-
160: 11 10
80: 100 51
40: 237 72
20: 732 98
15: 252 70
10: 69 20
——————-
Total: 1401 321 Total Score = 1,302,939

Analyzing Contest Logs by W5WZ

So you have your shiny whiz-bang contest logging software installed and configured to interface properly between your computer and your radio.  That’s a great step toward an integrated ham station, as far as logging the time, date, mode, frequency, callsign worked, and the contest exchange are concerned.  Much faster than pen and paper!  But, is that the end of the usefulness of software in the ham shack?  No way!  There are countless software tools available that fill various niche needs. I’ll introduce one of my favorite pieces of ancillary software in this article.

It’s no secret; I really enjoy HF contesting.  To me, there isn’t anything else quite like running stations at rates greater than 125 QSOs/hour.  In many contests, whether single-op or multi-op, the log will have hundreds, if not thousands of QSOs.  A deep-dive analysis of the log can provide insight into propagation patterns, timing of band changes, and even antenna azmituth to the maximum amount of QSOs.  The intent of the analysis is always to improve future contest scores.  Many software tools are available that provide detailed analysis of contest logs, but most only output page upon page of data in text tables, which are useful, but get downright boring to comb through to extract and interpret the real meat.

A few years ago, I learned about a software tool that is the cat’s meow. The tool is called “SH5 Contest Log Analyzer.” SH5 is fast and easy to use contest log analyzer which creates a variety of statistics in HTML format (WEB pages) from the Cabrillo format log generated by any contest loggers (N1MM Logger+, Win-Test, Writelog, TR4W and others). Reports may be viewed with any Internet browser, such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer. The program also allows you to upload this data to your WEB site for public access and to create an archive of your contest results.

You’ll find the SH5 website at:  https://sites.google.com/site/sh5analyzer/

I invite you to check out the reports I’ve generated using SH5 by visiting my contest log and performance archives online at http://w5wz.com/sh5/w5wz/  Go find my log and reports for a contest that you’ve participated in.  See if we changed bands at about the same times.  Did I leave the band too soon?  Too late?  These are the kinds of questions to ask, and a tool such as SH5 can help answer.

See you in the pileups!
73, Scott W5WZ

Contest Operating Tips from the experience of W5WZ

TIP #1:  Sometimes you may wish to operate in a contest, but find there isn’t much activity on the air for that specific contest, yet the bands are full of participants in other contests.  No problem!  Learn what they need for their exchange and give it to them, and get them to give you what you need for your contest exchange.  You log what you need and submit your log for the contest that you want to enter.  As a courtesy, also submit your log to the other contest(s) as a check-log.

TIP #2:  Remember when Mama told you “sit up straight”?  Well, she was right!  You’ll be able to focus better and have more energy when operating.  In fact, studies suggest that sitting or standing up straight and tall can give you an added boost of confidence.  If that equates to 5 more QSOs per hour in the log, then it’s worth it!

TIP # 3:  Logging software:  Regardless of which software you prefer, make it your goal to become an expert at using it!  Learn to squeeze every bit of performance out of it.  Learn to leverage all the specific operating aids to the biggest advantage.  When you become expert, then the layer of software doesn’t intimidate you, or isolate you from the radio; rather it melds with you to the radio.

TIP # 4:  Last, when mentioning software logging programs, think about the way you type.  Are you a “hunt and peck” typist?  Do you have to watch your fingers as you type?  If you answer yes to either of those questions, you’ve got room to improve your contest score!  Learn to touch type.  It will free your eyes and your mind to do other score-building tasks during the contest.

73, W5WZ

2017 CQ WW CW is history!

Sweeps CW was so much fun, I decided to play CW for a bit this weekend too.  Heard KA5M work a CQing station right ahead of me on Saturday, don’t know if Marsh heard me.

CQ WW CW Single Op Assisted High Power

 Band     QSOs     Pts  ZN   Cty  Pt/Q
   1.8       6      14    4    6   2.3
   3.5      57     150   13   30   2.6
     7     178     505   21   63   2.8
    14     306     811   27   95   2.7
    21     137     377   22   66   2.8
    28      21      63    5    7   3.0
 Total     705    1920   92  267   2.7

Score: 689,280

SH5 analysis

FT-1000MP goes “deaf” on receive antenna

During 2017 ARRL Sweeps SSB, we noticed that one of the FT-1000MPs had gone deaf on the receive antenna.  During SS, this radio was on 40/15, so not having the beverage receive antennas available was not critical.

So, the night following the contest, I popped the top cover off, and removed the RF board.  It only took a couple of seconds to identify 3 broken solder joints that hold the RCA connector on the board. 

Broken solder joints on RF board, FT-1000MP, receive antenna input

Within 15 minutes, the connections were repaired, the radio reassembled, and tested on the air.  Easy fix!

2017 ARRL Sweepstakes SSB @ W5WZ

ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, SSB

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ KN5O K5ER WM5H WA5VQP
Station: W5WZ

Class: Multi-Op HP
QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 23:58

Summary:
Band  QSOs
————
 160:    0
  80:  269
  40:  839
  20:  655
  15:  104
  10:    0
————
Total: 1867  Sections = 83  Total Score = 309,922

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

Comments:

This year the LCC members opted to go to W5WZ’s QTH for our annual SS SSB Contest get together.  Previously we have run as W5RU(@KN5O).

This time of year, WX can be an issue for us.  Fortunately a cold front passed though our area just prior to the start of the contest, so we had excellent WX conditions (no thunderstorms to deal with).  Additionally, we didn’t have any computer and/or antenna radio equipment problems, so it was “all good.”  

We started off on 20m and 15m and noticed that our 20m performance dropped off earlier than usual, forcing us to move to 40m and 80m sooner than we have in the past.  However we were able to put 82 sections in the log after about 6 hours of operation, missing only NL.  By 1AM (when we usually take our first break), we had nearly 1100 Qs in the log – good but not as good as we have had
in the past.  

On Sunday, the rate was substantially down from years past.  We did the best we could in trying to run, but it was somewhat disappointing.  Conditions are obviously deteriorating.  All that being said, we were able to work VO1KVT for our last mult early Sunday morning.  He had a pretty good pileup and managed it well.  After putting him in the log, we just had to settle down and run as best we could.

All-in-all, we had a good time and are satisfied with our performance.  We had lots of food and snacks and a good time was had by all.  Many thanks to Scott (W5WZ) and his wife Sharon (KW5MOM) for allowing us to invade their home. 

We want to thank everyone for the Qs and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

And, on a very positive note, we noticed large numbers of Checks in the past 2 year.  The new hams ARE getting on the air!

For W5WZ and the LCC members- 

Ted KN5O, Mark K5ER, Bobby WM5H, Shawn WA5VQP and Scott, W5WZ

Musings on M/S Contesting

I’ve recently returned from my 5th trip to K8AZ near Cleveland, OH, to participate in CQ WW SSB in a M/S effort.  Tom’s station is superb, and the complexity of the antenna switching continues to amaze me.

Every time I return home to W5WZ, however, I’m fired up about ham radio again.  This year, I’ll soon be hosting a Multi-op group for ARRL SS SSB.  I’ve just build a two-transmitter interlock, and have a 3rd receiver ready for Section hunting duty.

While searching for more good info, I ran across a 21-year old article from WM2C.  I enjoyed it, and thought it is worthwhile to share.  Multi-Single Rules and Strategies

73, Scott W5WZ