Posts Tagged ‘10000 Hour RadioSport Challenge’
Cycle 24 sunspot production is tantalizing but it takes activity to move an event from contender into established franchise winner. The Russian DX Contest (RDXC) point structure does a good job promoting international activity however until the solar flux reaches triple digits, this event is one for the east coast.
Certainly, when one looks west of the Mississippi, population density drops significantly and its influence is felt on the reach of potential participants and enthusiasts. Frankly, I’m competing against a wall signals whose advantage is a single hop into Europe, albeit modest stations with sub optimal antenna systems or competitive stations with optimal antenna systems.
East coast advantage is a RadioSport constant that is nearly fixed across a continuum of time. It validates one of three variables when considering a goal within the game. The other two are antenna systems and station configuration.
One must weight location in relationship to score structure. Location is a RadioSport reality and options exist when considering the next competitive level.
Ed, N4EMG made a good point, one’s rate in the game will influence whether or not it is worth spending time in that game. I listened across three bands; 10m, 15m, and 20m through Saturday morning into late afternoon while calling CQ on the same spaces. My flatline rate meter, for one who has an iron butt in the chair, perhaps was indicative of activity west of the Mississippi?
Likewise, Keith, W4KAZ pointed out that station configuration follows one’s motivation and it is not unlike other competitive sports. One competes for different reasons however moving to the next level requires serious commitment both in time and resources. It is important to determine strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat (SWOT) when mapping out the next level of the game.
What did I gain from this weekend?
- Adjusted AF and RF gain controls to match headphone impedance according to K3NA’s Setting Receiver Gain Controls.
- Added four 10m quarter wavelength radials.
- Reduced listening fatigue because of improperly set gain controls.
- Contributed to the success of other competitors.
- Scored Brazil on 10m.
My goals were modest however my expectation overshot the reality of the game. I achieved at least one -Q although I’m curious if band conditions were not as stable as Cycle 24 numbers suggested? I heard Asia on 20m and 15m; South America on 10m; and, North America.
Ric, N6RNO suggested mapping goals. I drifted a few degrees from this advice although re-visiting RDXC was five hours of additional experience which meets a long-term goal. Rate, on the other hand, does determine commitment in the chair or time spent in the game while motivation to improve is an on-going, component-by-component, process.
I have to venture something to gain something at the end of the day.
The 2010 ARRL International DX CW event was my first operating experience when the solar flux indice broke through the 80 barrier. I watched A- and K-index steadily fall and marveled at our G4 class star. I imagined our ionosphere is much like the surface of an ocean. Each successive day reminding me of the local surf report.
Is there another sport as dependent on cosmological mechanics as RadioSport?
Friday night did not produce spectacular results, basically, the first evening is tough. My signal rarely scores on the first, second, or third call. It is however an opportunistic moment at logging multi-multi stations on spaces such as 15m or 20m at sunset using gray line enhancement.
I operated from N1MM’s band map with good effect while hopping between each space after loading needed multipliers. Additionally, I entered the high end of the spectrum into the dialog box then pressed enter for example; 14.080, 21.075, or 28.065 MHz then clicked downward.
I practiced moving through each space as fast as possible while loading or unloading the band map. The swarm network of spotting stations has little bearing in relationship to my location, the influence of propagation, and type of antenna system. I’m not spending expensive time ciphering through the cloud of information, pertinent or not, because of the variability of station configurations.
Saturday produced an entirely different set of results. I submit the existence of station configuration stratification where optimal stations are first logged through the competitive funnel leaving signal space during the last 24-hours of a major for modest stations.
Experience suggested following a Day Two type strategy and log data supported my conclusion 80% yield on day two versus 20% on day one.
Consequently, I logged (Japan = 19), (Hawaii = 17), and (Netherlands Antilles = 5) across five spaces within 24-hours. I’m optimistic as Cycle 24 actually stimulated 10m last weekend with a few South American 100-watt stations (Argentina and Brazil) going into the log.
It is exciting to learn my vertical antenna system is sensing low power stations on the high bands.
80m | 2 Qs | 1 Mults.
40m | 28 Qs | 11 Mults.
20m | 17 Qs | 8 Mults.
15m | 16 Qs | 10 Mults.
10m | 7 Qs | 3 Mults.
Total = 70 Qs.
Total Multipliers = 33.
Total Raw Score = 6,831 Points.
I have one more antenna system that will complete my coverage of available competitive bands within a home owner association regulated community. Admittedly, those sunspots added additional fun to an otherwise stellar event sponsored by the ARRL’s Contest Branch.
73 from the shackadelic on the beach.
P.S. Thank you Japan and Hawaii for making the difference in my log!