James Duffey

Keith and all - Here is a screenshot of DX maps I took on Saturday afternoon showing virtually no propagation to DM:

Pretty much everything south of 40 degrees and west of 100degrees had no Es propagation. It was that way most of the day. We could make scatter contacts but that was about it. Sunday was much better for us, but superbly better for the east coast with widespread MUFs over 50MHZ most of the day and over 150MHz for portions of it. 

At W5UHF (W7QQ’s station), we ping ponged back and forth between SSB, CW, FT8, FT4 and MSK144. I think we finished with 174 QSOS, with 98 of those on the digital modes.  About a dozen of those digital QSOs were random MSK144 QSOs on Sunday morning.  I only worked a couple of CW QSOs as most of the people I heard on CW we had worked prior on other modes. 

We had a good long ES opening Sunday morning with both east and west open simultaneously at times. I managed a best hourly FT8 total (run?) of 32 QSOs during that interval, but I was continuously busy during that time.  I was lucky to do half that on SSB even at the best of times. While on FT8 it was easy to tell when the band was open good enough to use SSB or CW, but the rates were never there when we switched modes. When I was on FT8 with good sigs and high rates, I always felt I could do better on SSB or CW, but when I QSYed, I never did as well, which made me think that I should be back on FT8. Which eventually happened.

I tried using the free form message feature of FT8 a couple of times to get people to QSY, but that proved unsuccessful. Need to refine my efforts.

We also tried FT4 and that appears to be a very good mode for contesting. One can make QSOs almost as one can click buttons and hit return. But there wasn’t much activity, so side-trips to FT4 were short lived. I found out later that this mode, intended to replace RTTY in HF contests, is not recommended for VHF contests. I suspect that advice will be ignored. 

I heard lots of NMVHF Society members on the air. Please submit a log with NMVHF Society as the club. - Duffey KK6MC

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Jul 21, 2019, at 20:52, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Jul 21, 2019, at 19:40, Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:

Wow...what a difference a few hundred miles makes.  After seeing some comments stations not that far back east, I feel like I was in a different country for this contest.

This was, by far, the worst CQWW-VHF conditions I've seen since moving west.  Bad, as in poor 6M conditions, and bad, as in who else was working what, while I had nothing but marginal Es for short periods and difficult scatter conditions.  The DXmaps application flowed brightly with red lines of sporadic E east of the Mississippi River all weekend, with front range W0's coupling in on not only 6, but also strong 2M Es.

When 6M Es conditions did manifest themselves for short periods, it appeared most stations were on slow rate modes like FT8.  There were several periods when stations on SSB were very loud and commenting on how loud I was, but there were no decent runs to be had.  I can only assume everyone was on FT8 running 30-40/hour (if that...I actually made an attempt at running FT8 and am pretty sure it would be almost impossible to maintain that kind of rate for an hour straight).   FT4 appears a bit better, but that remains to be seen, as there were very few running that mode.  The bottom line is that high rate on 6 is becoming more and more difficult to attain.

Anyway, the results.

236Q  259 pts  140 grids => 36,260
6M Q's: 213
6M grids: 120
2M Q's: 23
2M grids: 20

6M - KW + 7el @ 65', 7el @ 45' & 5el fixed at 35'

2M - 600W + 5W/L antenna @ 50'


Keith Morehouse
via MotoG

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