Sunday, February 17, 2013

New records set at VE3WDM!!

Julie was out and about snapping shots!!
For me the ARRL  DX CW contest is over, I have some blog, email and cleaning to do for the rest of the day. Over all the contest was a success for me not that I broke any records with regards to points or number of contacts. I was very pleased with how the station and antenna were working, I find that contests are a great way to see how the rig and antenna preform. With regards to the rig and software I merged N1MM logger and N4PY rig control software through LP-bridge and as an added bonus I was able to also use the Flexradio's flex control vfo knob.....now that was a mouthful!! Lets break this down shall we N1MM is the
At 40mW and below this is the reading
contest logger that I use, N4PY is the software I use to control my K3. LP-bridge is a virtual port program that allows these two programs to somewhat talk to each other. I say somewhat as there are some minor issues. (there is another virtual port program VSP manager that allows perfect integration but I did not want to install it just before a contest) Oh and the FlexRadio FlexControl works fantastic with N4PY's rig control program and through LP-Bridge also works with N1MM as well. Another software program I ended
up purchasing was MRP40 cw decoding program. Now my code is not to bad at all but during contests I have found that for some reason some stations send at the speed of sound. (not sure why as they may loose more contacts that gain as folks just move on being not able to understand the fast code) For those stations this is were MRP40 shines.
Programs running during the contest
This is as far as I am concerned one of the best decoding programs. For those who want to participate in a CW contest but your code is not up to par this program will get you in on the action.  It's not free but is well worth the money!!

That was the software success for the contest other great events were being able to keep my power down to 1 watt....except for 2 contacts were the power creeped up to 3 watts. Did I say the power was kept to 1 watt? That was for a total number of  6 contacts the rest of the DX contacts went into the log with power numbers varying from 10mW's to 900mW's!!
Here is how the power numbers broke down
Contacts          Power
2                      10mW
13                     20mW
2                       40mW
4                       50mW
14                     100mW
22                     500mW
12                     From above 500 to 900mW
6                       1 watt
2                        3 watts

77                      TOTAL
I did say there was some records broken here at VE3WDM and they are
1. 69 DX contacts with under 1 watt in a contest!
2. Miles per watt bar is set higher.....CR3A with 10mW is 344,468 miles per watt 
                                                       DL6FBL with 10mW is 400,126 miles per watt
10mW on the QRPometer
I was not concerned about QSO per hour rate as at these power levels most of the time I had to try more than several times to make a contact. My radio equipment was (for those of  you wondering) the Elecraft K3, Elecraft P3, QRPometer, LP-100 meter, Hendricks 41dB attenuator and the last but not least the monster antenna......an attic dipole the Alpha Delta DX-EE.......that's right an attic dipole!!

15 comments:

  1. Mike,
    Outstanding achievement! I appreciated every low power Q this weekend with plenty of 5 watt signals radiating out of Japan on all wavelengths. I logged a few European 5 watt stations in addition to a hand full of 1 watt signals from Japan despite meager propagation. Again, congratulations on your accomplishment running at vapor wattage into an attic dipole, right on!
    73, Scot KA3DRR

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    1. Good evening Scot, thanks very much for your congrats. I had a great time in the contest and the QRPp contacts were just a boost to the whole weekend. I was not able to hear any JA's....that would had been great to contact them at QRPp levels. That is just another goal for another contest. I plan on taking the power even lower now if I have been operating at vapour levels what is it called when I even lower in power?....:)
      Have a great week Scot
      Mike

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  2. Mike,

    "Yikes-o-rama"! Great job at milliwatt power levels!

    I battled 8.5 hrs for 98 QSOs at 5 watts...and it was tough!

    Almost as impressive as the QRPp power levels was the creative job you did integrating the logging, rig control, and VFO knob software together into a functioning setup.

    Again - great job!

    72,
    Andy - WA5RML

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    1. Good evening Andy, thanks very much for the complements but it's not how many QSOs you make or the rig or power it 's all about having a great time in radio!!
      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and taking the time to comment.
      Have a great week Andy
      Mike

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  3. QRPp an indoor antenna - amazing results!

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    1. Thanks John and I was very shocked and at the back end of the contest I felt 1watt was huge power!!
      Mike

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  4. Hello Mike, another great achievement. Wow, and with a indoor antenna, unbelievable. You got some great equipment there, I like the QRP wattmeter. The link to MRP40 was not working unfortenately, may be a temporary thing. I don't like paying for software used for hobby except if it is really good. Till now I do some CW with DM780. I've been looking for USA and Canada this weekend on 20m, but nothing heard (seen), only very strong European stations all over de CW part of the band. 73, Bas

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    1. Good morning Bas, I have found MRP40 to be one of the best decoders I have used. In the contests is were it shines with not have to get frustrated at code which is the speed of sound. The support is great as well. Julian said he had the same troubles with not hearing any North American stations this past weekend.
      Mike

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  5. An incredible achievement! I didn't do as well as that running 100 watts.

    Julian, G4ILO

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    1. Good morning Julian, thanks very much and I too have had lots of weekends were nothing is heard on the bands...then weekends like this past one come up and things are alive. Have a nice week.
      Mike

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  6. Mike,

    Outstanding job!!! I look forward to the coming ARRL SSB DX Contest and seeing what I can do as a QRP station. The new antennas here seem to working well.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words and the contest sure was a hoot. Do post on your blog how the SSB contest goes with operating QRP!
      Mike

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  7. Hello Mike, excellent achievement in QRPp with indoor antenna's. Yes this is great fun with just 10 mW's WOW. You did an excellent job with below 100 mW's .I close my eyes and see you smile, from ear to ear. ;)
    It was my best ARRL DX CW ever. With 2.7 Watts down to 360 mW. I went to 28 MHz on Sunday afternoon not a minute too soon. My total 162 QSO's. I am still confused. hi 73, Bert

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    1. Good afternoon Bert, yes there was sure a smile ear to ear! I had been trying to get contacts with 10mW's throughout the contest but none heard me. I was not sure with the SWR and the length of coax if there was any wattage making it to the attic antenna or not? Then I did get this reply with my 10mW's and that gave me the confidence the power was making it to the antenna.
      Mike

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    2. Hello Mike, over and over I notice that changes in propagation, are larger than the change of antenna. 73, Bert

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