News items for tag radiocontesting - Koos van den Hout

2023-03-12 I participated in the EA PSK63 contest
PSK63 contest in fldigi This year I participated in the EA PSK63 Contest again. This is a contest organized by the Spanish Amateur Radio Club Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles and they organize nice contests!

This is a 24-hour contest between 12:00 UTC on Saturday and 11:59 UTC on Sunday. Contacts were made Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday morning. The last contact was logged at 11:59 UTC on Sunday! I went for the 20 and 40 meter bands and checked a few times whether there was activity on the 10 meter band. In the end I made 182 contacts, 1 on the 10 meter band.

Besides the usual search and pounce approach (looking for other stations calling CQ) I also called CQ for periods. This got me a nice amount of contacts in a short period. The peak was 4 contacts within 2 minutes. With the new Yaesu FT-991A radio it's also possible to find a free frequency, center it in the passband at 1500 Hz and then turn the bandwidth of the receiver down. Big signals outside the passband have a lot less influence with this radio so I can receive signals on 'my' frequency better.

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2023-02-20 I participated in the ARRL DX CW Contest
CW contest filling the bands on a websdr Past weekend was the ARRL DX CW Contest and I planned to participate beforehand on the 20 meter band like I did in the ARRL DX CW Contest in 2022.

But this year the HF propagation was much better and I got contacts with stations in the United States of America and Canada on the 10 meter, 15 meter and 20 meter amateur bands. The contacts on 10 and 15 meters were most during the period of daylight in both parts, the contacts on 20 meters later in the day. In total I made 89 contacts:
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0    0   16   37   36
Mult     0    0    0   11   19   17

Pts: 267  Mul: 47 Score: 12549     
Currently this gives me New Mexico as a new US state.

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2023-02-13 I participated in the PACC contest as a morse operator at the radio club
Past weekend was the Dutch PACC contest and I decided to participate at the radio club with the group and call CQ in morse. I sat at the radio together with another (very experienced) operator and we worked together. He was (lots) better at getting callsigns from the noise but at the understandable callsigns I typed fast and together we got a nice number of contacts in the log.

After about two hours fatigue was setting in so someone else took over. As an experience in morse contesting this was really nice for me. I also did some other stuff, there is always something to repair during a contest. And lots and lots of cables. This hobby isn't 100% wireless!

Two things to improve for the next time if I want to do this again: bring my own headset and make sure it's comfortable for long use and bring my own audio splitter and extension cable.
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2023-01-21 2022 in amateur radio for me
QSO count for PE4KH until December 2022 Time for an overview of what happened in amateur radio in 2022 for me. Like previous years I will look back at the plans and what happened. Looking back at Closing 2021 in amateur radio the following results are clear:
  • The morse exam finally happened and I passed it.
  • More morse contacts in contests and in general
  • 18 new countries/entities in the log
  • More countries/entities in morse in the log
  • Satellite contacts: none
  • Used the improving propagation
The plans for 2023:
  • Try to get more countries/entities, especially in morse. I am working towards DXCC in morse: 100 entities confirmed.
And one thing is both a result of 2022 and an item for 2023: I ordered a new radio: a Yaesu FT-911A, HF, VHF, UHF all mode at the end of 2022 and it was delivered last week. That will be a separate post.
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2023-01-16 I participated in the UBA PSK63 prefix contest
PSK63 contest in fldigi Like a bit of a yearly event it was time for the UBA PSK63 prefix contest last weekend.

On Saturday propagation on the higher frequencies was not cooperating a lot so I went to the 40 meter band late in the afternoon. On Sunday things were better, I even got one whole contact on the 10 meter band. A lot of the contacts were in search and pounce mode. On Sunday I ended with the last half hour of the contest calling CQ UBA PSK TEST and managed to get a few new stations in the log. Some of those contacts came at a fast pace with even a small pile-up where I had to ask only one prefix to answer.

I ended with 111 contacts logged, which is a good number for a digital mode contest.
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2023-01-09 I participated in the ARRL RTTY Roundup
RTTY Contest on websdr This weekend was the ARRL RTTY Roundup and I participated. Not for very long because there were other things in the weekend, including the New Year's celebration at my own radio club.

In the end I made 30 contacts, Saturday evening and Sunday evening after dark. On Saturday evening it was hard to find another station, not a lot of signals and a lot of noise on the 40 meter band.

Raw score: 30 Qpts x 21 Mults = 630

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2022-11-28 I participated in the CQ World-Wide DX Contest CW
CW contest filling the bands on a websdr Last weekend was the CQ World-Wide DX Contest CW and I participated in that contest on parts of Saturday and Sunday. I ended with 189 contacts. Daytime I worked on the 10 and 15 meter bands and when those started to dry out I switched to the 20 meter and 40 meter amateur bands.

Most of the time I chased stations in search+pounce mode but I also called CQ on the 15 meter band on Sunday afternoon. I will need to practise more with calling CQ: stations came to me at higher speeds than I was used to with running PA900UTR and if I didn't decode the callsign and reacted immediately some give up fast.

But my morse is improving, even at contest speeds and I got a nice number of countries in the log. Even countries I didn't have in morse before: PJ2 Curacao, PJ4 Bonaire, CX Uruguay, 3B8 Mauritius, CN Morroco, SV9 Crete. Of those Mauritius is a completely new country in amateur radio for me.

I put in some extra effort to get those new countries in the log, with other stations that I know are confirmed countries I give up after a few tries and try to get another call in the log. Radio contesting is about the numbers: both number of contacts and the multipliers. In this contest the number of CQ zones and countries is the multiplier, so I optimise a bit for that number. And I suspect a lot of the other contestants do the same.

The overview of my single operator multi band effort:
Band   160   80   40   20   15   10
QSO's    0    0   28   33  108   20
Cty      0    0   18   22   31   10
Zone     0    0    5    8   11    6
Pts: 344  Mul: 111 Score: 38184
This was one of those contests where I had it all planned beforehand to participate, made sure everything was working optimally and had it marked in the family calendar. Normal things like weekend shopping still needed time, but the family wasn't surprised I spent a lot of time behind the radio.
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2022-11-20 I participated in the LZ-DX contest
CW contest filling the bands on a websdr I was planning to make some morse contacts this weekend but when I had time to turn on the radio on Saturday afternoon there was a lot of contest traffic on the morse parts of the bands. This turned out to be the LZ-DX contest.

This was a chance to get some CW contest practise done. This is a CW and SSB contest but I concentrate on CW contesting at the moment. I found out TLF the contest logger supports the LZ-DX contest out of the box so I could start fast.

Propagation wasn't cooperating very well but I did get contacts in the log. The final result:
Band     Qso    Cancelled  Dup  Point  ITU-Mult   LZ-Mult     Score
 80M       0            0    0      0         0         0
 40M      38            0    0    199         7        11
 20M      30            0    0    131         6         9
 15M       0            0    0      0         0         0
 10M       1            0    0      1         1         0
          69            0    0    331        14        20     11254

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2022-11-09 Working on my morse skills
Since passing the morse exam I have continued working on my morse skills. As one of the reasons for wanting to learn morse was to be able to participate in morse radio contesting I still want to increase my speed and accuracy in copying callsigns.

Exercising with tools like and Morse Runner helps improve these skills.

But I'm also working on these skills 'on-air'. At the radio club I've done morse activations of special call PA900UTR a few times and that went ok. I don't get all the calls right the first time but it is a good experience and it's working out.

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2022-09-28 I participated in the CQWW RTTY 2022 contest
RTTY Contest on websdr Past weekend was the 2022 version of the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest and I participated. Not with any preparation: on Saturday after some other tasks I sat behind radio and computer and looked up which set of macros would work for this contest.

But propagation cooperated, especially on the 20 meter band. On Sunday evening after dark I got a nice set of stations in the USA and Canada in the log. I also saw a station from Brunei active but that station never managed to decode my callsign while I tried for a quarter of an hour as this would have been a new country in amateur radio for me.

I made 106 contacts in total: 70 on the 20 meter band and 36 on the 40 meter band.
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