DARC Worked All Europe RTTY 2021

POST CONTEST REPORT

Conditions

As at 14 November 2021 2200 GMT – SFI:78 SN:24 A:4 K:0

No geomagnetic storm reported.

Conditions on the higher bands were not great with 10m particularly poor. I did take a listen on 10m at regular intervals but only hear one station all contest (EA), even 20m was a bit of a slog. 80m productive although the majority were <1000 Km QSO into DL (perhaps unsurprising given that this was a DARC event). Other commitments precluded a full-duration entry this weekend so I’m happy with the 700 or so QSO.

Using QTC for the first time
This was my first time using QTC for receive and transmit and I found them fairly straightforward in Mixw (my RTTY contest software of choice) once I had a set of macros setup correctly although I could do with a bit more practice. I followed the guides here:

http://www.digitalrus.ru/Files/Tuning&Result/DARC_WAE_RTTY.htm
and http://www.gu0sup.com/wae.html

Antenna
80m/40m – G7FEK did an OK job on 80m although I am not convinced by it on 40m, I think I need a better solution for 40m. With a bit of thought I may be able to rig up an inverted V for 40m on the same 10m fibreglass mast (DX Commander 10m telescopic) that is holding the fan dipole for 15m and 10m aloft.

For 20m I was using the DX Commander 1/4 wave vertical, this performs okay but I am considering adding a third element to the trapped dipole to give 20/15/10.

No half wave end-fed in this contest – I need to rework the balun.

Radio
Just the trusty Icom 7300 at about 90W.

JARTS 2021

JARTS is the annual Japanese Amateur Radio Teleprinter Society contest: http://jarts.jp/

I wasn’t taking the contest seriously this year, the focus was really to experiment with some new antennas. 10m was surprisingly quiet (noting that there was quite a bit of 10m FT8 activity through much of the contest). 15m was noticeably better than the band has been in contests for some time (although not sure if that is down to better band conditions, improvement in the antenna system here – or a combination of both!). Typically I would expect to do a big session on 20m during JARTS but it didn’t feel like I was on the band much at all.

It’s a struggle with 100W sometimes and was noticed on 20m and 15m in the morning when JA stations could be heard but not worked. Apart from that, pretty much everything which could be heard was worked with VY5 on 40m a got-away despite many attempts.