Monday, November 30, 2015

#CQWW DX CW 2015 experiments

Event: CQWW DX CW ham radio contest
Logger: N1MM+ most updated version
Station: Yaesu FT-817ND - 2,5W
Antenna: 84m horizontal square loop on 7m AGL.
CW decoder: FLdigi & CWskimmer

Did you know there are HAMradio operators that are using contests for experiments? Oh yes there are, I know that for instance PA1B Bert is using the contest to experiment with QRPp (extreme low power) just to see what is possible. Others do study propagation with the help from RBN. And I did experiment with some decoding software. Last year I used Fldigi and MRP40. This year after much trouble I managed to install CWskimmer to test.

QRP assisted all time records
I decided to go for another Dutch record and entered the 40m QRP Assisted section. Only a few hours participation resulted in 54 QSOs, one less as last year on 80m. CWskimmer is superior compared to FLdigi and MRP40. It is clear to me that this is the decoding software if you like to read CW instead of hearing. Although I experienced that I made more QSOs when I was listening. Actually I am able to decode "PE4BAS 5NN" and "TU". So I only need software to decode the call of the station calling and transmitting CW  (FLdigi). I was trying to work on remote saturday evening but that went very difficult. Only 1 or 2 QSO in 30 minutes just because I could not listen but tried to read everything on the screen. I didn't make shocking DX. Only been able to work 2 transatlantic stations. NP4A from Puerto Rico and AA2A from the USA. I did hear more big  guns from the US/Canada but was unable to push my tiny signal through. Tiny indeed because today I discovered I did forget to set the power to 5W before the contest so it was still 2,5W output (I used that the last time before the contest). I don't know why I didn't see that but think I was too busy with the computerscreen all the time.

 Another thing I used this time was a NIR-10 DSP audio filter between the radio and computer because I don't have any small filter in the FT-817. Together with the bandpass filter from CWskimmer I think it did well supressing nearby signals from other stations on a incredible busy 40m band. All this was a great experiment and I learned the only thing left is to purchase CWskimmer and get a decent digikeyer to work on CW. I learned CW just generated with a soundcard is not good enough. Though still it is a miracle that I was able to make such a amount of contacts with only 2,5W and inperfect gear.



Peter pa4o said...

Wel weer een record Bas.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Voor zowel jullie als voor mij zeker! 73, Bas

Paul Stam PAØK said...

Hallo Bas, CWskimmer is het beste decoding software zover ik het kan beoordelen. De audio input wel een de lage kant houden, 0 dB RX ruis is het beste voor optimale decoding. Ik heb maar 2 stations gewerkt tijdens de contest. Verder geen tijd gehad. Weekends zijn vrij van radio activiteiten hier. Ik haal mijn hart op door de weeks. 73 Paul PC4T

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hallo Paul, heb inderdaad het volume erg zacht gezet. Decoding was erg goed ondanks de drukte. Door de week is het veel rustiger op de band. Ik moet 1x in de 2 weken op zaterdag werken en ben dan maandag vrij. Meestal heb ik dan ook even tijd voor de radio. Gisteren was zo een dag, leuke DX gewerkt zie log hier rechts. 73, Bas