Monday, November 16, 2009


This past weekend saw the WAE RTTY Contest otherwise known as Worked All Europe Contest. This contest is a bit unique as stations in different continents can send and receive QTC's, or traffic. I currently use an older version of N1MM Logger for RTTY contests and N1MM makes it simple to send and receive these QTC reports. For the last few years, I never took the plunge to send and receive QTC reports but I finally decided to give it a shot this year. It could not be easier.

N1MM has it's own help file but simply, Ctrl-Z gets you the QTC receive screen and hitting Ctrl-Z the second time gets you to the QTC transmit screen. Just click on the information that is being sent to fill in the blanks or click to send your information to the other station. Pretty easy.

This contest was lots of fun but once again hampered by the solar conditions on day two. The aurora levels peaked and absorption was once again my enemy when attempting contacts over the North Pole. But on the first day, 15 meters opened and I worked 110 stations, which was down right fun. I managed another 349 contacts on 20 meters and 7 more on 40 meters. I operated a bit over 16.8 hours during the 48 hour event but I had fun for the short time I was able to dedicate to operating. Work and band conditions took care of the rest.

There is also a CW and SSB version of this contest that I have yet to participate in but I'm sure those versions are almost as fun. RTTY has really become a popular mode now that it does not take an expensive TNC to get on using that mode. These days, as long as your computer has a sound card you can build an interface or purchase one. This connects your computer to your radio and you're in business (after downloading many versions of free software from the internet). I operate FSK to take advantage of the internal filtering in my HF radio which helps greatly during crowded contest band conditions. Great to see such an old mode of communication so popular in today's modern world. Takes texting to a new level!

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