Monday, September 24, 2012

A1 to RTTY, It's All About How You Operate

2012 CQ World Wide RTTY WPX Contest 
Receiving a large white envelope in the mail will normally catch my attention. One of those attention getting envelopes arrived today. I was excited to receive the certificate seen to the left for my WPX RTTY effort this year. And I was reminded today during a QSO that next weekend is the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest!!! I'm hopeful that the bands cooperate and I will have the time to operate more than a few hours. I know I will be getting a late start at the very least but once home, I plan on firing up N1MM and getting started with my low power effort. And in the contest this coming weekend, Alaska (KL7) counts as a country multiplier, not a state. I always have to check as sometimes we are a country, sometimes a state. 

I had some fun today operating JT65 on 10 meters! I made one CW contact and also a handful of PSK31 contacts on that band as well. With 10 meters showing some signs of life finally, I'm even more excited about next weekend and the many other contests looming on the 2012-2013 contest calendar! 

I have had a few folks over the last few months comment (and congratulate) about me being an A-1 Operator. I've never received a formal notification of this honor but two generous hams felt I was worthy of such an honor and nominated me. I ventured to the ARRL A-1 Operators page and there my name was with all of the others who were granted the same honor!  I'm not sure who those hams were that nominated me but I'm deeply honored and forever thankful.  I always strive to operate to the best of my ability and I know I've had the honor of helping many with giving them a new country, state, county, prefix and more. The A-1 Operator Club is managed by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and I plan on doing my part in identifying those who I feel are just as worthy. I promote our hobby each and every moment I get and anyone who knows me, knows I'm a "Ham!" I'm approaching my 25 year anniversary for being a part of this great hobby. I've made life long friends and many I have never met, and might not ever meet. 

As far as the RTTY contest, it's obvious I must have busted some callsigns as my score is lower than what I submitted. But, with each and every contest, I will continue to strive for that "Golden Log" and hopefully achieve it more times than not. Contesting is about honing your skills and getting better with each and every contest. Now that I've had a summer off from radio, it's time to buckle up and get to working on my code speed again. It's also time to start working the digital modes and getting in some much needed practice for winter. But as the snow that accumulated on my lawn today reminded me, winter is here and I'd better get a move on, soon! 


Call: KL8DX
Operator(s): KL8DX
Station: KL8DX

Class: SOAB(TS) LP
QTH: Alaska
Operating Time (hrs): 24:34

Band  QSOs
  80:    0
  40:    7
  20:  250
  15:  410
  10:  73
Total:  740  Prefixes = 371  Total Score = 628,103

Club: North Coast Contesters


My low power effort as I have not yet had my amplifier repaired. 
Obviously, 15 meters was the money band for me however, 20 meters
produced only 15 fewer multipliers for nearly half the QSO's! This
was due to better than fair conditions into Europe on 20 meters in
the mornings.

We once again are experiencing Chinook winds here in the interior
with gusts over 40 mph for most of the weekend. I had much more
QRN than normal, especially toward the lower 48. I just lowered my
beam as we are supposed to have 65 + mph gusts for the next 24 to
36 hours. My Hazer crank is approximately 4 foot above the ground
and I had to dig snow out from around the crank so I could turn it.
This is due to lots of drifting snow on the north side of my home
where my tower is. These winds are bittersweet. It has been well
above freezing so my heating bill should get a reprieve but the
warmer temps make things very slick outside not to mention it's
hard on the antennas. 

I'm pretty happy with my effort however, I slept in both mornings 
so I left 5.5 hours of available operating time on the table. I
was hoping get a 3am-4am start both mornings but it just did not
happen. Rough week I guess.  

I'm looking forward to next weekend as I once again continue my
pursuit of low power contesting. Two things are very apparent 
with low power;

1. A much lower score
2. Shack is 20 degrees colder than normal

Lots of stations with great receivers and thanks much for pulling
out my weaker than normal signal. I did put a bit more detail from
this contest in my latest blog entry.


Phil - KL8DX
Denali National Park, AK

Blog -
Website -
Work -


  1. Phil: Not only are you a A-1 Operator, you are a A-1 Guy in my book. When 10 meters was boiling and lots of folks were looking for an AK contact, you took the time to drop down to 20 with me for a QSO that got me 20 mtr WAS on psk 31. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. Stay warm.
    Best 73, John-KU8Q Winter Haven, FL.

  2. John, it was certainly a pleasure my friend! Glad to help out and it was super to work you on both bands. I'm hopeful we will have many more QSO's. Good DX'n to you, John! All the best from a fellow 8'lander enjoying life in AK! 73, Phil