Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Do or do not - there is no try - in HF RTTY contesting!

I have finally integrated my whole shack so my Microham MKII Keyer, PC, FT-2000 and AT-AUTO tuner are now all in step.

I found operating MMTTY and MMVARI as separate appications a bit troublesome. The frequency readout just wouldn't work on MMVARI and MMTTY is good for QSOs but not really the thing for contests. Someone kindly suggested on the MMTTY reflector that the two ran well under N1MM Logger.

Until now I have tried a few of these fancy applications for RTTY (Mixw, HRD etc) but I always ended going back to MMTTY and MMVARI, I guess old Mako San really knows his stuff!

BTW - wow the USB Micro Keyer II is one brilliant piece of hardware. If you run RTTY or PSK for that matter you should check it out http://www.microham.com/index1.html The unit includes a really low noise off board sound card and FSK keyer. MMTTY fans should note - NO MORE EXTFSK!!

Anyway I digress.. At first I found N1MM quite challenging to use, but I soon realised the benefits outweighed the downsides. After typing a cople of replies in the logging window I adjusted to slecting the QSO window.. Its really just a habit thing and sorted now.

You can finf N1MM logger at - http://www.n1mm.com/

Having got it working I decided to use it in anger and enter a few contests. Again this is a bit of a step change but was worth the effort. I figured after all this thing was written for contesting.. I wasn't wrong!

After initial teething problems and about 20 minutes delay I was on the air and working everything I could hear in the TARA Grid Dip RTTY Test. Numbering and exchange is all automated.. The band scope shows you stations to chaise, multipliers. Yeah this thing rocks .. better still its using the MMTTY RTTY engine.. sweet!!

I haven't got the biggest antenna system going so I guess I'm not a big gun.. more of a littel pistol.. well more like a big pisol, or maybe a sawn off shotgun would be a better description.. Loads of power but no beams...

So I managed 7th place in the TARA Grid Dip test. Okay for a first go..

The RSGB 80M Club Championship was a blast at only 1.5 hours and yeilded 17th place. Next time I will try working a few more PSK stations to up my score.

Last week I entered the SCC RTTY contest and the week before the SARTG RTTY Test. I wonder how well I will do? One way or another I am really starting to enjoy RTTY contesting.

VY 73 to all G8UBJ


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