Tuesday, 11 December 2012

LoTW backlog ….

There is something very odd about the backlog on LoTW

Maybe my interpretation of the status is flawed, but looking at the info something is very weird about the data.

It seems hour after hour the info is almost identical.

I can fully understand if the total data processed per hour being similar, but the same number of logs with the same number of QSOs? Not very likely.

I think there must be a gremlin in the software. The system is now almost 9 days behind and it has not even seen the influx of the ARRL 10m contest logs yet….

IMHO I think something is seriously amiss with the software.

LoTW backlog

Monday, 10 December 2012

LoTW users vs. QSL sharks…

I am pretty sure I will anger some by this outburst, but I think it needs to be discussed.

Is it purely coincidental that so many rare stations do not use LoTW, but will gladly accept payment via PayPal or some other fancy online system such as OQRS. Alternatively they will accept return “postage” in the form of green stamps, which in all likelihood will disappear in the post anyway.

I guess the time will come that I won’t even chase or work these sharks?

Using the QSL system to extort money is unacceptable…..

Pierre ZS6A

Sunday, 9 December 2012

ARRL 10m contest 2012

I have mixed feelings regarding the event…..

I was very pleased to have worked 6 all time new DXCC countries and that alone makes it all worthwhile.

I am also pleased to have worked 3 new states. North Dakota, Missouri and West Virginia that leaves me with 2 to go, Alaska and Delaware for my 10M-CW-WAS award. I see KE0A and N4ZR are both LoTW users I made a bunch of Missouri QSOs so I am should have no problem getting one of the confirmed.

The propagation was fairly poor and appeared very patchy. It behaved much like 6m, with only very selective areas being workable at any given time.

It was fun running for a while; it certainly is more productive than search and pounce. I still find it very daunting and the behaviour of the poor operators did not help the situation much.

  • Persistently calling when one is trying to work a partial (for example): W2L? and N7ABC keeps on calling.
  • I run at a speed I am comfortable with 23 wpm and the caller replies at 35+ wpm ?

Once again I am very impressed at the skill of most of the running stations. They impress me without fail. They certaily are very experienced in the art of CW.

I was very pleased to work PA0O, he also has a great blog site.

I sure hope LoTW will reward me with 6 new entities in the next few days…..

73, Pierre ZS6A

ZS6A ARRL 10m contest 2012

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Empty victory….

Yesterday I received the following wrinkled and wet item in the post. This was for taking part in the CQ WW CW contest in 2011.

I would have been over the moon if I had placed amongst the real contenders in Africa. This obviously was not the case. Very few of the stations that took part in the contest from Africa claimed to be in the assisted class. I cannot help, but wonder why so few contesters claim to be assisted? 

I cannot see why in this day and age anyone would not want to use the DX cluster. Could it possibly be that some are indeed using the cluster info, but submit their logs as un-assisted?

This renders this (my) certificate worthless in my humble opinion i.e. this effectivly means if I want to compete against the Real Mc-Coy, I need to take a step backwards and not use the cluster and that does not make any sense to me.

Maybe it is time to scrap the assisted and non-assisted classes; i.e. using the cluster should not alter the competitive class. Maybe there are too many classes already?

Hopefully, one day I will once again be awarded one of these sought after certificates again and will then  believe that it was awarded in recognition of good performance.

 Food for thought....

73, Pierre ZS6A

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Time to show and tell….

CQ-WW-CW contest 2012

I have been reading a few of the CQ-WW-CW reviews on the various blog sites and I was most impressed at their results they achieved.

I was pretty tied up with work at the moment and only a few hours on Sunday to take part.

The graph below says it all….. 

Even with this dismal attempt I managed to work 3 all time new DXCC entities and 5 new entities on 10m.

I am looking forward to putting in a serious effort next year. Not having great antennas I might have to limit myself to a single band yet again. I must ensure that I am ready with at least one half decent antenna for either 20, 15 or 10m.

There is something very special about CW contests……

This is the first opportunity to put my new Elecraft K3 and KPA-500 through their paces. I think I can honestly say the performance is simply amazing. It has exceeded all my expectations in every regard. The second receiver (Sub) is such a powerful tool. I hope to write something about that soon. It gives us such a huge advantage during split operation that I think once others realize it, it might get banned.

73, Pierre ZS6A

ZS6A CQ WW CW 2012