RTTY Roundup 2015 Results

I’m not the best contest-participant yet, I’m sure.  I spent the first half hour realizing my RTTY setup wasn’t actually correct.  When I monitored my own transmission, I just heard a piercing squeal, not the telltale RTTY sounds obvious from all the others in the contest.  It took just a little searching around to find a webpage explaining how the MMTTY program is actually supposed to be configured.  Sure enough, things were fixed and my signal sounded exactly as I would have expected.

I only managed to participate for just over 10 hours of the 24 hour maximum, but managed a 6,625 score (assuming I did the score right, I erred on the low side with DX countries) with 125 QSOs and a multiplier of 53.  I seem to have a knack for a high density of multipliers, so maybe when I can get really invested in the contests my luck will hold out and I’ll have some higher scores.

For what it’s worth, here was my “strategy.”  I started on 10-meters since DX worked well for me in the 10-meter contest.  I scanned and looked for people parked on frequencies.  It was interesting how long into the night I was still receiving signals.  I was surprised at how fast the activity ended though, an hour or two after sundown while I went to get a snack, all activity died.  I switched to 20-meters to see what propagation was there, and managed contacts for several hours.  Once it was fairly late, I switched to 40-meters since my readings suggest it’s a “nighttime band.”  The bulk of my contacts were on 40m.

Ultimately I got tied up with what progress I was making with the Worked All States award and decided to park on a frequency and see if people would come to me.  I made over 30 contacts that way, most of them states I still needed!  I don’t know yet how well 40m is supposed to perform on DX, but I managed to reach a handful of European countries, with Romania already confirmed on Logbook of the World.

A small stack of QSL cards ready for sending.

A small stack of QSL cards ready for sending.

All in all, I must say I’m a fan of RTTY contests.  They may be too mechanical for some, but I’m a computer scientist so I’m possibly biased in favor of it.  So my experience includes a phone contest and a data contest.  Next stop, maybe I can manage some ragchews…

First Oregon

Reaching Oregon during my first 10m contest made me realize my other long-distance contacts weren’t just flukes.

I still send paper QSLs but also use LoTW, as suggested.

I still send paper QSLs but also use LoTW, as suggested.

First Arizona

Contacted during my first 10m contest.  I was glad to get a state so far away so soon!


Gorgeous picture by W8TK himself


My QSL Card

Even in the era of ARRL’s Logbook of the World, physical QSL cards still serve a purpose.  Since I am but a humble newbie to the hobby, I wanted to get QSL cards of my own.  Coincidentally it’s the ARRL’s 100th anniversary and they had some appealing designs commissioned through a printing service.  To make my card a little more unique, I replaced their stock image with my family’s coat of arms.


My QSL card’s general appearance

Could it be better?  Of course, but it’s a start.  A real QSL card from me would have plenty of additional information all over the front.  I don’t know how common QSL card forgery is, or if it’s even a thing, so if you want the real deal, find me on the radio!