Last weekend it was the great “polar battle” SAC weekend again. I managed to attend to that 2 days contest part-time. It sure was some serious fun once again (like it was last year too). This time I also tested my new N1MM setup first time in the SSB contest. I had recorded all the voice macros beforehand and configured the system to run fully automatic voice communications (CQ, Exchange, TNX, QRZ, AGN…all that). I used full automation in the beginning of the contest while running CQ, but soon noticed that it would be best just to run only CQ automatically and then talk the rest. It is much faster that way…and with my modest 112 logged QSO’s my voice hold very vell too hi hi.
All in all it sure was great fun once again. I really recommend using some real contesting software even if you are a recreational contester (like me). It sure gives plenty of interesting features and helps in the contest in many ways. I have used the N1MM now in CQWWRTTY and now on SAC and would highly recommend it. It is very versatile, robust and best of all..free! As said before: as a long-time Mac –person I just have to admit that Windows just cuts it when it comes to contesting / HAM software. Nuf said.
In addition to automated voice keying and all that fun, I added another dimension on my setup for the contest. As I explain on the video, I routed all audio via my Yamaha G124 mixer. My mic and computer attached to that I was able to route all audio to radio and to my other computer (MacBook Pro handling the videostreaming). The mixer has 2 output busses so it can do many neat things when routing audio. My MacBook then was hooked to my Presonus Fire Studio outboard audio card (receiving the audio from mixer) and using the fantastic WireCast software from Telestream. I have been using that setup for my Podcast production for ages. Now I just came up the idea of using it here too as I wanted to provide a LIVE video/audio stream from the shack to my Twitter and Facebook friends. It worked nice and got some interested viewers. The streaming service (Bambuser) I’m using is a great service as it provides a nicely functioningsteady stream and in addition to that it also records all streamed videos too (if you need to)! So because of that feature you are able to watch those streams from the Bambooser account of mine. You can also browse the stream history from the HamCam pages here in the oh6fxl.com. From those pages you can always see the LIVE stream too as it happens. When ever I start posting the LIVE stream, you would be notified if you “like” the OH6FXL –page on Facebook or follow oh6fxl on Twitter.
So this was my SAC 2012 contest and the wrap-up of it. Hope it gave some ideas / explained how I did it. Contesting is fun! You don’t have to bee too serious with it. Just play and have fun…and make contacts! I’m atleast enjoying the athmosphere of contests so much that I’m planning to attend them also in the future. I’m also planning of upgrading my radio equipment…and later also antenna equipment…(yes! its getting that serious .. lets see what happens hi hi) but that’s another story for another post. Stay tuned!