Last weekend was the long awaited first RTTY contest of mine, the legendary CQ WW RTTY. Actually I have worked one RTTY contest once. It was national contest and I did not use any “real” software on that, nor was I any successful on that either (just made couple of QSO). 🙂 Well.. I wasn’t that successful this time either. All in all I’m just a recreational contester having fun. However this time I used some real software (N1MM) and best of all.. got the setup working A-OK. Setup is always the most important..hi.. oh well QSO’s are too. 🙂
The contest itself was a very pleasant and fun experience. I didn’t have that many hours to spend in the contest (as usual) so I wasn’t really competing with the “big guns”. I was more in hunting DX and having some fun (like I usually do in contests). Contests are just great fun! But as said, this time was special too: It was my first real (big, world wide) RTTY contest, I had a new setup with N1MM and so on. And boy, I must say, that software really changed how I see / experience contesting. With it’s realtime statistics and results and so on, it really was something different than just plain logging and blind shooting.
During the contest I tested the “running mode” and “search and pounce” and finally figured out that the S&P was better for my small station. While proceeding with the competition I slowly learned the “code of conduct” and got better on utilizing the great features of the N1MM (like the band map to store spots when scanning the frequency and getting back to them later). The software made my recreational contesting experience more enjoyable and I started to feel like a true contester, although I know I wasn’t 🙂
All in all the experience was very very nice and the N1MM worked just SUPER on my old and slow PC (looking forward on the new one soon..). So thank you all for the very nice time in the contest and thank you for the nice (yet quick) contacts during the weekend! 🙂 I already uploaded my log to robot in the contest sponsor (it was a breeze with N1MM..just press of a button and then e-mail upload). I gained 102 contacts and preliminary calculated 20160 points. Not bad considering the time I had available.
The next big contest for me would be the SAC 2012 (within 2 weeks) and then also the CQ WPX RTTY 2013 later on february. Maybe some smaller ones meanwhile.. If I just manage to squeeze out the time 🙂 Below is the video from my shack during the contest (running mode). The ESM feature of the N1MM really ROCKS!!