CQ160 SSB is always a struggle in QRM. It really puts your filters and patience to the test, no surprise there. My plan was to break the old SM record and to break-in a new hardware controller called the Stream Deck. But first…
Alright, here it goes… the most common Q-code received during CQ-160 SSB: QSY!! QSY no hamspirit, QSY bandplan, QSY because of this, QSY because of that, bla bla bla. Even when squeezing in on the 7 kHz SSB allocation I can use with high power… QSY PSE! OK, now we got frustration out of the way, lets move on to thank the 600+ operators logged in the in the highest scored SM log ever posted in this contest! And let’s check out the gadget making it a little bit easier to break the record.
In the first leg of the contest I enjoyed a nice rate, not fantastic, but good enough to keep me busy through the night and into Saturday morning. Eleven minutes after midnight the first NA station, W1NA, was logged. For quite some time I heard fragments of PJ4G on my run frequency, but he didn’t hear me and he kept going without bothering me. At 3:07 PJ4G became strong enough and entered my log, nice! But I also lost the run frequency and decided to go Search and Punch for some more NA multipliers. At sunrise I had logged a bit over 300 contacts and was looking forward to the break.
Back on air Saturday at 17:00 for the second leg. Mostly EU logged in this part of the contest. DX signals were much weaker and only two additional NA stations made it. Rate was slower so I took a couple of tactical naps during the slow hours. At 06:15 Sunday morning it was time to break again.
Got back in the saddle at 16:00 on Sunday afternoon. Now things were slow with too many dupes and a band map filled with grey. Things got a little brighter at 17:00 when I passed the highest SM score posted in any CQ160 SSB category.
Anyway the effort was successful. The claimed score is 204.096 which is breaking the SM record in the SOHP Assisted category with a big margin. The contest was operated via remote using the K3-K3/0 combo, 1kW and the new Axtorp linear loaded vertical.
Thanks to all 616 operators who worked me, you helped breaking the SM record!
So, what about the gadget which helped breaking this records? The new Stream Deck controller worked very well in the heat of the contest. It simplified remote RX antenna switching and it was also used to send frequently used keyboard shortcuts to N1MM.
The backlit OLED display buttons not only looks great, customising the icons in different colors helps making the controller very user friendly, even in low lighting. See my review of the Stream Deck here.
73 de SM0MDG/SE0X