Instead of getting some sleep before the CQ160 SSB contest this weekend I attended a Slash concert to get warmed up. Maybe not the wisest choice, but limiting the alcohol at the VIP party before the concert was a smart decision.
Because of the concert I had decided to run CQ160 SSB from SE0X via remote. I had also prepared to run the contest in “silent mode” so I would not disturb the princess in her beauty sleep. Being silent means that the computer has to do the talking. This is possible by voicing calls in N1MM, ie. recording all individual letters and numbers in advance, then let the logger pice calls together and play those back on the fly for each contact made. In preparation for the contest I had recorded, edited and pre-processed all required voice prompts.
Once on the air the scheme worked out better than I dared to hope. With very few repeats or clarifications needed, I was satisfied with the results. To hear an example of an exchange pieced together using pre-recorded letters and numbers, listen here.[audio:http://blog.se0x.info/audio/voiced-exchange-se0x.mp3]
CQ160 SSB in itself is challenging and fun. To make things even more interesting I discovered right after start that I had a RF feedback problem affecting my IP link. My audio got all chopped up while transmitting, not a good thing in a contest where clarity is crucial. Reducing the power would keep the link alive so most of the contacts in the contest where done using just 300 watt.
My goal where set at 500 contacts and 127 000 points in the single operator, assisted, high power category. This was at a level that I felt would be possible even without much DX in the log. A few North Americans where received here, but it was hard to cut through the QRM with reduced power. I got lucky with VY2ZM, K3ZM, W3LL, KP4KE, ZF2AM and a few AS/AF, but in the end EU accounts for 98% of the log entries.
At the end of the contest I had been active for 24 hours and logged 523 contacts in 48 DXCC:s plus 3 US States and Canadian Provinces. This adds up to a final (claimed) score of 135150 points which is close to my unassisted SM record in 2011.
73 de Björn, SM0MDG