RTTY RoundUp - Practice Session

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Brian Waterworth

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Dec 28, 2020, 6:40:26 AM12/28/20
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I found this post on the WSJTX forum.  I will be participating.  I think I heard Chris (NRT) mention at the net last night that he might be participating...regards, Brian VE3IBW

Practice sessions and photos! See below. Please feel free to share this with your local club and other appropriate channels.

Last year with FT contesting still being such a new thing we scheduled several [ed. practice] sessions. I am inclined to go back to the usual 2 practice periods on Friday like we do for other major contests. If you think more sessions would be helpful I can send something out for Tuesday or Wednesday. Please let me know. So...

In the interest of helping everyone get their FT and RTTY game together, we're scheduling a couple of practice sessions for both FT4/8 and RTTY. (For RTTY-only practice, don't forget we also have the NS RTTY on Thursday http://www.ncccsprint.com/rttyns.html - yes even on NYE!)

2200-2230 UTC, 1 January (Friday afternoon NA time) - RTTY focus
2230-2300 UTC, 1 January (Friday afternoon NA time) - FT4/8 focus

0200-0230 UTC, 2 January (Friday evening NA time) - RTTY focus
0230-0300 UTC, 2 January (Friday evening NA time) - FT4/8 focus

"Focus" just means: let's focus on RTTY or FT for the 30 minutes - but if you want to practice switching back and forth between RTTY and FT by all means do so. I expect you'll find others of a like mind, it sounds like a good exercise.

Operate just like it's the real thing that starts on Saturday the 2nd. Use whatever bands are open and active for you at each time slot. For FT8, let's avoid the default "watering holes" - the following dial frequencies as recommended by Joe K1JT in the January 2019 QST** would be a good starting place: 3590, 7080, 14130, 21130, 28160.

For FT4 - since FT4 is a designated contest mode anyway - start with the default dial frequencies currently baked into WSJT-x: 3575, 7047.5, 14080, 21140, 28180.

Most of all, have fun over the weekend in the RTTY Round-Up! Take some photos of your operation and send them and/or a summary of your experience to me, Jeff WK6I - especially anything around your decisions on how to use (or not use) FT modes. It will help with the write up for the contest in QST. (Or post your remarks to 3830 or in your Soapbox - I will find them.)

73 jeff wk6i

Chris Sullivan

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Dec 29, 2020, 9:48:50 AM12/29/20
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Thanks Brian, I did mention that I was setting up the computer for the contest. Specifically N1MM + MMTTY + 2-Tone + GRiTTY. Also tweaking the message file and still have to set up the supercheck partial file. Although it's less likely now that it used to be that I get called by a non-participant (now that most non-contest RTTY stations have gone to FT8) I've added a plaintext message to request the contest exchange if that happens.

I am going to run in the RTTY-only High Power & (probably) single band category. I'm also going to run straight-key night on Thursday night, and there seems to be lots of interesting events in January that I'll participate in at some level. NAQP SSB & CW (RTTY in Feb), Winter Field Day of course + the K1USN slow speed tests and maybe a bit of the Feld-Hell sprint just for fun.

73,
Chris

Brian Waterworth

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Dec 29, 2020, 10:19:17 AM12/29/20
to Chris Sullivan, York Region Amateur Radio Club
All those RTTY/Logging programs are Windows based as I recall.  Since I do not run Windows, I will be using FLDigi's (multi-platform app) RTTY support.  I spent some time last night setting up the ARRL RU contest config in FLDigi.  I reused the config from last year and the year before that too.  But since I am not an avid contester, I need to reacquaint myself with the macros I setup, practice with them a little, setup the config for the exchange, and practice the eventual export of the cabrillo log, which the ARRL requires.  

I must admit, though, that I miss N1MM+ and N3FJP loggers for their ability to score in realtime and help me know which stations I should be chasing to gain the best multiplier.  However, since I run low power, any confirmed contact is a thrill :-) !!

WSJTX for me is already to go at a moment's notice.  It is easier to setup and export the log.  But I will still do the practice session on Friday for 15-30 mins.

Hope to see you on RTTY Chris.  You are correct in that the number of RTTY stations has dramatically given way to FT8 and FT4.  The ARRL may need to rename the contest :-)  I will also run FT8 and FT4.  

P.S.  For those reading this dialogue between Chris and me, FT4 is a little more RTTY like in terms of making quick QSOs at about the same S/N ratio.
--
regards, 
Brian
VE3IBW

ve3e...@gmail.com

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Jan 1, 2021, 10:48:09 AMJan 1
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20M open into EU right now… even worked “ON4EB” on FT8… Eric’s brother from another mother… 😊

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Eric Brown

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Jan 1, 2021, 10:49:17 AMJan 1
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Could be one never knows.
Ft8 was busy this morning on 20 as well.


Eric Brown
VE3EB/VE3OIC/VA3OIC
  
.__!______!___
//___||__\\___\\_____
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_( )_)=o=( )_)=o=( )_)

ve3e...@gmail.com

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Jan 2, 2021, 7:13:52 PMJan 2
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Hi Folks

 

Good couple of hours on 20 and 40 today just over 100 contacts in the contest… TRIED to have Brian IBW as my 100th on the ground wave but he was having no part of it… 😊

 

Worked Hawaii for contact # 60 and then Nova Scotia for # 61

 

Made liberal use of the colour tags in WSJT-X … That was useful.

 

Still have the occasional participant not using the right settings for the exchange but got around it for the most part … will be back on again for a couple of hours tomorrow…

 

Steve

 

Ve3eZ

 

From: Brian Waterworth <brian.wa...@gmail.com>
Sent: December 29, 2020 10:19
To: Chris Sullivan <csul...@idc.com>
Cc: York Region Amateur Radio Club <yrarc...@yrarc.org>
Subject: [yrarc.group] Re: RTTY RoundUp - Practice Session

 

All those RTTY/Logging programs are Windows based as I recall.  Since I do not run Windows, I will be using FLDigi's (multi-platform app) RTTY support.  I spent some time last night setting up the ARRL RU contest config in FLDigi.  I reused the config from last year and the year before that too.  But since I am not an avid contester, I need to reacquaint myself with the macros I setup, practice with them a little, setup the config for the exchange, and practice the eventual export of the cabrillo log, which the ARRL requires.  

--

ve3e...@gmail.com

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Jan 3, 2021, 6:25:17 PMJan 3
to yrarc...@yrarc.org, Brian Waterworth, Chris Sullivan

So I have just called it … 292 FT4 Contacts… didn’t make the 300 that I was hoping for..

 

Are we submitting as a collective ? YRA ?

 

If so, perhaps reiterate the EXACT submission for the ARRL entry…

 

Let me know.

 

Steve

 

Ve3eZ

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Chris Sullivan

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Jan 3, 2021, 7:45:19 PMJan 3
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I only did RTTY. The last 3 minutes was total bedlam on 80m.

73,
Chris

Brian Waterworth

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Jan 4, 2021, 8:53:22 AMJan 4
to Chris Sullivan, York Region Amateur Radio Club, ve3e...@gmail.com, Chris Sullivan
I haven't done my count yet.  I think I am at about 240 QSOs.  Not sure about the multipliers.  I was thrilled to get Panama and Hawaii.  Two locales I have failed to make a QSO with over the past 11 years of being a Ham.  In fact, I might be able to qualify now for the "worked all US 50 States" award from qrz.com.  Whoo Hoo !!   My qso count this year is double from last year.  However, I do believe I worked more hours this year than last year.  I think I logged about 14 hours over a 24 hour period.  Just can't stay up too late these days as I fall asleep around 10pm.  I couldn't even stay up for New Years eve...fell asleep at 10 on the couch.  

Anyway, Chris, your declaration at last night's net about your ~530+ RTTY contacts is very impressive.  I will need to have a chat with you about your operating environment (power and antenna).  I believe you already told us what S/W you were using.  I didn't have as much luck with RTTY as I would have liked.  I faded fast on Saturday night and couldn't stay awake to take advantage of the strong RTTY conditions at that time.  Sunday morning I tried again and for me conditions for RTTY deteriorated significantly.  I turned to FT4/8 and made many contacts throughout the latter 7 hours of operating.

I saw Chris chasing me up the 20m band on Saturday when I was doing RTTY.  That was fun.  I would make a contact, then I would see Chris come right in behind me.  Chris overtook me though as I didn't see him again.

Steve, I saw you once on wsjtx.  I was in search and pounce (S&P) mode as that was a better approach for me at that time of day.  I had called out CQ a few times previously and didn't get many hits.  S&P was more successful.  Your high 200's results are very impressive for FT4 only.  I had wsjtx crash using FT4.  I realized a little late about how to get around those crashes as I didn't have the latest release candidate of wsjtx (which fixes the problem).  Anyway, once I changed wsjtx for FT4 (Fast decode) on v2.2.2, I was racking up the FT4 contacts like crazy on Sunday.  V2.3 will fix the crashing when operating FT4 for any decode value set.  I think v2.3 is due out this month actually.

All in all, a good way to spend a snowy weekend in January.  

Next up is Winter field day.  RTTY isn't as popular for WFD sadly over the past few years.  PSK31 and other digital modes will be what I will be chasing.  No FT modes allowed in the WFD contest.  Each different digital mode I believe is counted as a multiplier in WFD.  So I will be trying out different modes.  I also may try doing QRP (WFD defines as 10w or less, not the more typical 5w or less).  

P.S.  I will be submitting my RU results as an individual.  We can submit as a club as well.  I am game if you are.  I haven't submitted anything yet, but time is short as we have to have the results submitted by this upcoming weekend I believe.  I think I read that all we have to do is fill out the Club field in the Cabrillo log exactly the same way.  I will have to re-read the rules and specifically the log submission section.  We can use the same name as Steve (UT) suggested for WFD (exactly: "York Region Amateur Radio Club").

If there were other club members who participated in the RTTY Roundup, let us know and we can all coordinate together.
--
regards, 
Brian
VE3IBW

Pablo Sabbag

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Jan 4, 2021, 10:44:04 AMJan 4
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Hello,

I made probably around 100 contacts in RTTY and FT8, not sure if FT8 counts.

I would like to propose to do a videoconference to cover the various configurations for contesting specifically, for WSJT-X, JTDX, FLdigi, MixW, etc.
Macros, logging, using sound card vs built-in RTTY mode on the radio (I tried this with the 991A and works perfectly) etc.

I don't want to say let's do it on the next month club meeting, because I know not everyone is interested in contesting. This would be a separate specific videocall for the people interested in improving the contest settings.

If you are interested, then please let me know and I will try to coordinate something during one evening after the club net.

73,
Pablo, VA3HDL

ve3e...@gmail.com

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Jan 4, 2021, 10:58:31 AMJan 4
to Brian Waterworth, Chris Sullivan, York Region Amateur Radio Club, Chris Sullivan

Interesting.. I was able to get into Hawaii as well .. ironically just after a QSO with the east coast…

 

I was only able to get on for a couple of hours each day but always seemed to be activity…

 

I have no submitted yet either and was not sure if you could do personal AND as a club or not.

 

Also up for a Zoom meeting on set up if others are interested.

 

 

From: Brian Waterworth <brian.wa...@gmail.com>

Sent: January 4, 2021 8:53 AM
To: Chris Sullivan <csul...@idc.com>

John Chin

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Jan 4, 2021, 1:20:28 PMJan 4
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I missed the training sessions so I was not planning to participate.  I did not know I could use WSJT-X in FT4 mode to do RTTY contacts.  Furthermore, I am not sure it can be used for the Round Up contest.

While making contacts with WSJT-X in FT4 mode, when one of my contacts, through JTAlert, asked me to turn on RU special messages. He was very helpful.  Newbie mistake, maybe I should not have ignored WSJT-X constant requests for contest mode.  I would have had more FT4/RTTY contacts. I still need to learn more on the context mode in Log4OM and about the N1MM logger.  I can do better next time.

WSJT-X says I have contest logs.  I have a contest log display showing that I had 48 on Jan 3.  I think I had the same amount on Jan 2.  I do not see Jan 2 contacts in the pop up contest log any more.  I should have around 100 as I was too busy yesterday to participate much.  I just need to figure out if it created a separate log or logs for me or do I need to extract it out of the main log.  I have not found out in the user manual or to get them out yet.

If the club needs my logs for the contest let me know.

73,
John VA3BOF

P.S., Yes, Hawaii is difficult to get.  I lucked out and got it early one morning a while back.  So are Asia contacts with my antenna.

P.P.S., I just need Alaska to complete "Worked All States".  It is hard to find.

president YRARC

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Jan 4, 2021, 5:34:49 PMJan 4
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I've often found that CQ'ing peters out pretty quickly. I did the whole contest in S&P - about 16 hours total.  The top operators often run and S&P at the same time, or do dueling CQs (two bands, call CQ alternately on each band while listening on the other. That is sometime why you get odd delays in response - especially if the other guy is a multiplier.

John you don't use FT4 to make RTTY contacts - they're completely different modes. FT4 is just like FT8 but it goes twice as fast and needs a 3dB stronger signal - that's the tradeoff. It moves really fast. All digital modes are allowed in the RTTY roundup so a lot of people use them. Using FT8, FT4, RTTY skimmer, or a spotting service puts you in the "Assisted" class in the RTTY Roundup contest rules. Unlike Roundup, most RTTY contests are RTTY only. 

73,
Chris

John Chin

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Jan 4, 2021, 10:04:47 PMJan 4
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Okay.  I am a bit confused again.

When I made the requested changes (by W2TT) in WSJT-X, I believe these button showed pop, they were not there before

image.png

Next a contest log pop up screen appeared.  

I noticed all my CQ messages changed from "CQ VA3BOF FN03" message to "CQ RU VA3BOF FN03". My Sent and received messages change from having "+/-" followed by two digits to only 3 digits.

My exchanges changed to

image.png

So what is happening here?

73,
John VA3BOF

John Chin

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Jan 4, 2021, 10:08:35 PMJan 4
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I think the pictures may have disappeared in my reply.  So here they are again

image.png

image.png

73,
John VA3BOF

president YRARC

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Jan 4, 2021, 10:24:23 PMJan 4
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I think the RTTY in that case is referring to the "RTTY Roundup". WSJT-X does not have the ability to send/receive the RTTY mode. Some of the RTTY programs are MMTTY, 2-Tone, FLDIGI and Winwarbler. GRiTTY is also a receive-only program. What you saw with the messages is WSJT-X in "Contest Mode", where the exchanges are stripped down even more than usual to speed up the exchange. 

Similarly, in RTTY contests, RTTY exchanges are also stripped down, but there is some repetition because there is no error detection or correction in the RTTY mode.

Chris
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