Participated in SweepStakes this weekend and had a ball. Phone contests are not my favourite unless I’m working on a multi-op setup but wanted to give the Flex 1500 and new amp and tuner a workout.
I ran 100 watts for about a third of the contest and less than 20 watts for a third and QRP for a third depending on conditions.
I discovered that my anti-virus program was eating up a lot of my computer power so I killed it for the contest and had no issues with the CPU.
For the most part the Flex worked fine. I remembered to turn the audio down after a comment 🙂 and had the scent of solder floating through the shack for the first couple of hours as the amp (which had never been used) warmed up. In general I had no more issues working guys at 100 watts as I did at 25 watts or even five watts depending on the size of the pileup and the noise on the band. I heard a lot of requests for repeats in other QSOs and had no more than the regular amount regardless of the power I was running.
It goes to show that we are louder than we think at any power level. Now having said that SweepStakes phone is a contest when it sure helps to be running 800 or 1,000 watts into a decent antenna up high. But running less power and more modest antennas doesn’t limit the fun.
I noticed that the wheel on the mouse didn’t keep the same tuning rate from the Flex window to the Writelog window. Got to look into this and thinking of getting a better USB controller.
One last issue was that the big auto tuner kept searching for a tuned position. I never found the memory setting. This is operator error. The QRP auto tuner works so much more fluidly in the background and won’t be a problem next weekend as I will be running QRP CW.
Next step is to setup for CQ WW CW next weekend.