Call: N1EU
Operator(s):  
Station: N1EU

Added: 28/Oct/2013
Contest: CQ WORLDWIDE DX CONTEST, SSB
Class: SOAB(A) HP
QTH: Albany NY
Operating time: 27

Summary: 
 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
------------------------------
  160:                    
   80:   24    10       21
   40:   73    22       58
   20:  301    32      115
   15:  348    36      127
   10: 1162    36      142
------------------------------
Total: 1908   136      463  
Total Score = 3,314,267 Club: Soapbox: I’m not much of a ssb contester
and normally put in 10-20 hours to
help the club’s score. Three
motivators pushed me a little more
this year: 1. incredible 10M
condx 2. desire to battle test my
recently rebuilt 3-el SteppIR (I
refuse to battle for a ssb run
frequency and listen to the cacophony
- so insisting on a clear passband
means I’ll only run on 10M (where
there's so much spectrum) during a ssb
contest. The SteppIR passed with
flying colors.) 3. getting my hands
on a new SDR and curious how we would
play together in the contest. I
ran PowerSDR with the Apache Labs
ANAN-10 and it was interfaced to a
Hercules DJ console to provide a knob
interface. To make a long story
short, the radio performed incredibly
well and I have no doubt that DDC/DUC
SDR rigs are going to engulf the hf
world. In short: 1. Receive audio
quality is, by far, the best I’ve
ever listened to 2. Filtering is
amazing 3. Combination of onscreen
GUI and knob console worked great 4.
Panadapter to scan the band or see
your neighbors during a run was
brilliant. 5. AGC action was
excellent - could easily read weak
signals under strong signals. Nice to
be able to set AGC threshold with
onscreen indicator superimposed on
panadapter waveform. 6. Great ALC
meter and S-meter action The
negatives I experienced were
infrequent popping sounds in the
receiver, sluggish T/R turn-around
when the subreceiver (dual watch) was
on, and audio latency. I didn’t
fully understand the latency issue
going into the contest and want to
apologize for the truncation of the
audio on the end of EVERY xmsn I made
in the contest (duh). I didn't
realize I couldn't simply release PTT
after I finished speaking - I needed
to allow a fraction of a second for
the tx audio to complete. This is
graphically illustrated on this sample
recording of one of my qso’s:
http://n1eu.com/px2w.mp3 - wow,
it’s both embarrassing and mind
boggling that I made more than a few
contacts doing this. I only received
one comment about the problem during a
10M run by a friendly Englishman and I
didn’t realize the extent of it
until listening to a soundclip after
the contest. Because of the
latency, it’s not possible to
monitor your audio. So isolated
headphones are not a good choice. I
ended up using Sennheiser HD580 with
an add-on boom microphone from
modmic.com - I was very happy with
this setup. Although I LOVE N1MM
software, I was plagued by delays. It
seemed like every few minutes when
entering a contact, the computer would
pause for up to 10 seconds while doing
internal housekeeping on the spot
database. I have a rocket of a
computer and am filtering my spots
with a short timeout, so I hope this
presumably software issue gets
resolved soon. The only 160/80/40M
antenna currently functional here is a
low 40M dipole. This also helped keep
me less than truly serious in my
efforts ;-) Thanks for all the
qso’s and again, apologies for the
truncated audio. 73, Barry
N1EU rig: Apache Labs ANAN-10
SDR amp: THP HL-50B, Acom
2000A antennas: 3 element SteppIR @
19m/60ft, 40M dipole @ 11m/35ft