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TU 599 TN 04

N.B.: this post contains nothing but amateur radio nerding, so consider yourself forewarned.

This past weekend was the CQ WW RTTY DX contest, which is one of the few contests that I try to do every year. I don't take it terribly seriously - if I can make 100 or so contacts over the course of a casual weekend's worth of operating, I'll take them. I enjoy working RTTY, and the big contests are about the only time I get a chance.

In any case, this was the first contest I was able to use the RSPDx as a pandapter for the FT-450D and it worked a treat. Seriously, seeing all of a band at once was something else, especially with all of the stations up and running all weekend. It looked like the matrix or something. Since I run an all-Linux shack, I spent a bit of time tinkering with various CAT setups until I landed on a good rigctld config that let gqrx and the transceiver steer each other, though I did need a little python widget for gqrx to complete the setup. I let fldigi log to CQRLOG for LoTW and eQSL, but will use fllog's data to submit the Cabrillo file for scoring. Everything ran great. As lovely as CubicSDR is, all I needed was basic visualization, and gqrx picked up  the SDRPlay soapysdr libraries just fine.

In any event, band conditions were wonky thanks to a big solar storm that hit us over the weekend, which made for some nice aurora photos but played havoc with HF propagation. Most of my contacts were domestic, but I managed a few good DX contacts: South America, Europe, and getting Hawaii is always fun. I strictly search-and-pounce; maybe next contest I'll try to run if I can find a spot. Getting everything wired together and working well was the main goal this weekend, so mission accomplished.