The whole family got sick during the week making me stay home for the contest. Became another opportunity to work remote again.
Testing band conditions for several weeks in advance I had about 4,000 RBN spots to evaluate which is the best antenna combination to use in each hour during the NA opening. The evenings were not promising at all (after 18:00UTC). Sunday night was surprisingly different from any expectations since the band was open till local midnight with slow rates and strong signals. (hearing W7 stations one hour before the end..)
There were three internet blackouts during the two days causing 1,5 hours of loss of valuable time and mind.. this is the risk running remote.
The late openings have somewhat compensated for the losses during the active openings. This year's result is only 4% down in QSO count vs the one in 2018.

Station setup:
2x FTdx5000 for control & remote
Hamm3r RemoteMate (remote control device pack)
Auto-amp @ 1.3kW
Easy-rotor-controller
2x4L mono Yagi stack @ 11/20m (@820m ASL)

73, Gabor HA7GN

Claimed Scores posted to 3830:

Call: HA7GN
Operator(s): HA7GN
Station: HA7GN

Class: SOSB/20 HP
QTH: Matraszentimre
Operating Time (hrs): ~22
Location: Eastern Europe
Remote operation

Summary:   Compare Scores
Band QSOs Mults
160:    
80:    
40:    
20: 982 60
15:    
10:    
Total: 982 60 Total Score 176,760

 

 

2 Weeks later the SSB round was just for fun:

Call: HA7GN
Operator(s): HA7GN
Station: HA7GN

Class: SOSB/20 HP
Cabrillo Category: Single-Op SB20 Non-Assisted One-Transmitter HP
QTH: Matraszentimre
Operating Time (hrs): 5:14
Location: Eastern Europe
Remote operation

Summary:   Compare Scores
Band QSOs Mults
160:    
80:    
40:    
20: 272 47
15:    
10:    
Total: 272 47 Total Score 38,352

 

CU in the WPX CW in May...73 Gabor HA7GN

In late February 2019 I decided to join the Reverse Beacon Network with an SDR-IQ operating on 20m (single band). The antenna is a 4L monoband Yagi at the contest location @ 812m ASL beaming 310 deg NW. The antenna height is changed time-to time. At major contest it is fully erected to 20m, in between is lowered to about 10m. It can be recognized on the SNR levels, but is still capable to pick up QRP and mobile station signals from North America and Pacific stations on long path. I encourage you to try your CQs from there. It is not sure all Europe will hear you, but at least you will get spotted by my reverse beacon from Europe and some other good ears may answer your call. 

Use this link to see my CW Skimmer spots:

HA7GN CW Skimmer on RBN

In a few days time the official results will be published on the CQ Magazin's home page. Regardless of the final ranking I can hardly wait for it. The score is expected to be my all time second best on 20m while running the full contest for the first time from remote with our own developed RemoteMate pack.

Running Remote is judged differently by hams. I had to move my operating activity outside of the area we live some years ago for the same reasons most hams need to. The place I found is just perfect, but is also far away to enjoy as frequently I desire. Remote operation is the way for me.

So, why it is so different contesting remote..? Internet latency is ultimately responsible for the TX/RX switching delays between the individual pieces of a QSO impacting the running rate or the received audio quality. Missing dits are also there more frequently due the internet hick-ups. We have experimented a lot on optimizing audio quality and CAT cmd transfers to use minimum bandwith for a high speed CW contest.

The station got upgraded during the year with the 2 x 4L 20m monoband Yagi stack (@11m/20m) and the crank-up tower that tricked us a few times in the summer. The stack and rotation control has been simplified by OEM Products and were running flawless thru the season. Since the beginning we have been using automatic OM-Power amps. We had isssues with the different firmware versions of the individual models. After several upgrades/downgrades we have abandoned the CAT control of these amps. The issue comes when the communication is lost with the amp.. and it does not tune or changes band. The amp we need for remote is an RF sensing one like the OM2000A+. Need no bothering with CAT communication settings, firmware upgrade, no risk to lose connection, does not occupy internet bandwith. It just tunes when it's time to do so.

Prior to the contest I heard from Attila, HA2NA that a special event activity was going to take place between NOV15 & DEC15. With 12 special callsigns we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the MRASZ. A few of us from area 7 has been assigned to HA90AM. Even if it was a busy period at work I was able to run the station daily from remote and made about 6k QSO and had the opportunity to use it during the WW DX CW in SOSB20HP.

 

Call: HA9ØAM
Operator(s): HA7GN
Station: HA7GN

 

Class: SO(A)SB20 HP
QTH: Matraszentimre
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Location: Eastern Europe
Remote operation

 

Summary:   Compare Scores
Band QSOs Zones Countries
160:      
80:      
40:      
20: 2151 36 142
15:      
10:      
Total: 2151 36 142 Total Score 851,730

 

 

 

73, Gabor (HA7GN)