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Sunday, January 7, 2018

RTTY Roundup 2018

Early Electromagnetic Teleprinter
Radioteletype (RTTY) is a wireless telecommunications system that has been around for over 100 years. The system consisted of two or more bulky and heavy electromagnetic teleprinters that connected via radio. Today RTTY is sent with computers that run software to emulate electromagnetic printers.

The ARRL RTTY Roundup was created by Jay Townsend - WS7I and Hal Blegen - WA7EGA in 1988. Today I participated for very the first time!


Up until yesterday morning I had never even sent a RTTY transmission, but my little RS-918 radio made the setup very simple. Thank you to Bob - W9BU, for helping me set up FLdigi and test my station before the contest started. My station was simple and consisted of my RS-918 SDR QRP radio, dell laptop running Fldigi software, and 5 watts being pushed up to my inverted L "gutter antenna" on the back of the house.

The weather here in Central Indiana has been very cold lately and this weekend was no exception, so it was a great weekend to order a pizza and hang out in the shack contesting. Not only was this my first time operating RTTY, this was also my first time participating solo in a contest longer than a sprint. The ARRL RTTY Roundup is a 36 hour contest with a limit of 24 operational hours. I knew going in that I was not going to run away with any prizes for a high score, but I did have a few goals in mind when I started. Number one was to have fun, number two was to beat Ivin - W9ILF's score, and number 3 was to work as many states as possible. I achieved all my goals!

I operated off and on Saturday afternoon, evening, and also on Sunday afternoon. Ivin, Bob and I stayed in touch throughout the contest just to check in with each other. I never could get the N1MM logging software to work with my radio, so I decided to log on paper which slowed my down a little as I needed to verify that I had not worked a station by reading down my log before answering any CQ calls to prevent duplicates. 

My Results:
  • 153 QSOs
  • 41 States
  • 7 Canadian Provinces
  • 4 DX Countries
I may have not set any records, but considering the fact that I was QRP, had first time jitters, and used a paper log I think I did okay. At one point I thought I had a chance for all 50 states, but ran out of time before I was able to finish. One of my biggest highlights was working Alaska for the very first time. Thank you to Stephen - KL7SB for working my station this afternoon. I look forward to participating in more contest like this in the future. I had a blast!

Until next time, 72 de Mike - KQ9RP

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