I participated in the ARRL DX CW Contest this past weekend. I didn’t fervently work the contest, but I sat down a couple of times and worked several stations. Conditions were not the best…but also not the worst…that that I’ve seen. I didn’t pick up any new DXCC entities…but did work a few that I have not confirmed, so perhaps that will be a benefit. Finished with about 210 QSOs. Not bad for me…considering that I was also doing my taxes, spending time with the family, taking care of quite a few things around the house, going to church, family lunch, etc etc.
For this year’s contest I used the N3FJP ARRL DX CONTEST software. Scott Davis has published a new version (3.0). I use all of Scott’s contesting software and I use his AC Log as my station’s primary log. I enjoy the simplicity and ease of operation. HOWEVER…it seemed to me that ARRL DX 3.0 acted a little “wonky”. Quite a few times I received a ‘unhandled exception’ error message…although each time I could click on the CONTINUE button and everything was fine. I was competing in the “assisted” category and had the DX spotting cluster open on the bottom of the screen. (It’s integrated into the software…not a separate window browser.) A few times my software lagged considerably as I clicked on a DX station expecting the rig to auto tune to that location…yet it just sat there. I also had an issue with the “DUPE” checker not properly identifying stations I had previously worked. Again, not all the time…just intermittently.
The 3.0 does have a “cleaner” look to it and the screen focus is sharper. I like the look and overall, the software is a great addition to a contesting event. I love the QSOs/hour and QSOs/last 20 minutes type data features…and the running lists per band of DX worked.
These tech issues could be 100% the result of my ham shack computer. In the end, everything worked as it should. My log is already submitted to ARRL and all contacts uploaded to LOTW.