ARRL DX CW Contest

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.  Fathom_300_X_250_Diamond_V2I 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.