KE1S 2018 Field Day Log Analysis
By John Lindholm, W1XX
Objective: (1) Break down the log mathematically to see if there are things we can do better in the future. (2) Analyze the performance of the antennas.
Caveats: (1) Since it is an objective of our Field Day to get everyone involved, there is a certain “training” aspect of the operation. This has an effect on the “numbers.” (2) There are numerous “variables” that cannot readily be taken into account: operator skill; nighttime operations which tend to slow down results; break times; propagation vagaries; cross station interference; radio and operator malfus; modal proficiency difference; etc. (3) Nonetheless, there is sufficient data to draw some general conclusions.
(1) Total QSOs by KE1S = 1470 + 22 GOTA QSOs by W1DX = 1492 Total QSOs. This analysis disregards QSOs by W1DX and 6 meter QSOs. We consider only 2 stations; QSOs/hr are per station.
(2) Total hours on SSB = 22.8; total hours on CW = 17.2. Total on-the-air time = 40.0 hours. FD = 24 hours x 2 stations = 48 hours. Thus we “wasted” a total on 8 hours.
(3) SSB QSOs/hr= 31.2. CW QSOs/hr = 42.0. Total QSOs/ hr = 35.3.
Total Per Band Numbers:
Band QSOs QSOs/hr
80 315 28.1
40 369 36.5
20 503 37.2
15 225 43.3
6 58 N/A
TOT 1470 35.3
Total Per Band/Mode Numbers:
Band CW QSOs/hr SSB QSOs/hr
80 55 45.8 260 26.0
40 303 37.4 66 33.0
20 207 40.5 296 35.2
15 158 56.4 67 27.9
Hex-Beam v. 20/40 Wire Performance:
Performance comparison of the Hex-Beam v. the 4-element 20 meter portion of the 40/20 wire (henceforth referred to as the “wire”) pertains only to 20 meters where both can operate.
- 20 meters SSB on the Hex from 2 PM start – 3: 50 = 1.8 hrs for 58 Qs @ 32.2 Qs/hr. Wire was being repaired during this time.
- From 3:48 PM – 4:43 = .9 hrs. 20 CW on wire = 53 Qs/hr. 20 SSB on Hex = 22 Qs/hr.
- From 3:48 – 6:47 = 3 hrs. 20 CW on wire =34 Qs/hr. 20 meters SSB on Hex from 2 PM start – 4:43 = 2.7 hrs = 28.8 Qs/hr.
- Difficult to draw any conclusions here as cross station interference was significant. More on this subject later.
First Time on 40 Meters CW:
First time on 40 CW on the “wire” was from 6:47 PM — 12:18 AM with 272 QSOs in 5.5 hrs = 49.5/hr.
More Hex v. Wire Comparison on 20 Meters During Sunday Daybreak
During the best run of the contest – from 7:20 AM to 8:37 – Pat NG1G had 91 QSOs on 20 meter SSB on the Hex for a rate of 81/hr during the 1.12 hour span.
Because 15 meters was showing promise at this time, Pat was switched to the wire for 20 meter SSB while the Hex went to 15. What was the effect and was it a good move?
20 SSB now operated on the wire. Using the next 1.12 hour span for comparison to the previous 1.12 hour period on the hex = 55 Qs @ 49.0/hr. Clearly a drop. But meanwhile, the Hex now on 15 meter mostly CW for the same 1.12 time period = 67 QSOs @ 60/hr.
The Hex remained on 15 to the end at 2 PM (with two dead periods) for 4.7 hrs,
211 QSOs @ 44.9/hr.
- The Hex-Beam really works! It would take little extra effort to get it up another 10 – 15 feet where it might play even better.
- On Sunday morning, we switched 20 SSB from the Hex to the wire. As a result, Pat felt that the hex played better than the wire. He’s right. The rate dropped from the off-the-charts 81 to 49. But was this caused by his initially being “fresh meat” as the band opened? We’ll never know but obviously the subsequent 15 meter performance made it the right move. And the wire rate of 49/ hr was still way more than the average SSB rate.
- The 40/20 wire played really well on 40 CW a bread-n-butter band – lesser so on SSB. 40 SSB is a tough QRM band. It may not have played quite as well on 20 as the Hex.
- We had 260 QSOs on 80 meter SSB at a rate of only 26.0/hr. That was 10.0 hours of graveyard shift working hosts of “please copy” operators. Since the CW rate was 45.8/hr. in only 1.2 hours of operating, we could have used more CW operators on the graveyard shift. The 80 meter antenna did work very well.
- While on the graveyard shift, we could have used a K3 and N1MM expert to better handle a couple of midnight malfus.
- Fifteen meters really played well on the Hex. Maybe 10 meters next year?
- There was a nice 6 meter E-skip run to the Midwest from about 3:15 – 3:45 Saturday afternoon. Only occasional stray groundwave Qs after that. 58 Total Qs. Luck plays an important role on this band.
- To operate same band different modes – such as 20 CW and SSB at the start of the contest – we need band filters.
- GOTA: Unless we have an overnight operator, the only antenna we need is for 20 and probably a better antenna if we are to make hay here. We may need a better transceiver here.
(10) Satellite: Good effort this year. Next year pay dirt.
Comments: Comments are solicited here and at the next club meeting August 11.