The ARRL DX SSB Contest went great! Everything performed well, as expected.
Once again, I was able to work every station I heard. Using a Flex 6300, I worked S&P while utilizing a “3 click” zoom level which makes finding the ‘little pistols’ much easier. I then proceeded to rake the bands for all the tiny, in-between signals I could find, resulting in some great contacts. We’re talking about DX contacts at the RX noise level, in between two stations, (often ‘big guns’) blasting away. Very challenging play today! Very impressive TRX performance from the 6300. I can only imagine what an upgrade to a 6700 will be like. For this contest I used a 4K monitor for the first time. The added resolution made finding the ‘tiny’ guys that much easier.
What makes working the ‘tiny’ signals possible is the Flex ability (no pun intended) to place a custom width passband anywhere you need it. In this case, I place a 1.3khz passband in between the opposing stations. This allows me to pull the DX right out at the RX noise floor. The passband filter is sharp enough to sufficiently isolate these minute signals and render them listenable. Amazing. Next time, I’ll capture video. I made great contacts this way throughout the contest. Of course I work all the big guns as well, working them early (6am Local) and then hearing them in pile-ups later on!
By the end of the contest I found it difficult to find anyone that I had not already worked! After adding a 6700, the only other REAL improvement I could make would be the addition of a tower and full size antenna. Since I can work everybody I can hear, it only makes sense that I acquire “bigger ears”.