Restrictions on gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic recently prompted a novel approach to multioperator/multi-transmitter operation. The WW2DX entry in the CQ World Wide WPX SSB Contest over the March 28 – 29 weekend featured 10 operators, each at separate locations around the US and in Europe, all operating via a single remote site on the coast of eastern Maine. WW2DX entered in the multioperator high-power category, racking up a claimed score of 32,026,176 points. NR6O operated remotely from the west coast with a smaller complement of remote operators in the same category.
“It was so much fun to work this contest,” one of the WW2DX operators, 17-year-old Connor Black, W4IPC, remarked. “This was the most fun I’ve had in a contest ever. We had no equipment failures and pulled off, hopefully, a new US record.”
In soapbox comments on the 3830scores.com website, Lee Imber, WW2DX, expressed his belief that this year’s contest would be viewed as a turning point in multioperator contesting. Participants had nothing but a web browser and a USB headset to operate, with the closest team partner some 625 miles away. “No radio, no hardware, no traveling, and no external logger,” he noted.
Team members brainstormed various configurations. Rock Schrock, WW1X, custom-engineered the requisite software. In addition to Black, the team included a few other young — but experienced — contesters: 13-year-old Charles Hoppe, AA4LS; 17-year-old Mason Matrazzo, KM4SII, and 21-year-old Tucker McGuire, W4FS. The more senior team members were K1LZ, K3JO, W1ADI, W2RE, WW1X, and WW2DX.
“We also used Slack and created a channel for the team to stay connected over the weekend, and this ended up being half the fun,” Imber said. “Game time.” Another feature included the “multi bell,” which would chime whenever a new multiplier was logged. He said it was “awesome having seasoned pro operators sharing and mentoring these young contesters.”
“The world is experiencing something on a whole new level,” he observed. “I think it’s clear that multi-multi contesting in general is also going to see big changes moving forward. I am looking forward to that.”
The ARRL Contest Update Editor Brian Moran, N9ADG, said in this week’s newsletter, “Until restrictions on gatherings are relaxed, this is a winning model for multi-multi efforts. Perhaps this is also the model of future big-gun multi-multi stations.”
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