While last night did not end up on a happy note with the XYL being upset with the RF issues causing the AT&T gateway modem to disconnect, as well have some bad latency issues, I decided to get up early and play in the ARRL Sweepstakes before anyone was awake. 40M was somewhat fruitful, made numerous contacts and new sections as I worked towards 80 sections. I jumped to 20M real early and had a few opening into the midwest and southwest as well.
When 20M really opened up, I started working many contacts. Granted there was no record breaking pace but I was having a steady stream of contacts, all search and pounce. I never did run a frequency. Then my XYL woke up and the problems were only worse. It started the same way, when the amp was in line, the gateway would disconnect, even on 20M. Then the latency was nearly 700ms making her online game unplayable.
I decided to dial everything back and work 100w as best I could using the BigIR and the hex beam. Unfortunately, it made no difference which antenna was transmitting it was causing RF interference. It finally got so bad that I had my wife decide what she wanted me to do. It was a fairly easy decision. I had to shut down the radios and stop my participation in the contest. Only 268 QSOs and 71 sections worked. I probably could have had a clean sweep over the next 7 hours. Of course we won’t know now.
I am frustrated that this problem seems to be growing and not shrinking. I felt I had made some strides in the right direction, unfortunately none of them seem to be paying off. I have e=mailed the NCCC group via the reflector and hopefully there are a few who can really help me kick this problem in the butt so I can enjoy contesting without having to change my radio habits. Right now I am lucky to operate in a contest, but Sweepstakes was special since I had taken time off from work to participate and do my part to beat PVRC.
I did get some satisfaction in posting all my spots to the cluster in hopes of other club members working them. I will never know, but that is of little consolation now. While I doubt there will be any responses today regarding my problem rest assured I will have numerous responses in the coming day.
I will have a full report on my operating during SS later….