2020 FT Roundup Results Page

2020 FT Roundup Results Article

It was a nice surprise to start the 2020 FT Roundup with a semi-active sun which gave us excellent propagation on 20 meters and some DX paths on 15 meters. The solar flux at the start of the contest was 96 and rose to 100 after the first 3 hours. Conditions were quiet with the A index topping out at 5 for the weekend and the K index moving between 1 and 2.

Twenty meters (64,426 QSOs) and forty meters (63,611 QSOs) were the best bands. Each had 37% of all QSOs made. That means nearly 3/4 of all QSOs were made on these two bands. As we move farther into Solar Cycle 25 we should see this shift to the higher bands.

In 2020, there were 1058 logs submitted. This is up 17% over 2019. The bigger story is that we are averaging more QSOs per log. In 2020, a total of 182,000 QSOs were made compared to 140,636 in 2019. That is a 23% increase over the previous year and a 28% increase over 2018. It’s hard to compare 2019 and 2020 to 2018 since we didn’t have FT4 that first year. Another factor to consider is that overall conditions were better in 2020. Even though, it seems as FT contesters, we are becoming better and more efficient operators. The NIL (not in log) rate dropped a nearly a whole percentile from 5.4% in 2019 to 4.5% in 2020. This is still more than twice as high as the conventional modes of CW, SSB and RTTY but it’s trending in the right direction. A better way of confirming QSOs needs to be made or else we will always have these high NIL rates.

Single Operator

Vic, N8OO, came out on top in the Single Operator category from Louisiana. Vic outpaced last year’s winner, Dick, K9OM, by 11.5k points.  It was Vic’s first FT Roundup and he says he’s new at digital contesting although he’s a regular in RTTY contests.

Dick, operating from Florida again this year, barely beat out Ron, WV4P, operating as NJ4P from Tennessee, by a mere 953 points for second place. This is Ron’s third appearance in the top 3 after placing third last year and winning the event in 2018.

There was another close race between 4th and 5th with Pablo, EA4GOY, edging out Boyan, LZ2BE, by only 1,247 points. KB8O, CT7AUP, NF3R, S53X and CX7SS rounded out the top 10 in the Single Operator category. All top ten single operator finishers are eligible for a bottle of premium wine from Muns Vineyard (mailed to a US address), courtesy of co-sponsor Ed Muns, W0YK/P40X.

Top ten Single Operator results.

Pablo, EA4GOY, finished 4th Single Operator.

Boyan, LZ2BE, finished 5th Single Operator.

Joel, NF3R, finished 8th Single Operator.

Milos, S53X, finished 9th Single Operator.

Multi Operator

The big storyline in Multi Op is that the top three finishers were all remote operations. Coming out on top with a new Multi Operator world record was PJ4Z, (92,340 points) in Bonaire, operated remotely by Fred, WW4LL, and Mike, NN9DD. This station is part of their BeLoud.US network of remote stations. Fred and Mike finished 4th last year from the remote Louisiana station.

Says Fred “Operating the PJ4G remote station was a last minute decision, so obtaining the PJ4Z callsign was iffy.” About the contest, he goes on to say “Activity was quite good and we worked several Asian stations, however, our Asian run was not as good as last year. Our overall Q count was almost 300 Qs greater than 2019 and we picked up a handful more mults.”

Fred, WW4LL, blames being cooped up by COVID-19 for the long hair and whiskers.

Repeating their second place finish from last year was WT0DX, operated by Bill, WT0DX, and Paul, NO0T, from Colorado. Their 77,126 points was a new North America. Bill explains the setup “The station is actually located at Randy K0EU QTH (about 20 miles from my house), where he kindly lets me operate using his antennas.  All the equipment is mine, so that I don’t disturb his settings.”

Bill’s (WT0DX) remote setup for working the 2020 FT Roundup to 2nd place finish.

In third, from California, was the K6UFO team of Mark K6UFO, Tom ND2T, and Kevin K6TD. They operated the mountaintop station K6MTU, maintained by Kevin.  Mark said “20m carried the load all day, 40m all night and early morning. Brief periods on 15m brought fresh QSOs. 80m had noise problems, and we never used 10m. Rate was generally 20 to 30 per hour. Almost all on FT8, but a little FT4 when the operator needed an adrenaline rush. K6MTU station is excellent, we could work deep Asia and far away Europe with only 100 watts.”

Top to bottom, Left to Right are Mark K6UFO, Tom ND2T, Kevin K6TD, and the K6MTU antennas.

The rest of the Multi Operator stations were K4MM (4th), HA6NL (5th), DL4A (6th), TA7AEK (7th), CE4WT (8th), UZ2I (9th) and JL3ZHU (10th).

Rodrigo, CE3WT, at his station in Chile, finished 8th Multi Operator (with CA4BAD).

Ed and I are looking forward to putting the contest on again next year. If you are interesting in seeing your LCR (log checking report), please send email directly to Ed (ed @ w0yk.com). Online certificates are available to all participants (even checklog stations) by clicking the link at the top of the page.

Thanks to all who participated. We’ll see you again on December 4th & 5th, 2021.