The World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 team has posted data on the radio equipment and software used by the teams. There are a few interesting take-aways for me:
The top two radios used are no surprise, the Elecraft K3 by a wide margin at 64%, and the Yaesu FTdx5000 at 7%. The third choice surprisingly was the modest Kenwood TS-590 at 6% usage. I’ve often thought this rig is one of the best in amateur radio today based on the price, features, performance, and value. Despite Kenwood getting the number 3 spot with the TS-590, there was only one other Kenwood rig used, a single TS-850. Ten Tec had a meager showing with two Orion II rigs. Various other Icom and Yaesu rigs rounded out the statistics. I find it sad that Kenwood doesn’t have more product offerings in these statistics. The data suggests that there’s an opportunity in the market for another high performance $2.5K to $3K USD compact rig.
For software I expected the N1MM contest program to be the most popular choice, however Win-Test was used in 68% of the stations and N1MM garnered only 25% usage. Perhaps it’s time I try Win-Test. Despite the price of the N1MM program being attractive, the lack of source code for this freeware program has concerned me. Win-Test costs 50 Euros or about $67 USD, however with the features listed it may be worth it. There must be some “secret sauce” in the program that hardcore contesters like.