Contester's Rate Sheet for April 23, 2003
*********************** Contester's Rate Sheet 23 April 2003 *********************** Edited by Ward Silver, N0AX SUMMARY o Only 368 days until the 2004 Florida QSO Party! o The New England QSO Party runs May 3 -- 4 o Topband Frequency Allocations and a Who's Who o Rhombics and other Really Big Antennas o Logging Software -- Who, What, Where? BULLETINS o No bulletins this issue BUSTED QSOS o A golden issue last time ANNOUNCEMENT & NOTICES FOR 23 APRIL TO 7 MAY 2003 Logs are due for the following contests: o April 23 - CLARA and Family HF Contest, email to: email@example.com, paper logs to: Paulette Schouten, VE7VPE, c/o VECTOR, 3301 East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V5K 5J3, Canada o April 27 - EU Spring Sprint, SSB, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, paper logs to: Dave Lawley, G4BUO, Carramore, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst, Kent, TN11 8EX, England, UK o April 30 - YL-ISSB QSO Party, CW/SSB, email to: email@example.com, paper logs to: N4KNF/N4ZGH, 2160 Ivy Street, Port Charlotte, FL 33952, USA o April 30 - Oklahoma QSO Party, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, paper logs to: OKDX Assn, OKQP, PO Box 2591, Claremore, OK 74018-2591, USA o April 30 - SP DX Contest, email to: email@example.com, paper logs to: Polski Zwiazek Krotkofalowcow, SPDX Contest Committee, PO Box 320, 00-950 Warszawa, Poland o May 1 - BARTG Spring RTTY Contest, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, paper logs to: John Barber, GW4SKA, PO Box 611, Cardiff CF2 4UN, Wales o May 1 - CQWW WPX Contest, SSB, email to: email@example.com, paper logs to: CQ Magazine, 25 Newbridge Rd., Suite 405, Hicksville, NY 11801, USA o May 2 - Russian DX Contest, email to: RusDXC@contesting.com, paper logs to: Russian DX Contest, PO Box 88, 123459 Moscow, Russia o May 2 - 144 MHz Spring Sprint, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, paper logs to: 144 MHz Spring Sprint, ETDXA/WU4O, Jeff J. Baker, 8218 Foxworth Trail, Powell, TN 37849, USA o May 4 - UBA Spring Contest, SSB, email to: email@example.com, paper logs to: Lode Kenens, ON6KL, Oudestraat 8, B-3560 Lummen, Belgium o May 6 - Missouri QSO Party, email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, paper logs to: James I. Kinser, N0AJ, 2147 Encino Drive, Florissant, MO 63031-7627, USA o May 6 - QCWA QSO Party, email to: (none), paper logs to: Dick Newsome, W0HXL, 2924 North 48th Street, Omaha, NE 68104-3726, USA The following contests are scheduled: Note that the following abbreviations are used to condense the contest rules summaries: SO - Single-Op; M2 - Multiop - 2 Transmitters; MO - Multi-Op; MS - Multi-Op, Single Transmitter; MM - Multi-Op, Multiple Transmitters; AB - All Band; SB - Single Band; S/P/C - State/Province/DXCC Entity; HP - High Power; LP - Low Power; Entity - DXCC Entity HF CONTESTS Florida QSO Party - sponsored by the Florida Contest Group from 1600Z April 26 - 0159Z April 27 and 1200Z - 2159Z April 27, no time limit, work FL stations. Frequencies (MHz): CW - 35 kHz from band edges (Novices/Technicians - 10 kHz from segment edge), Phone - 7.260, 14.260, 21.335, and 28.485, no 160 or 80 meters, VHF/UHF. Categories: SO, MS, MM (one signal per band), Mobile, Novice/Technician, School Club, SWL, all categories can enter as HP/LP (150W) or QRP (5W) and Mixed Mode/CW/SSB (except MM and SWL). Exchange: RST and FL county or SPC. QSO Points: CW - 2 pts, SSB - 1 pt. Score: FL stations - QSO points x SPC (W/VE/KH6/KL7 do not count as DXCC entities) x power multiplier; non-FL stations - QSO points x FL counties x power multiplier. All multipliers count once per mode. Power multiplier - HP x 1, LP x 2, QRP x 3. For more information -- http://www.qsl.net/fqp. Logs due 27 May to FLQSOParty@aol.com (ASCII text or Cabrillo format) or Florida QSO Party, c/o Ron Wetjen, WD4AHZ, 5362 Castleman Dr, Sarasota, FL 34232. Nebraska QSO Party - CW/SSB - sponsored by the Heartland DX Association 1700Z Apr 26 - 1700Z Apr 27. Frequencies (MHz): 160 - 2 meters; CW - 1.805 and 35 kHz above band edge; Phone - 1.915, 3.865, 7.265, 14.265, 21.365, 28.465, 146.460; Novices/Technicians - 10 kHz above band edge and 28.465. Categories: SO, MS, Mobile. Work stations once per band/mode and NE mobile stations can be worked again in each county. County lines count as one QSO. Exchange: RST and NE county or SPC. QSO Points: CW - 2 pts, Phone - 1 pt. Score is QSO Points x SPC for NE stations or NE counties (multipliers count once only) x Power Multiplier (QRP x 3, LP x 2, HP x 1). For more information - http://www.qsl.net/hdxa. Logs due May 31 to email@example.com (ASCII text) or Nebraska QSO Party, PO Box 375, Elkhorn, NE 68022-0375. Helvetia Contest - CW/SSB/Digital - sponsored by Union of Swiss Short Wave Amateurs (USKA) from 1300Z Apr 26 -- 1300Z Apr 27. Frequencies: 160 -- 10 meters. Categories: SO-Mixed, SO-QRP, SO-Digital, MO-Digital, MO-Mixed, SWL. Exchange: RST and serial number (Swiss stations add canton abbreviation). QSO Points: 3 pts/QSO. Score: QSO points x Swiss cantons (Swiss stations also count DXCC entities). For more information - http://www.uska.ch/html/en/index_e.htm. Logs due 31 days after the contest to firstname.lastname@example.org or USKA HF Traffic Manager, Hermann Stein, HB9CRV, BrŁelmatten 13, 4410 Liestal BL, Switzerland. IPA Contest, sponsored by the International Police Association from 0000Z - 2359Z May 3 (CW), 0000Z - 2359Z May 4 (SSB), each mode is considered a separate contest. Frequencies: 80 -- 10 meters. Categories: SOAB, MS, SWL. Exchange: RS(T) and serial number, IPA stations add "IPA". QSO Points: Non-IPA -- 1 pt, Non-US IPA -- 2 pts, US IPA -- 5 pts, IPA club -- 10 pts, US stations with 1x1 call -- 20 pts. Score is QSO points x US states + IPA stations + 1x1 calls counted only once. For more information - http://www.iparc.org. Logs to email@example.com or to Alex Dutkewych N2PIG, PO Box 211, Pulteney NY 14874 -- 0211. MARAC County Hunters Contest - CW - sponsored by the Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club from 0000Z May 3 - 2400Z May 4. Frequencies (MHz): 3.575, 7.050, 14.050, 21.050, 28.050, work fixed stations once/band and mobiles once for each county and band. Categories: Mobile, Portable, Fixed. Exchange: RST and county or SPC. County line QSOs count as one QSO but separate multipliers. QSO Points: Fixed stations in NA - 1 point, Mobile/Portable - 15 points, DX - 5 pts, one station must be in a US county. Score is QSO Points ◊ US counties (count only once). Mobile/Portables sum score from each state. For more information - http://www.countyhunter.com. Logs due June 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org or Norm Beavers W3DYA, 3320 McMillan Dr, Tyler, TX 75701-8239. 10-10 International Spring Contest - CW - sponsored by Ten-Ten, International from 0001Z May 3 - 2400Z May 4, 10-meters only. Exchange: call/name/state and 10-10 number (if a member). QSO Points: nonmembers--1 pt, members--2 pts. Score: total points. For more information -- http://www.ten-ten.org. Logs due May 19 to Steve Rasmussen, N0WY, #68684, 312 N. 6th Street, Plattsmouth, NE 68048. Indiana QSO Party - CW/SSB - sponsored by the Hoosier DX and Contest Club from 1300Z May 3 - 0500Z May 4. Frequencies (MHz): CW - 1.805 and 40 kHz above the band edge on 80-10 meters, SSB - 1.845, 3.850, 7.230, 14.250, 21.300, 28.450, try 160 at 0200 and 0400Z, no repeater or crossband QSOs. Categories: SOAB (HP, LP < 100W, QRP < 5W), MS (incl. use of spotting assistance), Mobile (SO only). Exchange: RS(T) + S/P or IN county (DX stations send RS(T) only). QSO Points: SSB -- 1 pt, CW -- 2 pts, contact stations once per band/mode and once per county. Score is QSO Points x IN counties or S/P/C counted once per mode. For more information - http://www.hdxcc.org/inqp/. Logs due June 15 to email@example.com (Cabrillo format preferred) or HDXCC, c/o Mike Goode N9NS, 10340 Broadway, Indianapolis, IN 46280-1344. ARI International DX Contest - CW/SSB/Digital - sponsored by ARI from 2000Z May 3 - 1959Z May 4. Frequencies: CW/SSB - 160 - 10 meters; Digital - 80 - 10 meters, change bands or mode no more than once per 10 min. Categories: SO-CW, SO-SSB, SO-Digital, SO-Mixed, MS-Mixed, SO-SWL-Mixed. Exchange: RST and Italian Province or serial number. QSO Points: own country - 0 pts (mult only), own continent - 1 pt, different cont. - 3 pts, Italian stations - 10 pts. Score: QSO points x Italian Provinces + DXCC entity (except I, IS0, IT9, IG9/IH9) counted once per band. For more information - http://www.ari.it/contest.html. Logs due June 4 (Cabrillo format is encouraged) to firstname.lastname@example.org (Cabrillo format is encouraged) or to ARI Contest Manager, I4UFH Fabio Schettino, PO Box 1677, 40100 Bologna, Italy. New England QSO Party - CW/Phone - 2000Z May 3 - 0500Z May 4 and 1300Z - 2400Z May 4. New England is ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, and RI. Frequencies (MHz): CW - 40 kHz above band edge; Novice/Tech - 3.705, 7.130, 21.130, 28.130; SSB - 3.880, 7.280, 14.280, 21.380, 28.380; no crossmode or crossband QSOs, all CW QSOs in CW band segments. Categories: SOAB (HP, LP, and QRP), MS (includes stations using any kind of spotting assistance), mobiles use same categories. Exchange: RS(T) and S/P (non-US/VE sends "DX") or NE county/state. Work stations once per band/mode and mobiles in each county. County lines logged as two QSOs. QSO Points: phone - 1 pt, CW and Digital - 2 pts. Score: Non-NE stations - QSO points x NE counties; NE stations - QSO points x S/P/C; mobiles total QSO points from all counties and count multipliers only once. For more information - http://www.neqp.org. Logs due 30 days after the contest to email@example.com (Cabrillo format preferred) or NEQP, PO Box 3005, Framingham MA 01705-3005. VHF CONTESTS Microwave Spring Sprint, 0600 -- 1300 local, May 3. Fixed and Rover categories. Exchange is Grid Square only, count 1 pt per QSO. Score: total all points and all grids worked from each grid (rovers) or on each band (fixed stations). For more information -- http://www.etdxa.org/vhf.htm. Logs must be emailed or postmarked within four weeks of the contest to firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeff J Baker, 8218 Foxworth Trail, Powell, TN 37849. NEWS & PRESS RELEASES Only eight days remain to get a ticket to the May 2nd NCCC Contest Dinner at the Visalia DX Convention. No tickets will be sold at the door. You snooze, you lose. Everyone is welcome! The guest speaker is Dave Leeson W6NL on the design of the HC8N contest station. The cost is $25 for either a steak or chicken meal and tickets may be had via Tom Taormina K5RC, Productivity Resources, PO Box 1126, Virginia City NV 89440 or K5RC@aol.com. The Florida Contest Group has a new web site for the Florida QSO Party - http://www.floridaqsoparty.org. The old web site will continue to work for a while longer but they encourage you to use our new URL. (Thanks, Mr. FQP - Jim K4OJ) The Texas QSO Party URL has been reported incorrectly -- the correct URL is http://www.txqp.org. (Thanks, Dale KG5U) If you need help finding any of the kites mentioned on G4VGO Web page mentioned in the last issue, contact Mel Hickman of the American Kitefliers Association at email@example.com. He can direct you to best place to buy these kites or direct them to plans for building them. (Thanks, Mel KK7SR) An updated Topband Allocations listing has been published at http://www.topbandradio.mainpage.net These are listings of frequency allocations on 160-meters around the world. They're available as text or as spreadsheet files. (Thanks, Dennis K0CKD) Rich KA8OKH offers his excellent listing of state QSO Party Web pages - http://www.qsl.net/ka8okh. Links for contests during the coming three months are listed on the home page. Other state listings are available via a pull-down menu. Only a few states are missing their QSO parties. You WAS-chasers should definitely bookmark Rich's site. RESULTS AND RECORDS The HADX 2003 Contest Claimed Scores are now available at http://www.mrasz.hu/vbizhir/cw/hadx/hadx2003notha.pdf. (Thanks to the HA DX Contest Committee) Not exactly contest results, but since Top Band DX-ing feels like a contest most of the time, here's a good link to a Web site run by Nick VK1AA called "Who's Who on TopBand" at http://www.topband.info. The site has propagation information and country totals grouped by useful geographic regions. Nick also has cleverly listed DX stations operating from noisy locations as "Noise Fighters'. There is also a "Topbander of the Month." TECHNICAL & TECHNIQUE We are reminded of a good BC-reject filter design that has been in the ARRL Handbooks since 1985. The original article was published in Feb 1978 QST, titled "BC-Band Energy--A Rejection Filter", by Ed Wetherhold, W3NQN. The design is compact, using small toroidal inductors and silver-mica capacitors for receive-only use. Your editor built one of these with air-wound coils and heavy-duty capacitors to use directly in the transmit line. If you decide to build one of these, you can use AM BC stations as a tune-up signal source, compressing and expanding the windings of the coils to achieve maximum rejection near the desired filter trap frequencies. (Thanks, George K8GG) Thinking about a serious HF antenna for next fall's big contests? You'll stand out in the pileup with one of these puppies at the other end of the feed line - http://www.antenna.be/rhr.html. It might take some doing to convince the neighbors, though. (Thanks, Bill W4AN) More in the line of what amateurs can reasonably expect to wish for (although asking for one of the big ones might soften up your opposition) are the fabled rhombics. I bookmarked this site and sometimes bring it up and sigh wistfully, imagining my QRP totals rocketing as I switch in "the diamond" - http://www.mindspring.com/~cummings7/rhombic.html CONVERSATION Logging Software -- Who, What, Where? Instead of editorializing, this issue presents a survey of contest logging programs -- some well-known, others less so. The computer logging revolution began with the release of CT by Ken Wolff K1EA more than a decade ago. The first program to really utilize the capabilities of the IBM-PC back in the MS-DOS days, K1EA's creation was a leader in the explosion of computer interfacing that has taken contesting to new heights. It's author received a well-deserved spot in CQ's Contesting Hall of Fame for it's creation. Along with CT, there are a number of other general-purpose logging programs and some specialized offerings. The general-purpose loggers are often excellent at supporting specialty contests, as well. Check out the Web sites for complete details about features. No doubt I will miss a few favorites -- these are only a sample of what's out there. Let's begin... CT - http://www.k1ea.com - CT has versions that run under Windows 98, -ME, -2000, and --XP, as well as MS-DOS. There have been several enhancements to its packet spot interface and SO2R (single-op, two-radio) functions have been upgraded. CT also has a novel "partner mode" that makes multi-op a lot of fun. In the past month, Ken has decided to make CT a freeware program, as well. NA - http://www.datomonline.com -- Soon after CT was released, Dave Pruett K8CC released NA which runs under MS-DOS only. NA supports numerous contests by using templates -- 14 templates come with the program and the user can define custom templates. TR-LOG - http://www.qth.com/tr -- Breaking with the CT/NA format, Larry Tyree N6TR created TR-LOG with an eye to minimizing keystrokes and took a giant step to integrating SO2R functions at the core of the program. Running under MS-DOS, TR-LOG supports a large number of contests "out of the box" and the use of user-settable switches in a configuration file make it possible to customize many of the program options to support almost any contest and style of operation. Writelog for Windows -- http://www.writelog.com - Wayne Wright W5XD dispensed with MS-DOS entirely, building Writelog as a native Windows application. As such, it makes full use of sound cards and network resources without add-ons or TSR utilities. Along with logging features, it has excellent built-in support for RTTY and PSK31 and a full voice keyer that all use the PC's sound card. N3FJP's Contest Loggers - http://www.n3fjp.com -- Scott Davis N3FJP is a very prolific author of logging software with numerous general, contest, and specialty logging programs available. Another native to Windows, the software has full support of LAN functions and Internet connections to packet. Each contest is supported by a separate program. SD - http://www.ei5di.com -- by Paul O'Kane EI5DI ("Dats a Lot of Dits!") is a well-known European entry into the logging sweepstakes and supports a number of contests across the pond. SD also consists of separate programs for each contest and the product line offers the "officially recognized" IOTA Contest logging program. The SD family also includes VHF contests and SWL logging software. N1MM Free Contest Logger - http://pages.cthome.net/n1mm/ - this is an open-source program running under Windows with a very active user's group. RTTY and PSK31 support are built in and the program has a very nice graphical band-map feature that integrates nicely with two-radio operations and also offers two-monitor support to make extra information available on-screen. VHF Contest Loggers RoverLog - http://www.2ub.org/roverlog -- aimed specifically at the special needs of the VHF Rover entrant, Tom Mayo N1MU makes RoverLog available as free-ware. It is also an open-source program. Features specific to VHF contests, such as schedule management, grid mapping, and compass displays are built in. VHF Log by Dave Mascaro W3KM - http://www.qsl.net/w3km -- supports all of the ARRL VHF and UHF contests and is tailored for the needs of the VHF contester. VHF Log is a Windows program. It also has band interfacing for transverter control and manages the associated frequency offsets and calibration. A voice keyer is also built in. N3FJP's VHF Contest Log -- see listing above Specialty Loggers RTTY by Ray Ortgeisen WF1B - http://www.rttyinfo.net/index.htm -- has a large following in RTTY contesting circles. Running under MS-DOS, this has been the standard for several years. The site listed above also lists many other RTTY and digital logging/interface programs. A collection of loggers that run on palm-top or PDA computers is listed at http://www.natworld.com/ars/pages/back_issues/2002_text/0202_text/options.html. Most of these programs are written for the MS-DOS or Windows environment, but users of the Linux operating system or Macintosh aficionados can find some software for their machines by entering "contest logging" into one of the Internet search engines and sifting through the many resulting references. Wither Logging? The future for contest logging is bright, if somewhat fractured. One intriguing possibility comes, like so many other innovations, via the Web. Recently, a Web-based log-entry program (see http://www.ncjweb.com/manualsprintlog.php) developed by Bruce Horn WA7BNM allows a casual entrant to enter a paper log electronically, relaying to the sponsors a Cabrillo-formatted electronic log. This surely causes other possibilities to spring to mind. While too sluggish today, can a real-time logging application be far behind? And once we have a real-time logger, what's to prevent full real-time integration with a "back office" server that grabs the QSOs from contesters as they're made? Contest logging looks an awful lot like on-line credit-card order processing with each QSO a transaction that requires authentication and validation. These functions are available "off the shelf" only requiring the appropriate user interface to be constructed. Hmmm. I log on, run the application, work the contest, and in a few minutes all of the log checking is complete, the winners announced with validated scores, and the reflectors immediately fill with post-contest analysis. It does give one ideas, doesn't it? ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Contester's Rate Sheet wishes to acknowledge information from the following sources: WA7BNM's Contest Calendar Web page - http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/ ARRL Contest page - http://www.arrl.org/contests/ SM3CER's Web site - http://www.sk3bg.se/contest/ Windows and MS-DOS are trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation.