ARRL

Contest Update Issues

Preview
The ARRL Contest Update
May 8, 2013
Editor: Ward Silver, NØAX
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IN THIS ISSUE

NEW HF OPERATORS - THINGS TO DO

Just outside the ham bands this weekend, listen for the military stations calling CQ and listening somewhere inside the ham bands. This might be a real good time to learn how to operate split since QRMing a station with a call sign like WAR - outside the ham bands, to boot - doesn't sound like a really great idea. However, all of those stations will QSL automatically - don't worry, of course they know where you live!

BULLETINS

There are no bulletins in this issue.

BUSTED QSOS

The photo of W6KH in the previous issue should be credited to Bob N6TV and the drone video link was contributed by Tim K3HX.

CONTEST SUMMARY

Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

May 11-12

  • CWops Monthly Mini-CWT Test (May 8)
  • NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint--CW (May 9)
  • Worldwide EME Contest.
  • EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party
  • Alessandro Volta RTTY DX Contest
  • Armed Forces Communications Test
  • CQ-M International DX Contest
  • Portuguese Navy Day
  • Nevada Mustang Roundup
  • FISTS Spring Sprint--CW
  • 50 MHz Spring Sprint
  • Straight Key Weekend Sprintathon

May 18-19

  • Worldwide EME Contest
  • Portuguese Navy Day--Digital
  • EU PSK DX Contest
  • His Majesty King of Spain Contest--CW
  • Feld-Hell Hamvention Sprint
  • Baltic Contest.
  • Run For the Bacon--CW (May 20)
NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, AND GENERAL INTEREST

The May issue of CQ magazine is hitting mailboxes with the results from CQ WW CW 2012. This is considerably earlier than in past years - thanks, CQ! Updated WRTC-2014 Event Scores are now posted and in addition, a handful of other corrections/updates were posted for 4Z4DX, 9A3A and the ops at KH7X. Official results for 48 of the 55 qualifying events are now included, awaiting only the official results from Oceania DX, January's NAQP January, the February NA Sprint (Feb), and both modes of ARRL DX. (Thanks, WRTC-2014 Team Selection Director, Dan K1TO)

Those days of yesteryear - they seemed to have a pretty good sense of humor!

Online registration for the 2013 Central States VHF Society Conference is now open. The 2013 Conference will be held near Chicago at the Elk Grove Village, IL, Holiday Inn from Thursday July 25th until Sunday July 28. There will be Antenna Range (144 MHz-24 GHz) measurements, Rover Row, Dish Display, and a Noise Figure Measurement Contest. This year will see the return of the free-admission "VHF-101" introductory session on Saturday morning. The banquet speaker will be ARRL CEO, Dave Sumner K1ZZ. (Thanks, Kermit W9XA)

The Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Contest Group announces the 2013 DFW Contest Forum to be held on Friday, June 7 in conjunction with Ham Com at the Plano Center in Plano, Texas. Tickets to the kickoff luncheon, featuring speaker Doug Grant K1DG, may be purchased in advance either via Ham Com, or the DFW Contest Group. The W5DXCC Dinner will follow in the evening and tickets for that are also available via Ham Com. (Thanks, Jim WØUO)

Do you need the up-to-date information on Dayton contest events? Try the K3LR web page (www.k3lr.com) for information on Contest University, Topband Dinner, Contest Dinner, and the four-night Contest SuperSuite. Links are at the bottom of the page. A free webinar on Dayton contest activities is available, too!

A new NASA project is getting ready to learn a lot more about the ionosphere and its effects on communications and satellite services like GPS. The ICON (Ionospheric Connection) satellite will be launched in 2017 as part of the ongoing Heliophysics Explorer program. You can read more about one Minnesota professor who will be participating. If ICON can do for the ionosphere what SODO and STEREO have done for the solar side of propagation predictions, it will eventually have a huge impact. (Thanks, Lance W7GJ)

The National Voice Of America Museum of Broadcasting and Bethany Relay Station - a.k.a. the VOA museum - is holding their second annual Voice of America BBQ Bash on May 17 and 18. The event is sponsored by the West Chester Rotary Club and a portion of festival proceeds will benefit the VOA museum. The VOA museum is located in the historic Bethany Relay Station building at 8070 Tylersville Road in West Chester, Ohio, not far south of Dayton. The museum consists of collections and exhibits from the VOA-Bethany station; Media Heritage's Greater Cincinnati Museum of Broadcast History; the Gray History of Wireless Museum; and the control for the West Chester Amateur Radio Association, best known as WC8VOA on the air. (Thanks, Eric W3DQ)

Matt WX5S operates regularly at W7RN - running up some solid scores in spite of significant health challenges. You can't keep a good ham off the air! (Photo by K5RC)

Bob WA1Z announces the release of a new version of the Super Check Partial database files this coming evening on (May 8) While it's too late to get your logs into this release, Bob is always collecting logs. Please attach your Cabrillo-formatted log to an email addressed to logs@supercheckpartial.com. Logs from any contest during the last 24 months are always appreciated.

Version 5.0 of Jim AD1C's ADIF County Conversion tool is now available. This program takes an ADIF file from a contest logger like WriteLog or N1MM, and converts the contest-specific county abbreviations into real ADIF field values which can be imported into a general-purpose logging program.

After four years of running the gang, the founders of the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club are turning the reins over to new leaders, effective June 1:

  • President - Mike Fulcher, KC7V
  • North Region VP - Bud Semon, N7CW
  • Central Region VP - Andy Warycka, NY7N
  • South Region VP - Bill Straw, KO7AA
  • Secretary/Treasurer - Larry Reader, KE2VB

The outgoing bunch of banditos - K8IA, W7ZR, AB7E, and N7RQ - did a great job during the first four years of the club! (Thanks, Bob K8IA)

Contest Update readers might want to browse to Chris, W2PA's history blog's most recent series - a three-part posting on the Transatlantic Tests in 1921, originally billed as a "contest," and probably the first DX contest - maybe the first on-air contest of any kind.

Mike VE3GFN and Stan VE3TW operated as VA3RAC from Stan's station in the recent Ontario QSO Party. (Photo by VE3GFN)

The W9DXCC convention committee has announced it will offer a six session class on Friday, September 20th, 2013, to help inform all hams interested in DX'ing" about general topics of interest to the DX community. The class will be held the day before the W9DXCC convention and has been designed for both new and experienced DX'ers. Each session will cover a different aspect of DX'ing and features speakers NN1N, K9LA, K9AJ, K9EL, K9NU and W9MU. Please contact W9MU for additional details and information.

Yes, this clock certainly makes everything in the room seem ever so much more official. Why? It's a Morse Code clock! (Thanks, Chris KL9A)

Is it worth the trouble? This XKCD cartoon will answer the question!

Web Site of the Week - From the "Well Now You Know Department" - you have surely wondered where you would emerge having dug completely through the Earth below your feet. Now there is no question - find out using the Tunnel to the Other Side of the Earth web tool! (Thanks, Sean KX9X)

WORD TO THE WISE

Practice the way you play - (Thanks, George K5TR)

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SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

CQ World Wide Contest Director, Randy K5ZD gave this presentation on "How Can You Improve As a Single Operator?" at the recent Norsk Hammeeting. (Thanks, Bob K8IA)

Members of the band OK Go and a team of collaborators joined forces to capture the Sound of the Northern Lights in the northern village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden. Not only did they listen, but they played along, including using a Swedish instrument called a nykelharpa. Good, good, good...good vibrations! (Thanks, Tim K3HX)

RESULTS AND RECORDS

Results like crazy - the extended results for both the ARRL 160 Meter Contest (by K9AY) and the November Phone Sweepstakes (by N2IC) are now online. Also take a look at the brand-new format for quick turnaround results of the April (Phone) Rookie Roundup created by Bruce WA7BNM. Not only that, ARRL Contest Branch Manager, Sean KX9X reports that certificates for the 2012 ARRL DX Phone Single-Operator entries are hitting the mailboxes. From all reports, the new format and layout are worth the delay!

Looks like tough duty as Adam FO/K7ST gets on the air from a restaurant somewhere in the Marquesas. Looks like they keep a stock of cold 807s, too! Ah, but oui! Listen for Adam in the occasional contest as he and Cindi FO/KF7UPI sail around the Pacific Ocean. (Photo by K7ST and KF7UPI)

Preliminary results for the February 2013 running of the North American QSO Party on RTTY are now on the National Contest Journal website. If you see any problems, please contact contest manager, Mark K6UFO. Final results will be published in the July/August 2012 issue of the NCJ. NAQP SSB manager, Bill ACØW, reports that revised preliminary results for the 2013 January NAQP SSB contest have been posted on the NCJ web site, too. Please let Bill know if you see any errors.

If you worked all seven of the record-setting Florida QSO Party's special 1x1 call signs, and it is reported that at least 494 stations did so, there is no need for you to request a certificate. It will be automatically emailed to you in the coming weeks as a PDF file if your Cabrillo-formatted log contained your email address. If you did not include your email address, resubmit your log or contact the organizers at logs@floridaqsoparty.org. (Thanks, Chris WF3C and Dan K1TO)

The 2013 Minnesota QSO Party results are now posted for all to enjoy along with brand-new and colorful MNQP certificates. Contest committee member, Mark WAØMHJ, extends appreciation and thanks to both the faithful and the newcomer participants who helped set another participation record.

OPERATING TIP

You may have read the DX Code of Conduct that is directed at DXers, presenting guidelines for operating in a way that could bring order and make pileups more civil. Less widely known is that "The DX Code of Conduct" Web pages also contain a set of guidelines for DXpeditioners or DXpeditioner's Code. To clarify this situation, DX University offers clearly delineated guidelines for both DXpeditioners and DXers. They are referred to separately as "Best Practices for DXpedition Operating" and "Best Practices for Courteous and Efficient DXing" on the DX University web site. This might be a real good time to read both!

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TECHNICAL TOPICS AND INFORMATION

For the interested reader with some technical background, the online paper "Introduction to RF Simulation and its Application" by Ken Kundert provides an introduction to RF simulation methods and how they account for the characteristics of RF circuits and components when performing simulations at RF.

Getting ready for some QSOs, Adam FO/K7ST and Cindi FO/KF7UPI are putting up the Bravo-5 portable vertical dipole to add you to the log from the Marquesas. (Photo from K7ST)

What's the difference between RS-232 and RS-485? The former is quite common in the radio shack as a serial interface. Sometimes characterized as "Party-line RS-232", the latter is occasionally found in "daisy-chained" serial interfaces. The two standards are cousins but do you know the difference? Louis Frenzel W5LEF explains in this Electronic Design article.

The ARRL Handbook and numerous other references that used graphics from Amphenol have an error in the step-by-step procedure to install Type N connectors. The procedure omits the washer between the nut and gasket at the back of the shell. The instructions have been corrected in the online version. (Thanks, Bruce WA3SWJ)

From the weekly Make: Newsletter comes a handy tip for gluers: "After using Shoe Goo or contact cement in those toothpaste-type tubes, first wipe the threaded neck after use, then apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly on the threads only. You'll be able to twist the cap off with ease every time. --Matthew Gryczan"

Made from three strips of foam-core board, some handy screws and nuts, and whatever carpenter's level is at hand, this inexpensive clinometer only does two angles - 30 and 45 degrees. That keeps the math simple and the price is right! (Photo by NØAX)

How high is that thing, anyway? Trees, towers, antennas, buildings - they all yield their secrets to the proper use of a clinometer. You can learn how to make and use one in this Instructables article.

Here's another handy project - a mobile-phone charger that uses standard AA batteries! A little soldering and a few parts create this power converter that plugs into the USB port of your phone. This could be terrifically useful gadget when your usual power source...doesn't.

Hams are inventive and like to "repurpose" stuff. My personal vice is acquiring jars and plastic bins for putting parts in...but let's not talk about that. Check out the 99 Life Hacks website for good ideas in general and many will immediately be seen to have applications around the shack and workbench! (Thanks, Joanna W6YL K6YL)

Technical Web Site of the Week - So why did that 787 Dreamliner battery catch on fire, anyway? And what changes were made to recertify the battery? Here's an Electronic Design article about the whole affair. You might also find the Electropaedia website on batteries and energy references useful, too! (Thanks, Rich KZ9K)

CONVERSATION

Calling Any QP

While rambling around the wilds of south-central Missouri in the 2013 MO QSO Party, I made QSOs with stations in the QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party as well as the SP DX Contest. After some minor confusion, we managed to exchange all of the necessary information. Everybody went away happy and with their logs a little longer.

A couple of weekends later the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska QSO Parties lined up to create the High Plains QSO Parties (still separate contests). Just this last weekend, the annual collision grande found the airwaves full of regional adventures: Seventh District QSO Party or 7QP (seven eight states), New England QSO Party (six more states), and just to be different, the single-state Indiana QSO Party. That's 28 percent of the way to Worked All States right there!

The editor's rural Missouri QTH is so high ("How high is it, Mr Editor?") that you drive through the Elayer to get there! Well, I only do it sporadically. (Photo by KDØPES)

So just how do you go about calling CQ on that kind of weekend, anyway? Sean KX9X was out doing a mobile run for the NEQP and decided he would call CQ for "Any QSO Party". What the heck - all comers welcome - what do you need? I've got it! It's like an on-the-air baseball card convention - everybody has something for everybody else.

Well. Why not make this official and create the AnyQP, a contest made up of contests? I can hear the logging software authors groaning and reaching for the Bayer bottle now. Here are my proposed rules:

  • Enter all of the State or Province QSO parties during a single weekend.
  • All QSOs must be made in accordance with the rules of each QSO party, including time limits.
  • Complete information must be exchanged during the QSO for all QSO Parties in which each station is participating.
  • Logs *MUST* be submitted for all QSO parties for which you exchange information - yes, even the little ones must get your log.
  • Your final score starts with the sum of all multipliers times the sum of all QSO points, then add bonus points awarded by any QSO party multiplied by the number of QSO parties you enter.
  • The prize? A QP doll, of course!

Checking the contest calendar, the last weekend of August looks promising with the Hawaii, Ohio, and Kansas QSO Parties all in play. And why limit ourselves to just state QSO parties? Every weekend has several contests going full bore from somewhere! What would you do if on the Worked All Europe weekend, some station asked for QTC? Add 'em up, multiply 'em out, and have fun! CQ AnyQP!

73, Ward NØAX

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CONTESTS

8 May through 21 May

An expanded, downloadable version of QST's Contest Corral in PDF format is available. Check the sponsor's Web site for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.

HF CONTESTS

CWops Monthly Mini-CWT Test--CW, from May 8, 1300Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Twice monthly on 2nd and 4th Wed, 18 to 28 kHz above band edge. Exchange: Name, member number or S/P/C. Logs due: 2 days. Rules

NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint--CW, from May 9, 0030Z to May 9, 0230Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-14. Monthly on 2nd Tuesday or 3rd Wednesday local time (alternating). Exchange: RST, S/P/C, and NAQCC mbr nr or power. Logs due: 4 days. Rules

EUCW Fraternizing CW QSO Party--CW, from May 11, 1000Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST, name, club, member number. Logs due: Jun 30. Rules

Alessandro Volta RTTY DX Contest--Digital, from May 11, 1200Z to May 12, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST, serial, CQ zone. Logs due: Jun 30. Rules

Armed Forces Comm'ns Test--Phone,Digital, from May 11, 1200Z to May 12, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. See website for specific station schedules. Exchange: RS(T). Logs due: no logs. Rules

CQ-M International DX Contest--Phone,CW, from May 11, 1200Z to May 12, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RS(T) and serial. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

Portuguese Navy Day--Phone,CW, from May 11, 1500Z to May 12, 1500Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RS(T), serial, CQ zone. Logs due: 20 days. Rules

Nevada Mustang Roundup--Phone,CW,Digital, from May 11, 1700Z to May 12, 1700Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: RS(T) and S/P/C or NV county. Logs due: Jun 15. Rules

FISTS Spring Sprint--CW, from May 11, 1700Z to May 11, 2100Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RS(T), S/P/C, name, FISTS nr or power. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

Straight Key Weekend Sprintathon--CW, from May 12, 1200Z to May 12, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: RST, QTH, name, member nr if member. Logs due: 5 days. Rules

Portuguese Navy Day--Digital, from May 18, 0800Z to May 18, 1500Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST, serial, CQ zone. Logs due: 20 days. Rules

EU PSK DX Contest--Digital, from May 18, 1200Z to May 19, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST and EU area code or serial. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

His Majesty King of Spain Contest--CW, from May 18, 1200Z to May 19, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST and serial or EA province. Logs due: Jun 10. Rules

Feld-Hell Hamvention Sprint--Digital, from May 18, 1500Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Monthly on 3rd Saturday. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, Feld-Hell member nr. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

Baltic Contest--Phone,CW, from May 18, 2100Z to May 19, 0200Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5. Exchange: RS(T) and serial. Logs due: Jul 1. Rules

Run For the Bacon--CW, from May 20, 0200Z to May 20, 0400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Monthly on 3rd Sunday night (local). Exchange: RST, S/P/C, Flying Pig nr or power. Rules

VHF+ CONTESTS

Worldwide EME Contest--Phone,CW, from May 11, 0000Z to May 12, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.2G. Exchange: TMO/RS(T) and "R". Logs due: Jun 25. Rules

50 MHz Spring Sprint--Phone,CW,Digital, from May 11, 2300Z to May 12, 0300Z. Bands (MHz): 50. Exchange: Grid square (6-character preferred). Logs due: 14 days. Rules

Worldwide EME Contest--Phone,CW, from May 18, 0000Z to May 19, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 5.7G. Exchange: TMO/RS(T) and "R". Logs due: Jun 25. Rules

Nevada Mustang Roundup--Phone,CW,Digital, from May 11, 1700Z to May 12, 1700Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: RS(T) and S/P/C or NV county. Logs due: Jun 15. Rules

Straight Key Weekend Sprintathon--CW, from May 12, 1200Z to May 12, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50. Exchange: RST, QTH, name, member nr if member. Logs due: 5 days. Rules

LOG DUE DATES

May 8 through May 21

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

ARRL Contest Update wishes to acknowledge information from WA7BNM's Contest Calendar and SM3CER's Contest Calendar.

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