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Contest Update Issues

The ARRL Contest Update
May 22, 2013
Editor: Ward Silver, NØAX


Those of you working on your code speed can certainly nudge it up a few levels by giving the CQ WPX CW Contest a try this weekend. In fact, along with WPX CW, there are several shorter CW contests. If the idea of Southeast Asian stations gets your blood pumping, don't miss the SEANET contest over the June 1-2 weekend!


Don't forget to make sure your club's Field Day logging software has been updated to handle the new Ontario sections of GTA, ONE, ONN, and ONS. Non-contest clubs and emcomm groups may have missed the announcement and the implications of the changing section list. Please help everyone avoid unpleasant surprises on Field Day - both to the operators and software - by making sure your event's leaders know about the change and take the necessary steps.


Joanna's correct call is K6YL, not W6YL; VE3TW and VE3GFN used the call VA3RAC; and the seventh district has 8 states, not 7. The hyperlink for the paper on RF simulation was not encoded properly in the emailed version of the newsletter. The correct URL is


Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

May 25-26

  • CQ WW WPX Contest--CW
  • QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint--CW
  • MI QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint (May 27)

Jun 1-2

  • Ten-Ten Open Season--Digital
  • Digifest
  • LZ Open 20 Meter Contest--CW
  • Maritime QSO Party
  • SEANET Contest
  • UKSMG Sporadic E Contest
  • IARU Region I Field Day--CW
  • Six Meters World Wide Club Contest
  • Alabama QSO Party
  • OK1WC Memorial Contest (Jun 3)
  • ARS Spartan Sprint--CW (Jun 4)

One of the Dayton Hamvention highlights for your editor is the annual Contest Dinner. The dinner's highlight, of course, is the induction of new members to the CQ Contest Hall of Fame, led by CQ World Wide Contest Director, Randy Thompson K5ZD. From the Daily DX writeup of the event, the new members are:

  • Dale Green, VE7SV, a world-class contester who has been hosting teams of new and experienced contesters at his superstation for the past 20 years, and who recently helped start a contest group in Chile.
  • Charles "Chas" Fulp, K3WW, also a multi-award winning contester and past president of the Frankford Radio Club (FRC). The FRC touts Chas as "our role model and sets the standard for other FRC members to strive to achieve."

Your editor is fortunate to count them both as friends and is grateful to Dale for the opportunities to spend a weekend in an operating chair at VE7SV. Well done, gentlemen! There is a nice writeup of all Hall of Famers on the ARRL website, too.

Attention shoppers! The weather was almost dry - so everyone got a chance to shop the entire flea market and all the inside halls if they chose. There was no shortage of new products or people interested in them! (Photo by NØAX)

A county map is a very handy operating aid when participating in a state QSO party, but finding out-of-state maps is a pain. Short of putting in a special order from your travel club, Jim K8MR has found very good ones to be available from the U.S. Census Bureau website.

During the recent New England QSO Party, Dave KM3T was using the County Finder iOS app. It geolocates you and tells you what county you are in. Although your editor browsed a bit on the Android app site, nothing similar popped up. The County Jail Inmate Search app looked interesting, but that's probably not too useful to most readers.

IEEE Spectrum article "Peaceful Coexistence" is a good story about how spectrum regulation and management are moving in the direction of sharing and intelligent channel selection. The article has lots of food for thought as amateurs move into the second century of wireless communications.

Speaking of VHF/UHF, here are the new honchos at Lunar-Link International. On your left is Lou W1QJ and at right is Steve W1SMS. They will be manufacturing all of the famous K1FO amp and antenna designs - CQ Contest! (Photo by NØAX)

Paul W1GHZ reports that the Proceedings CD for the 2013 Eastern VHF/UHF Conference is now available. The price including shipping is $5 USA, $7 international and you can order online.

Web Site of the Week -With N3FJP's announcement of Field Day Contest Log 4.0 and his newly archived versions, all of the major contest logging software is up to speed, section-wise. Now we need to let our clubs, teams, and friends know that "VE3" has become "GTA, ONE, ONN, and ONS"! Please relay this information to your club's Field Day committee and to other clubs and emcomm teams in the area, even if you're not a member - they will appreciate the reminder or, perhaps, being alerted to the change!


You might be attending the Hamvention - if you request to store a gin pole in the hotel baggage room, flummoxing the concierge! (Thanks, Dan K1TO)


Contest University students take a break in the afternoon to play Audio Sprint. It does make for a memorable fifteen minutes - and the product of QSO points and multipliers is then multiplied by one beelyun, so everybody makes a huge score! CTU first-timer Dave KM3T captured this video of the whole thing. He apologizes for the wobbly camera work but I think it captures the atmosphere rather nicely!

You've seen the "world at night" maps - how about the "world on-line" map? This animation shows you a day's worth of where Internet activity is happening based on the use of the PING command to find active hosts. There is definitely a day-night ebb and flow. Where does this map come from, you ask? The source paper is a great read even if you're not a total net-head. (Thanks, Steve K6AW)

Two fellows from the NCDXF you have definitely added to your contest log before: (L) Glenn K6NA, Director and (R) Rusty W6OAT, President. (Photo by NØAX)

While you were thinking about all those radio goodies at Dayton, thousands were attending the DIY-equivalent of Maker Faire in the Bay Area. EDN published a great slideshow of the various interesting stuff - take a look!

Before there were LOLcats, we had QRLCats such as this fine selection of felinity from Universal Radio. (Thanks, Steve K7LXC)

The electromechanical phone systems of yesteryear were pretty amazing. How did they do it? Watch this AT&T Archives video, "The Step-by-Step Switch" - you won't be able to stop watching!

How high is your tower? This XKCD cartoon helps you figure that out on a scale of the Universe.


DX Multioperator certificates for the 2012 ARRL DX Phone Contest have been shipped and ARRL Contest Branch Manager, Sean KX9X reports that he is almost completely caught up with the certificate backlog.

The crowd was thick at the rail, watching the "Morse Race" view of the KCDXC's CW Pileup Competition. (Photo by NØAX)

The Kansas City DX Club (KCDXC) Pileup Contest was a heckuva lot of fun this year, as always, especially with Chuck NO5W's "Morse Race" software showing the race in real-time. Not only the current heat was displayed but the races of the top five competitors, too! You could cheer for your "horse" to take a top-five spot or groan as yours slipped a spot or two.

There were no shortage of well-known calls vying for a spot on the coveted leader board. Updated on the spot, it makes the competition fast and fun! (Photo by NØAX)

In one of the very final heats, eventual (and repeating) champ, Dave K5GN went neck-and-neck with then-current #1 and #2 leaders Doug W9WI and Yuri VE3DZ. It was like watching Michael Phelps and Michael Gross go at it in the Olympic Pool. Nice job to all and a special thanks to the KCDXC for hosting one of the most popular Dayton contest events.

Here's the winner, Dave K5GN, taking home the IC-7200 first-place prize awarded by Bill KØVBU. Dave was hotly pursued by Doug W9WI (2nd place) and Yuri VE3DZ (3rd place). (Photo by NØAX)

CQ 160 Contest Director, Andy Blank N2NT needs your material for the contest writeup. "If you operated the 2013 CQ 160 Contest either SSB or CW, please send me a photo of you and your station. I am looking for stations that haven't appeared in the magazine before." Contest writeup authors are usually delighted to get photos and stories - don't assume they are only interested in the Big Guns!

Alberto LU1DZ writes in to let us know that the results for the 2012 WWSA Contest are now available online!


The year's list of Silent Keys read aloud at the Dayton Contest Dinner was dreadfully long this year - a very sobering presentation. Whatever you do, take care of yourself so we don't hear your call during that ceremony any time soon.


Paul Harden, NA5N is an electronics engineer for the Very Large Array (VLA) radiotelescope facility in New Mexico. Not limited at all to the "ultra-highs", Paul discussed a neat new project in the recent ARRL Propagation bulletin ARLP0019 with significant implications for HF operators. "My current project is our low-band system (60-500 MHz) and the Long Wavelength Array (LWA) for 10-88 MHz. Though a few years away, one of the science goals of LWA is to make real-time 3D maps of the ionosphere. The prototype system clearly paints the locations of the E/F layers and its depths as it migrates around. Really cool, and when completed, should be made publicly available on the web and a great tool for hams."

Phil K3TUF gave an excellent and well-attended presentation at the Dayton Hamvention's Antenna Forum on how to be safe while working on towers and antennas. (Photo by NØAX)

VOACAP Online has been recently upgraded so that the Google Maps portion is now using the API version 3 with some new functionality added. VOACAP is a propagation prediction program for 3-30 MHz. (Thanks, Daily DX)

The automotive power system is a surprisingly noisy environment, even with that big battery on the bus. Varistors are used to clamp excessive variations - this EDN article shows you how they are used to do the job. You can make use of that information in your portable or mobile station, protecting your own gear.

The VLF station WWVB is changing their time protocol, possibly affecting clocks and other instruments that use the time-and-frequency broadcasts. Sharp-eyed reader, Dean W9WGV spotted this information.

There is more information online from EDN - this article is on SAW (surface acoustic wave) and BAW (bulk acoustic wave) filters. Exotic? Hardly - your wireless environment is full of them and probably more than one of your radios!

Technical Web Site of the Week - An alternate source has emerged for HV power transformers, along with Hammond Engineering picking up the Peter Dahl designs. Gary K4AVC gives his customer's recommendation, saying, "My friend Peter Eggiman of Electronic Products Design has been making HV transformers since 1983 and has all of the Dahl data and specs from years ago. He has a nice manufacturing facility in Wendell, N.C."


Missed the Top Ten Again

Sure enough, Doctor Beldar and the Spurious Emissions (out of the) Band appeared again at this year's Contest SuperSuite. They and a pair of parrotheads managed to wreak havoc on the hit "Margaritaville" - the poor tune was buffeted pretty badly. Why don't you give it a try at your Field Day sing-along - watch out for those pop tops!

73, Ward NØAX

My Log's Fulla NILs (to the tune of "Margaritaville")

Tunin' for red plates
Watchin' my amp bake
Dummy resistors covered in oil.

Peakin' the loading
Sending a dot string
Smell those tubes, they're beginning to boil.


Missed the Top Ten again cause my log's fulla NILs
Readin' through my ... log checking report
Some people claim that it's the Skimmers to blame
But I know ... it's my own d**n fault.

I know the reason
My log wasn't pleasin'
Error rate sucks and my score's in the loo.

But I logged some beauties
Was sure came back to me
Why they aren't there I haven't a clue.

Missed the Top Ten again cause my log's fulla NILs
Readin' through my ... log checking report
Some people claim that it's the Skimmers to blame
But I know ... it's my own d**n fault.

Called in the wrong spot
Ticked off the band cops
Blew my chance, expedition went home.

But I checked the cal-en-dar
And soon I can enter
A radio contest the whole weekend long!

Missed the Top Ten again cause my log's fulla NILs
Readin' through my ... log checking report
Some people claim that it's the Skimmers to blame
But I know ... it's my own d**n fault.
Some people claim that it's the Skimmers to blame
But I know ... it's my own d**n fault.


22 May through 4 June 2013

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.


CQ WW WPX Contest--CW, from May 25, 0000Z to May 26, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST and serial. Logs due: Jun 1. Rules

QRP ARCI Hootowl Sprint--CW, from May 26, 8 PM to May 26, Midnight. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST, S/P/C QRP number or power. Logs due: 14 days. Rules

MI QRP Memorial Day CW Sprint--CW, from May 27, 2300Z to May 28, 0300Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, MI QRP number or power. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

Ten-Ten Open Season--Digital, from Jun 1, 0000Z to Jun 2, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 28. Exchange: Call, name, S/P/C, member numbers. Logs due: 15 days. Rules

Digifest--Digital, from Jun 1, 0400Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST and grid square. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

LZ Open 20 Meter Contest--CW, from Jun 1, 1100Z to Jun 1, 1500Z. Bands (MHz): 14. Exchange: 6-digit serial and serial from previous QSO. Logs due: 10 days. Rules

Maritime QSO Party--Phone,CW, from Jun 1, 1200Z to Jun 1, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50, 144, 25 to 50 kHz from band edge. Exchange: Maritime county or S/P/C. Logs due: 1 month. Rules

SEANET Contest--Phone,CW, from Jun 1, 1200Z to Jun 2, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. CW--3.525, 7.025, 14.025, 21.025, 28.025, SSB--3.540/3.790, 7.090, 14.320, 21.320, 28.320 MHz. Exchange: RS(T), serial. Logs due: Jul 1. Rules

IARU Region I Field Day--CW, from Jun 1, 1500Z to Jun 2, 1459Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST, serial. Rules - see IARU society websites

Alabama QSO Party--Phone,CW, from Jun 1, 1600Z to Jun 2, 0400Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. CW--1.810, 3.545, 7.045, 14.045, 21.045, 28.045; PH--1.865, 3.855, 7.230, 14.250, 21.300, 28.450 MHz. Exchange: RS(T) and AL county or S/P/C. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

OK1WC Memorial Contest--Phone,CW, from Jun 3, 1600Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 3.5, 50, 144. First through fourth Monday of each month; see website for bands and periods. Exchange: RS(T) and serial. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

ARS Spartan Sprint--CW, from Jun 4, 0200Z to Jun 4, 0400Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Monthly on the first Monday evening. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, and power. Logs due: 2 days. Rules


Maritime QSO Party--Phone,CW, from Jun 1, 1200Z to Jun 1, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50, 144, 25 to 50 kHz from band edge. Exchange: Maritime county or S/P/C. Logs due: 1 month. Rules

UKSMG Sporadic E Contest--Phone,CW,Digital, from Jun 1, 1300Z to Jun 2, 1300Z. Bands (MHz): 50, No QSOs below 50.080 or from 50.100-130 MHz. Exchange: RST, member nr, 6-char grid locator. Logs due: Jul 1. Rules

Six Meters World Wide Club Contest--Phone,CW,Digital, from Jun 1, 1500Z to Jun 2, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 50. Exchange: Call sign, grid square, member number. Logs due: Jun 21. Rules

OK1WC Memorial Contest--Phone,CW, from Jun 3, 1600Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 3.5, 50, 144. First through fourth Monday of each month; see website for bands and periods. Exchange: RS(T) and serial. Logs due: 7 days. Rules


22 May through 4 June 2013

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