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Contest Update Issues

The ARRL Contest Update
July 16, 2014
Editor: Ward Silver, NØAX


The annual Islands On the Air contest is a lot of fun with its 24-hour format and interesting geography - we all like to contact islands! For the thrill of the hunt low-power-style, chase down the bees in the Adventure Radio Society's Flight of the Bumblebees contest for portable stations.


The County Hunters CW Contest (July 26-27) is a late addition to the contest roster.


No penalties were extracted from the last issue.


Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

July 19-20

  • North American QSO Party RTTY
  • NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint--CW (Jul 17)
  • 144 MHz Digital EME Championship
  • DMC RTTY Contest
  • Feld-Hell High Road Sprint
  • CQ WW VHF Contest
  • RSBG Low Power Contest--CW
  • Run For the Bacon--CW (Jul 21)

July 26-27

  • RSGB IOTA Contest
  • County Hunters CW Contest
  • Flight of the Bumblebees--CW

At last! After four years of preparation and hard work by organizers and competitors, WRTC2014 is now in the history books, having gone off without a visible hitch. Building on the traditions of six prior events and WRTC2010's most-level-playing-field-ever, the WRTC2014 team can all be proud of their accomplishments - the world-wide radiosport community tips its collective cap to you! From the previous organizing committees, thanks, hvala, kiitos, obrigado, and spacibo!

Here's the winning team in action - N6MJ (left) and KL9A - on their way to the WRTC2014 gold medal as K1A. Their referee was RA3AUU. (Photo by EY8MM)

Medal winners

  • Gold: K1A (N6MJ/KL9A): 7,184,844 points, 4572 QSOs, and 436 multipliers
  • Silver: W1L (OM3BH/OM3GI): 6,816,144 points, 4508 QSOs, and 422 multipliers
  • Bronze: W1P (DJ5MW/DL1IAO): 6,421,383 points, 4347 QSOs, and 417 multipliers

Remember - these scores were made with a station comprising two 100-watt transceivers sharing a tribander and a pair of inverted Vees for 40 and 80 meters. All teams exceeded 3100 QSOs - quite an accomplishment that attests to the quality of the operators.

Special awards

Special awards were also given to the two teams having the highest SSB and CW QSO totals with at least 35% of their QSOs on the remaining mode:

W1L was the call used by OM3BH (right) and OM3GI to take the Silver medal. Their referee NF4A was hard at work in the middle. (Photo by EY8MM N6TV)

  • SSB - K1M (IK1HJS/I4UFH) with 2063 SSB QSOs and 1233 CW QSOs
  • CW - N1S (LX2A/YO3JR) with 2391 CW SSB QSOs and 1302 SSB QSOs

The team with the highest number of multipliers was the overall winner, K1A, with 436, and the most accurate was the Bronze medal team, W1P, with a 1.0% error rate. If you're keeping score, the total number of CW QSOs logged by the 59 teams in 24 hours was 178,720 and there were 53,360 QSOs on SSB.

Thanks also to everyone who hustled and sent in a log immediately after the contest. More than 3300 logs were submitted before the 1800 UTC deadline for use by the WRTC log-checking committee, enabling more than 60% of the QSOs to be cross-checked. (More than 4000 logs are in the database as this issue is being prepared.)

Referee SP4Z was paying close attention as Bronze medalists DJ5MW (right) and DL1IAO operated their way to take the Bronze medal as W1P. (Photo by EY8MM)

The complete results are available on the WRTC2014 website. Note that the final live scoreboard lists the raw scores before log checking.

WRTC2014 wasn't the only radiosport championship taking place in the Boston area recently. The 14th USA National Championships of Amateur Radio Direction Finding (ARDF) took place over the weekend of June 5-8. As noted in this ARRL news article, this year there were two new events, both on 80 meters: a sprint over a shortened course with 10 transmitters and a faster-than-usual transmitter cycle. Foxoring is a combination of orienteering and foxhunting, in which competitors receive maps marked with the approximate locations of a dozen very low power transmitters to find. Competitors for all events are divided into age categories, six for men, five for women, with medals awarded to the winners in each category. Imagine that - a sprint contest in which the participants actually, you know, sprint!

Plaque sponsorships are still available for the 2014 CQ WPX RTTY Contest at $65.00 each. 2013 plaque sponsors have until July 23 to reserve plaques in their categories after which sponsorships will be available on a first come, first served basis. Contact the plaque manager, Ray ND8L, for more information.

This gold medal would look good hanging in the shack, wouldn't it? (Photo by N6TV)

Scott TI3/W7RI didn't benefit from the recent 6 meter propagation, but he noted an interesting article about signals and ion trails from fireballs in the sky. (From ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP028)

The "Youth DX Adventure" and N6JRL, were in Curacao from July 14-18 operating PJ2T in the IARU HF Championship. Started in 2010, the annual operation takes young operators to DX locations for crash courses in pileup handling. This year, four youthful ops from 11 to 17 years old, two of their parents, and group leaders all converged at the PJ2T station. The original host, TI5KD, was sidelined by a stroke in 2012 but WØCG and the PJ2T group stepped in to help out as hosts.

Another opportunity to contact young operators is coming - Scout Camp OH1AS will be on the air from 22-30 July from camp Piiru14 in Hameenlinna, Finland. The station will be operated by licensed volunteer operators with the help of radioscouts. The 9-day event has approximately 3500 campers, some of whom will be busy making contacts as second operators. Scout frequencies are 3.690 & 3.740 MHz, 7.090 & 7.190 MHz, 14.267 & 14.290 MHz, and 28.390 MHz ± QRM. CW and digital modes will be activated when possible. Get on and be part of a youngster's first ham radio experience! (Thanks, Daily DX)

This is an interesting article about using cell tower-to-tower microwave links to assess the weather. By monitoring the signal strength at each end of the link and comparing it with measurements made during clear, dry conditions, meteorologists can determine the extent of fog, rain, hail, snow and other precipitation between the towers in real-time.

Web Site of the Week - Scientific American is running another article on a citizen science project in which volunteers are asked to look at a series of pairs of sunspot images, and decide which of each two are more complex. I know your mother told you not to look directly at the Sun but this is for a good cause! (From ARRL Propagation Bulletin ARLP027)


SPG - Single-point ground is a lightning protection practice that physically binds all of the entry wiring into a house/shack to a single ground -- e.g., RF, AC power, water pipes, telephone. (From the Contest University Contest Glossary by N9RV)


Bob N6TV has published a treasure trove of WRTC2014 photo albums from all phases of the event. Well done, Bob! Watch for other albums to be made public and the WRTC2014 website is collecting photos if you were there and took some you'd like to share!

Globetrotter and photographer, Nigel G3TXF, has posted some photos from this past weekend's "Ham Radio" convention in Friedrichshafen. (Thanks, Daily DX)

When your feed line insulators have to be supported by ceramic insulators more than a foot long, you are running some serious power. (Thanks, Rick WØPC)


Chief Judge and ARRL CEO Dave K1ZZ kept us on the edge of our seats once again as he announced the WRTC2014 medalists. (Photo by K1IR)

If you were keeping an eye on the WRTC2014 Live Scoreboard, it was not a surprise who would be declared the final winners. The K1A team of Dan N6MJ and Chris KL9A led virtually from the start - a "wireless-to-wireless" victory. There was considerable tension, however, in resolving which teams would wear silver and bronze. While K1A jumped out to an early lead, W1L, the Slovakian team of OM3BH/OM3GI, and W1Z, the North American Team 5 of N5DX and N2IC, were neck and neck throughout the contest after a few hours. W1L pulled ever so slightly ahead at the end but what about the German team in fourth place? DJ5MW and DL1IAO were right behind W1Z. The final places were determined by log-checking and the contest-high accuracy of W1P was enough to nudge them ever-so-slightly ahead of W1Z. In fact, the margin was so close that less than a minute's worth of operating separated the two teams - such was the level of competition! Are you dreaming of a WRTC chair someday? Work on your logging accuracy!

Full results for the 2014 ARRL International DX Contest, both CW and SSB, have been published on the ARRL Contest Results web page. Line scores for the 2014 January VHF Contest are now available, as well, and in a new expanded format created by John K9JK.

For every team there was a top contester who volunteered to be a referee - thanks to all of them! (Photo by K1IR)

Results for the 2013 running of the Arizona QSO Party are now online. 2014 Arizona QSO Party announcements will be made at and following the Williams (AZ) Hamfest. (Thanks, Gary KE7DX)

July's monthly Adventure Radio Society Spartan Sprint - Monday evening, July 8 - had a great turnout and good conditions were reported from many regions. Twenty meters seems to have been the most productive band. (Thanks, Richard KI6SN)


Accuracy is not optional as evidenced by the razor-thin margin separating third and fourth places at WRTC2014. Don't rely on databases and spots to substitute for what you should be copying on your own. If you want to reach the top levels of radiosport (or traffic handling, for that matter), quick and accurate exchanges of information are something to which every operator should aspire.


Recent problems with electronic ballasts, such as for "grow lights," has been studied by Tom WØIVJ and he has written an article about it that will be published in the November issue of QST. Tom has developed a filter for these lights that you can see on his website. Larry WØQE has also contributed some useful material on RFI from electronic ballasts. (Thanks, ARRL RFI Specialist, Mike W1MG)

Do you have a tower base that needs to be removed? Dexpan will do it at a cost of about $85.00 for an 11-lb bag. It's well worth the money after considering the effort required to do it with a sledge hammer or rent a pneumatic jackhammer. Drill, pour, and watch! (Thanks, Tom N4NW)

The technology room at WRTC2014 included several setups for operating remote stations around the world. Here, K1AR is having a good time operating PR1T. (Photo by N6TR)

The Findchips website's name implies that it is for finding ICs only, but it will find sources and prices for virtually any electronic part number. Enter only the part number and not the manufacturer. Try it, you'll like it! (Thanks, Bill W6WRT)

After tuning around the bands in this weekend's IARU HF Championship tumultuary, I longed for some of that "white space" the cognitive radio boffins are always talking about. The closest I could get was "light gray!" Read this Electronic Design article and see what they have planned!

I enjoy wandering through a department store and imagining all the alternative radio uses for the many household, automotive, and craft products! (OK, so I need a hobby...) Patrick KM5L must as well - he suggests using this perforated stainless steel grill saver as a dandy radial attachment plate!

This is wireless, right? The fourth-place W1Z station was typical with a lot of cabling that had to work just right to make all the gear operate correctly. (Photo and feet by N2IC)

Scott N7SS has discovered that pedals for electric keyboards make dandy footswitches. They are heavy and made not to slip around under your foot!

Technical Web Site of the Week - We talk a lot about grounding outside our radios but how about grounding and wiring inside them? This four-part series from EDN is good stuff for designers and builders of all sorts. Part 1 begins a look at grounding: when to consider it, how chassis materials affect it, and the problem of ground loops. Part 2 discusses power supply returns and I/O signal grounding. Part 3 covers inter-board interface signals, star grounding, and shielding. Part 4 covers safety grounding and wiring.


To Those Who Strive

In honor of WRTC2014, Brian K1LI and your editor decided to do a little paraphrasing of Teddy Roosevelt's speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910. This is dedicated to the competitors and the hundreds of volunteers who made the event such a success.

WRTC Sanctioning Committee President, Tine S5ØA, was on-hand to close WRTC2014 and invite us all to attend WRTC in 2018. Where will it be held? (Photo by N6TV)

"It is not the jammer that counts. Not the critic who snorts when the strong fist stumbles, or who points out the workers of pileups could have done better. The credit goes to the hams who are actually in the arena, whose ears are jarred with static and overload and QRM. Who strive tirelessly to improve the art, though they err and come short again and again. Who are enthusiastic about the great devotions and champions of amateur radio and spend themselves to aid a worthy cause. Who, at their best, by constantly raising their standards, know the triumph of high achievement. And who, at their worst, if they fail, at least fail while daring greatly, so their place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Well done, everyone! Who's next?

73, Ward NØAX


July 16 through July 29

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.


NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint--CW, from Jul 17, 0030Z to Jul 17, 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

DMC RTTY Contest--Digital, from Jul 19, 1200Z to Jul 20, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST and serial. Logs due: Aug 14. Rules

Feld-Hell High Road Sprint--Digital, from Jul 19, 1600Z to Jul 19, 1800Z. Bands (MHz): 21, 28, 50, Monthly on 3rd Saturday. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, Feld-Hell member nr. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

North American QSO Party RTTY--Digital, from Jul 19, 1800Z to Jul 20, 0600Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: Name and S/P/C. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

RSBG Low Power Contest--CW, from Jul 20, 0900Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 3.5-7. Exchange: RST, serial, power. Logs due: Jul 30. Rules

Run For the Bacon--CW, from Jul 21, 0100Z to Jul 21, 0300Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Monthly on 3rd Sunday night (local). Exchange: RST, S/P/C, Flying Pig nr or power. Rules

RSGB IOTA Contest--Phone,CW, from Jul 26, 1200Z to Jul 27, 1200Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RS(T), serial, IOTA number if island. Logs due: 3 weeks. Rules

County Hunters CW Contest--CW, from Jul 26, 1400Z - See website. Multiple time periods. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. 3.550, 7.050, 14.050, 21.050, 28.050. Exchange: RST, state/county or "DX". Logs due: Aug 31. Rules

Flight of the Bumblebees--CW, from Jul 27, 1700Z to Jul 27, 2100Z. Bands (MHz): 7-28. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, Bumblebee nr or power. Logs due: Aug 12. Rules


144 MHz Digital EME Championship--Digital, from Jul 19, 0000Z to Jul 20, 2400Z. Bands (MHz): 144. Exchange: TMO or RST and R. Logs due: 14 days. Rules

Feld-Hell High Road Sprint--Digital, from Jul 19, 1600Z to Jul 19, 1800Z. Bands (MHz): 21, 28, 50, Monthly on 3rd Saturday. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, Feld-Hell member nr. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

CQ WW VHF Contest--Phone,CW,Digital, from Jul 19, 1800Z to Jul 20, 2100Z. Bands (MHz): 50,144. Exchange: 4-char grid square. Logs due: Aug 4. Rules


July 16 through July 29

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




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