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Contest Update Issues

The ARRL Contest Update
May 18, 2016
Editor: Paul Bourque, N1SFE

With all of the contest-related activities occurring at the Dayton Hamvention during the weekend of May 21st, the US on-the-air contest calendar is sparse. If you're not going to Ohio, why not "tune in" to some of the webcasts emanating from the Dayton Hamvention? Besides the already-available presentation by K3LR "Contest University and Dayton Contester Activity Webinar" (courtesy of, W5KUB is going to have comprehensive Dayton Coverage. Courtesy of Icom, certain sessions of 2016 Contest University will be available via streaming. DARA, the Dayton Amateur Radio Association and Hamvention sponsors, will also be streaming via the Internet. Check the Hamvention Live Coverage page for the schedule. Ham Talk Live also has a number of broadcasts scheduled from Dayton.

The EU PSK DX Contest on May 21st has distinct OM and YM multi-operator team categories. According to the contest rules, YM denotes 'any operator under 18 years of age.'

The weekend of May 28th, the major contest will be the CQ WPX CW. As prefixes are the multiplier, newly assigned calls can be an advantage. As always, it's good to review the rules before the contest, and remember that this contest also has overlay categories.


CQ RF Professionals - the International Microwave Symposium ( (May 23rd-27th) is calling - bring your QSL cards! We hope to see you (and your QSL card) at the Ham Radio Social on Tuesday, May 24th, from 18:30 to 20:00 following the panel session "Using Amateur Radio to Enhance Engineering Education" from 17:30 to 18:30. The panel session will be conducted in the main conference area and the social will be held at the nearby San Francisco Marriott at 780 Mission Street. Stop by the ARRL booth during the show to pick up your "Ask Me About Amateur Radio" button or we will have some at the social, as well. While you're there, we'd like your suggestions for publicizing the opportunities and training Amateur Radio provides to STEM students and educators. It will be good to have an "eyeball QSO!" (Ward, N0AX)




Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

May 19

May 20

May 21

May 22

May 25

May 26

May 27

May 28

May 29

June 1


FDIM, or Four Days In May, is an annual event in Dayton, Ohio, concurrent with the Dayton Hamvention, sponsored by the QRP Amateur Radio Club International and focused on, as you might imagine, all things QRP. Now in its twentieth year, activities include QRP-oriented seminars during the day on Thursday, a free-to-all Thursday evening "Vendor Night" at the host hotel, the Holiday Inn, Fairborn. Friday features a buildathon and homebrew competition in the afternoon and evening after ample time to visit the Hamvention during the day. Check the website for more information as well as the ticket availability for paid events.

The Northern Ohio DX Association invites all Contesters and DXers to attend their hospitality suite at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Dayton, Ohio, Thursday through Saturday evenings during the Dayton Hamvention. You can enjoy munchies and beverages while visiting with members and friends of the NODXA as the hospitality suite itself celebrates a 20-year milestone. (Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin)

Ethics and Operating Procedures for the Radio Amateur, an operating guide written by John, ON4UN, and Mark, ON4WW, is now in the custodianship of the IARU. The PDF booklet is available in over 25 different languages, and a PowerPoint presentation suitable for club meetings is also available in three languages. (Kip, W6SZN via WWDXC reflector)

RTTY contesters at Dayton will be gathering for a RTTY Contest Dinner on Thursday evening, May 19th. On Saturday, May 21st, one place they'll likely find them is at the RTTY Contesting Forum, 10:30-11:45 AM, room 3, Hara Arena. (Ed, W0YK, via RTTY Reflector)

Jim George, N3BB, the author of Contact Sport, will be signing copies of his book at the Dayton Hamvention. You can find him at his own booth at the Arena, or at the Contest Dinner.

DX Engineering has announced the acquisition of Clifton Laboratories, and intends to continue manufacturing their branded products. According to a press release sent out by DX Engineering, "Each item's part number, design specs, and impeccable quality remains the same--it will just be built by DX Engineering and carry the DX Engineering name. DX Engineering is also committed to offering parts and tech support for owners of Clifton Laboratories' legacy products." The full line of Clifton Laboratories products will be in production and available at DX Engineering by mid-summer 2016.

DX Engineering has also acquired TW Antennas, continuing the availability of the TransWorld Antenna. The TransWorld Antenna appeals to those desiring portable HF capability, but with durability suitable for a permanent installation.

Jim West "accidentally" co-invented the electret microphone in 1964, with the first models commercially made available in 1968. Today over two billion are produced annually. He continues to contribute as a professor of both Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering. (Bill, K2PO)

The annual Dayton Contest Dinner has sold out, for the first time ever! Courtesy of Icom, you can also stream Saturday's Contest Dinner keynote featuring John Crovelli, W2GD, beginning at 2230 UTC. Contest University for 2016 has also sold out. Don't forget that some Contest University sessions will be streamed via the Internet.

The ARRL NW Division Convention in Seaside, Oregon, June 3rd-5th, features at least two seminars which may be of interest to younger hams, or their parents: "Show Me the Money! Scholarship Opportunity for Hams" by N7XBY, and "How to get Youth involved in Amateur Radio" by K7APS.


UBN - Usually used in the context of "UBN Report," it stands for Unique, Bad, Not-in-log, the categories into which contacts are sorted during the log scoring process when they cannot be confirmed by other logs. For example, if WX7XX is in my log, but nobody else in the contest worked WX7XX (and WX7XX doesn't submit a log for scoring), that contact will be classified as "Unique." "Bad" contacts are mistakes made in making the contact, including miscopied calls or exchanges. "NILs" are contacts reported in your log, but the station you (believe) you have worked doesn't have your contact in their log. How the contacts in these categories affect your score depends on the rules for that particular contest.


Antenna, or art? Both! N6BT's Next Generation Antenna display at the Visalia, CA, IDXC. It appears that Tom, K5RC was caught in the background. [Photo courtesy of N6TV]

At the recent International DX Convention in Visalia, CA. N6BT's Next Generation Antennas displayed this whimsical antenna in the shape of a flamingo, as well as a drone Tom uses for antenna measurements. The flamingo design is a follow-on to the FP-1 sun flower sculpture HF antenna. Both designs have been used for Field Day.

After their successful run at the Palace Hotel Ballroom, The Spurious Emissions Band will be playing in the Presidential Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dayton, Ohio, for one night only: Friday, May 20th, 2016, 10 PM.


Ward, N0AX, opines that a "top gun Sweepstakes operator" must live here. (Tom, K1KI, via Ward, N0AX)


Encourage search-and-pounce operators to call you more quickly by including a trailing CQ in your RTTY CQ message. If an operator is tuning up or down the band, and they encounter your CQ message, they'll know they can call you if they copy your call and 'CQ'. For example, if my CQ message is "CQ BARTG N9ADG N9ADG CQ," an operator tuning the band and landing on my frequency between my two callsigns will know they can call me immediately. Without the trailing CQ, they would copy just my callsign, not knowing would have to wait for my next CQ. If I take too long to send the CQ message, or if the S&Per is impatient, they might just move along. Adding CQ to your 'thank you' message may achieve a similar effect.


TeamViewer, the remote desktop and control software, has found wide applicability in a number of amateur applications for remote control, monitoring, and plain convenience. It's free for personal, non-commercial use. Mark, K6UFO points out that TeamViewer Host is now available for the Raspberry Pi. "This should have some great uses for control across the internet of individual equipment, special projects, stations, etc." After installing TeamViewer host on a Raspberry Pi 2 or Raspberry Pi 3, that device can be controlled by any other device running TeamViewer. (Mark, K6UFO)

A Kickstarter Project that combines the Raspberry Pi AND vacuum tube technology? This design is for a tube audio amplifier. Thinking about it a different way, who's going to do a single tube transceiver that uses a Raspberry Pi (or other single board computer) for the bulk of the signal chain functions, and a tube for the RF PA and vintage feel? ( newsletter)

During the recent IDXC event, I spoke with a few amateurs who were attempting to get their remote contest sites on the Internet via wireless. Here's an EDN article on one person's journey to decipher the various router Wi-Fi settings necessary to get their outbuilding better connected.

John, W7FU, will be focusing on SDR in his two presentations at the ARRL NW Division Convention at Seaside, Oregon, June 3rd-5th. The first seminar, entitled "Ham Friendly DSP", illustrates the open source, graphically based computer software used for the SDR. The second seminar, entitled "VHF, UHF, Microwave SDR transceiver", will focus on the hardware and RF aspects of his 50 MHz through 6 GHz transceiver.


Continuing Education

As many others are doing right now, I'm looking forward to heading to Dayton for the annual Hamvention. Despite earning a '9' call in the early 80s while living in Illinois, I'd never been to Hamvention until about six years ago, so I don't have first hand experience of what everyone tells me that I missed -- the heyday of the outdoor flea market. I've only known the Hara-based event as about what it is today, give or take six years.

A big part of what I look forward to in attending the Hamvention is a way to stave off complacency in my skills and understanding of the hobby. In being able to stop by the vendor booths and talk with the people behind a new product, I seem to always find something interesting that I can use in the shack. I'm also inspired by the drive and grit it took for these folks to take risks, do something different, manufacture something new, and be willing to talk about it.

Attending a few of the various meetings and fora helps me understand unfamiliar topics and see what other hams are interested in, as measured by audience engagement and room capacity. My perception is that some of the best information emerges from an engaged audience's questions and feedback.

The constellation of contest-focused events which occurs seven miles away at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Dayton complements the activities at the Hamvention. In it's 24th year, the upstart Contest Dinner has sprouted it's own ecosystem of hospitality suites and activities, and is now flanked by Contest University and Topband Dinner.

I'll be attending Thursday's Contest University. I hope to pick up new ideas from "MultiOperator Hints and Kinks" by W3LPL, go outside my comfort zone in "Improving Single Operator 2 Radio (SO2R) Techniques" by N2NT, and keep up to date with "The Advantages of Waterfall Displays for Contesting and DXing" by N6TV, while being able to rub elbows with other attendees I've met or will be meeting during contests. Because this fall's N9ADG has to be better than last year's N9ADG.

That's all for this time. Remember to send contesting related stories, pictures of flea market finds, new product sightings, book reviews, tips, techniques, press releases, errata, schematics, club information, pictures, stories, blog links, predictions, and field day recipes to

73, Brian N9ADG


18 May - 1 Jun 2016

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.


CWops Mini-CWT Test, May 18, 1300z to May 18, 1400z, May 18, 1900z to May 18, 2000z, May 19, 0300z to May 19, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 21.

RSGB 80m Club Championship, CW, May 19, 1900z to May 19, 2030z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: May 26.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, May 20, 0145z to May 20, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 22.

NCCC Sprint, May 20, 0230z to May 20, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 22.

Slobozhansky Sprint Contest, May 20, 1800z to May 20, 1959z (SSB), May 20, 2000z to May 20, 2159z (CW); CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80m; Serial No. + Administrative District (URDA,RDA,province,state); Logs due: June 10.

UN DX Contest, May 21, 0600z to May 21, 2100z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Kazakhstan: RS(T) + District Code, non-Kazakhstan: RS(T) + QSO No.; Logs due: June 5.

NZART Sangster Shield Contest, May 21, 0800z to May 21, 1100z, May 22, 0800z to May 22, 1100z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; ZL: RST + Serial No. + Branch No., non-ZL: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 18.

Aegean RTTY Contest, May 21, 1200z to May 22, 1200z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + QSO No.; Logs due: June 15.

His Maj. King of Spain Contest, CW, May 21, 1200z to May 22, 1200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; EA: RST + province, non-EA: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 6.

EU PSK DX Contest, May 21, 1200z to May 22, 1200z; BPSK63; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; EU: RST + EU area code, non-EU: RST + QSO No.; Logs due: May 27.

Feld Hell Sprint, May 21, 1600z to May 21, 1759z, May 21, 2000z to May 21, 2159z; Feld Hell; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; (see rules); Logs due: May 25.

Baltic Contest, May 21, 2100z to May 22, 0200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80m Only; RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: June 10.

SKCC Sprint, May 25, 0000z to May 25, 0200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./power); Logs due: May 27.

Phone Fray, May 25, 0230z to May 25, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: May 27.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, May 25, 1300z to May 25, 1400z, May 25, 1900z to May 25, 2000z, May 26, 0300z to May 26, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: May 28.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, May 27, 0145z to May 27, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 29.

NCCC Sprint, May 27, 0230z to May 27, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: May 29.

CQ WW WPX Contest, CW, May 28, 0000z to May 29, 2359z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 3.

Portuguese Navy Day Contest, Digital, May 28, 0800z to May 28, 2359z; Digital; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; NRA Club: Member No. + CQ Zone, non-member: QSO No. + CQ Zone; Logs due: June 17.

SARL Digital Contest, May 29, 1300z to May 29, 1600z; PSK, RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; RST + QSO No.; Logs due: June 5.

Phone Fray, Jun 1, 0230z to Jun 1, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: Jun 1.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 1, 1300z to Jun 1, 1400z, Jun 1, 1900z to Jun 1, 2000z, Jun 2, 0300z to Jun 2, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Jun 4.


See Feld Hell Sprint, above.


May 19, 2016

May 20, 2016

May 21, 2016

May 22, 2016

May 23, 2016

May 26, 2016

May 28, 2016

May 31, 2016

June 1, 2016

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