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Contest Update Issues

The ARRL Contest Update
May 29, 2019
Editor: Paul Bourque, N1SFE

Three words: Field Day Preparation. Many participate in ARRL Field Day by joining with their local radio club, while some go it alone. If you've not made plans yet, check out the ARRL Field Day website and especially the Field Day Locator to find a group that will be active.


W6PNG's name is Paul. (Matt, K0BBC)


Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

30 May - 12 Jun 2019

May 30

May 31

June 1

June 2

June 4

June 5

June 6

June 7

June 8

June 9

June 10

June 12


Registration for Contest University, 2020 begins on December 19, 2019.

N1MM Logger+, representing over 60% of nearly any contest's "market share" for loggers, has a new website. Larry, K8UT, pointed to a summary of the changes, but the most significant are fewer number of pages, better search capabilities, better bug/issue tracking visibility and reporting, and a "single sortable/searchable table listing all supported contests." Other ham radio software projects should take note: the ability for website visitors to easily see the status of issues and reported bugs is a feature that helps the development team by reducing the volume of messages of duplicate reports for a single common issue.

Larry, N6NC, wrote in regarding "Stochastic Resonance" mentioned in the last issue: "In low power Sweepstakes under bad band conditions, we used to CQ high in the band at the edge of the "shadow" of a continuous commercial or military signal located there. That gave us a clearer channel at the edge of the continuous signal which provided the white background noise. Exactly what you describe above--"Stochastic Resonance"-- is what would happen, and we could work guys that otherwise couldn't hear us."

There's a "kind-of" competition between RBN receiving stations to receive all 18 NCDXF beacon stations over a 24-hour time period. Jose, CT1BOH, sent email to the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN) operators on May 14: "13 May was a good propagation day, and both CT1BOH and ON5KQ Skimmers have copied all 18 NCDXF Beacons, with KH6RS being the last one for both of them." This is a good competition, because on the days that the receivers "win" because of good propagation it's more likely you'll make more DX contacts.

Bob, N6TV, wrote to the NCCC Reflector: "As you may have heard by now, at Dayton three new members were inducted into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame:

  • Chris Kovarik, 9A5K (SK), author of
  • Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, creator of and the Contest Calendar
  • Dean Straw, N6BV, author of HFTA and so many other contributions

Dean was unable to attend the event in person due to scheduling conflicts. So just for Dean (and his many friends), I captured on video the induction speeches presented by K6MM and K1AR in honor of Dean. You'll also see what 500+ contesters in one dinner looks like. Congratulations Dean!

Left to right in the video you'll see glimpses of rarely-seen WA7BNM (white hair), K3ZJ, K1AR, and K6MM. -- 73, Bob, N6TV"

The Hamvention in Xenia, Ohio saw many announcements of products that are likely of interest to contesters, including Elecraft's K4 transceiver.

DX Engineering announced their first antenna rotator they've ever manufactured, the RT4500HD Heavy-Duty Antenna Mast Rotator. It boasts of improved reliability, improved wind load handling, and easier maintenance among it's many features.

RF-KIT's new solid-state legal-limit RF2K-S HF+6m amplifier will be available from DX Engineering in Fall of 2019 in both kit and FCC-certified assembled forms. Features include silent PIN diode switching, a 7-inch color touch screen, internal antenna tuner, and CAT/LAN/WiFi connectivity, along with software updates via the Internet. "RF-KIT is widely recognized around the world for its competitively priced, high-performance amplifiers. We're proud to be the company responsible for getting the new RF2K-S into the hands of customers in North America--fast and conveniently" states Tim, K3LR, CEO of DX Engineering.

The worldwide Amateur Radio community is invited to participate in the Czech-sponsored Pohotovostní (readiness) Test -- or "P-Test" -- which will take place on June 13. The goal of the event is to help assess activity on 6 meters and the ability of Amateur Radio to share spectrum with government users on the band. For more information, see this article in the ARRL Letter. (ARRL Letter)



A macro is a fragment of a message sent by a computer logging program during a phase of a contest contact. The macro is the part of the message that the computer may fill in with specific information such as call sign or serial number. Macros can also be "silent" but perform some logging operation such as clearing an entry field. An example message containing a macro is "CQ TEST {MYCALL} {MYCALL}."


During the recent CQ WW WPX contest, stations were posting updates to Twitter including the #WPX hashtag. Many excellent pictures and in-the-moment comments indicate conditions were pretty darn good!

David Siddall, K3ZJ, presents the CQ Contest Hall of Fame Plaque for Kresimir Kovarik, 9A5K (SK), to his friend Krassimir Petkov, K1LZ, May 18th, 2019, at the Contest Dinner in Dayton, Ohio. [Credit: Bob, N6TV, Photo]

Krassy, K1LZ, spoke at the induction of Kresimir (Chris), 9A5K (SK) into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame; Marty, NN1C, captured and posted the video.

Max, NG7M "cornered Eric, WA6HHQ, for a few minutes and did a quick Q&A on the (Elecraft) K4....Eric gives a quick overview of the three different version of the K4, K4 HD and the K4 HD with the Superhet module, plus touches on several other topics based on my random questions.

Tim, K3LR, writes: "Saturday night's 27th annual contest dinner in Dayton had 510 contesters in attendance. Keynote speaker Ted, N9NB talked about how Amateur Radio influenced his life." [Credit: Tim, K3LR, Photo]

David Siddall, K3ZJ presents CQ Contest Hall of Fame Plaque to Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, introduced by Dick Norton, N6AA, May 18th, 2019, at the Contest Dinner in Dayton, Ohio. [Credit: Bob, N6TV, Photo]


Received logs for the JIDX CW Contest have been posted on their website; If you made more than 20 contacts and have NOT sent in your log, the contest committee would like you to do so.

Ward, N0AX, writes:

Here are some scores from 3830 for last weekend's CQ WW WPX CW:




Claimed Score













Accuracy matters.


Watering Holes

If the contest you're operating in has per-band multipliers, it helps to try the 'dead bands' for local contacts that will add a multiplier and increase your contact count by a meager amount. Some contest clubs or event sponsors designate particular times to be on particular bands (hence: "watering holes") to pick up these easy multipliers.


Alpha 87a amplifier owners might want to heed the advice of Larry, KJ6YVT via the Alpha 87a Yahoo Group: "If you're unable to find UM4006D diodes at Dayton, you can always order them from Mouser. They currently have 38 in stock. I purchased two a couple of months ago before they become unobtainable." Installation instructions are available from K4RO's website.

The GNU Radio Conference "celebrates and showcases the substantial and remarkable progress of the world's best open source digital signal processing framework for software-defined radios." 2019's event will occur September 16-20, 2019 in Huntsville, Alabama. They're inviting "... developers and users from the GNU Radio Community to pre-sent ... projects, presentations, papers, posters, and problems." For more details, see the conference submission website. Many presentations from previous years can be found on YouTube.

Bob, N6TV, has uploaded a presentation entitled "Everything You Need to Know About USB and Serial Interfaces." He presented this at the Dayton Contest University (CTU) last week. He has also updated his presentation "The Advantages of Waterfall Displays for Contesting and DXing."

How does N1MM Logger+ provide a spectrum display from your radio? Check out the new N1MM Logger+ website's page dedicated to the topic.


Operating Incentives

With many activities competing with radio contesting for time and attention on weekends, sometimes we all need a little extra nudge to get on the air and make some contacts.

The Florida Contest Group has started a Frequent Contester Program (FCP) to increase contest participation among their members. Key goals for their program are:

  • To be rewarding for everyone, regardless of how large the station is
  • Motivate all of our members (but particularly casual contesters) to be more active in contests of their choice throughout the year

FCG's program has five distinct levels of achievement for participating in the 147 approved contests, so there's something for everyone. The program recognizes participants on a yearly basis, with awards being presented at their annual banquet in January. Scoring for the award is based on the time spent contesting, and some contests count for more, like the Florida QSO Party, to suit the goals of the club.

Other clubs also provide encouragement or incentive for their members in similar fashion. For example, the Northern California Contest Club has an annual "KB" competition to "To provide a means of rewarding NCCC members who are DX contesters, sprint-ers, VHFers, and especially active contesters in all modes." Theirs runs from March to March, with 29 contests emphasized, and four levels of achievement. Points are based on contest scores, with a contest multiplier applied to suit the goals of the NCCC. Each month's club newsletter recognizes a club member who is a 'point generator' for their club with an in-depth profile describing their station, interests, and 'ham history.'

What works for sports team fans can also work for radio clubs - "us" against "them." Some clubs have formalized 'friendly competitions' with other clubs. Not being on the air for a contest is like not being there for your other club members. In the Pacific Northwest, the "Traveling Trophy Competition" is held among six clubs, comprised of ten contests. The rules for the next year's competition are hashed out if necessary at the yearly Pacific Northwest DX Convention that also rotates between clubs. East Coast contest clubs also have a rich tradition of inter-club competition.

Some clubs like the Potomac Valley Radio Club are blessed with enough club members that there are different "chapters" of the same club. So in addition to many of the incentive methods already mentioned, the chapters also compete with one another.

Your club doesn't have to know another club personally to "pick a fight." Some individual contest sponsors have club competitions. And don't forget that your ARRL or RAC affiliated club can enter the ARRL Club Competition to compete across nine ARRL contests against other clubs with similar enthusiasm levels.

That's all for this time. Remember to send contesting related stories, book reviews, tips, techniques, press releases, errata, schematics, club information, pictures, stories, blog links, and predictions to

73, Brian N9ADG


30 May - 12 Jun 2019

An expanded, downloadable version of QST's Contest Corral is available as a PDF. Check the sponsors' website for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.


CWops Mini-CWT Test, May 29, 1300z to May 29, 1400z and, May 29, 1900z to May 29, 2000z and, May 30, 0300z to May 30, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 1.

RSGB 80m Club Championship, CW, May 30, 1900z to May 30, 2030z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: May 31.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, May 31, 0145z to May 31, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 2.

NCCC Sprint, May 31, 0230z to May 31, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 2.

PVRC Reunion, Jun 1, 0000z to Jun 1, 0200z and, Jun 2, 0000z to Jun 2, 0200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; PVRC Member: 1st year of membership + name + (state/province/country) + callsign when joined PVRC, non-Member: name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 16.

10-10 Int. Open Season PSK Contest, Jun 1, 0000z to Jun 3, 0000z; PSK31; Bands: 10m Only; Name + (state/province/country) + organization membership numbers; Logs due: June 10.

DigiFest, Jun 1, 0400z to Jun 1, 1200z and, Jun 1, 2000z to Jun 2, 0400z and, Jun 2, 1200z to Jun 2, 2000z; RTTY75, BPSK63, MFSK16, HELLSCHREIBER, OLIVIA; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + 4-character grid square; Logs due: June 9.

Wake-Up! QRP Sprint, Jun 1, 0600z to Jun 1, 0629z and, Jun 1, 0630z to Jun 1, 0659z and, Jun 1, 0700z to Jun 1, 0729z and, Jun 1, 0730z to Jun 1, 0800z; CW; Bands: 40, 20m; RST + Serial No. + suffix of previous QSO ("QRP" for 1st QSO); Logs due: June 8.

SEANET Contest, Jun 1, 1200z to Jun 2, 1200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: July 2.

Kentucky QSO Party, Jun 1, 1400z to Jun 2, 0200z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2m; KY: RS(T) + county, non-KY: RS(T) + (state/province/"DX"); Logs due: June 23.

RSGB National Field Day, Jun 1, 1500z to Jun 2, 1500z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 7.

Dutch Kingdom Contest, Jun 1, 1500z to Jun 2, 1500z; CW, SSB; Bands: 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: June 9.

IARU Region 1 Field Day, CW, Jun 1, 1500z to Jun 2, 1459z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 17.

ARS Spartan Sprint, Jun 4, 0100z to Jun 4, 0300z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Power; Logs due: June 6.

Phone Fray, Jun 5, 0230z to Jun 5, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: May 31.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 5, 1300z to Jun 5, 1400z and, Jun 5, 1900z to Jun 5, 2000z and, Jun 6, 0300z to Jun 6, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 8.

NRAU 10m Activity Contest, Jun 6, 1700z to Jun 6, 1800z (CW) and, Jun 6, 1800z to Jun 6, 1900z (SSB) and, Jun 6, 1900z to Jun 6, 2000z (FM) and, Jun 6, 2000z to Jun 6, 2100z (Dig); CW, SSB, FM, Digital; Bands: 10m Only; RS(T) + 6-character grid square; Logs due: June 20.

SKCC Sprint Europe, Jun 6, 1900z to Jun 6, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./power); Logs due: June 13.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Jun 7, 0145z to Jun 7, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 9.

NCCC Sprint, Jun 7, 0230z to Jun 7, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 9.

HA3NS Sprint Memorial Contest, Jun 7, 1900z to Jun 7, 1929z (40m) and, Jun 7, 1930z to Jun 7, 1959z (80m); CW; Bands: 80, 40m; HACWG Members: RST + Membership No., non-Members: RST + NM; Logs due: June 22.

DRCG WW RTTY Contest, Jun 8, 0000z to Jun 8, 0759z and, Jun 8, 1600z to Jun 8, 2359z and, Jun 9, 0800z to Jun 9, 1559z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + CQ Zone; Logs due: June 16.

VK Shires Contest, Jun 8, 0600z to Jun 9, 0600z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; VK: RS(T) + Shire, non-VK: RS(T) + CQ Zone; Logs due: July 1.

Asia-Pacific Sprint, SSB, Jun 8, 1100z to Jun 8, 1300z; SSB; Bands: 20, 15m; RS + Serial No.; Logs due: June 15.

Portugal Day Contest, Jun 8, 1200z to Jun 9, 1200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; CT: RS(T) + District, non-CT: RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: September 1.

SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, Jun 8, 1200z to Jun 10, 0000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./"NONE"); Logs due: June 16.

GACW WWSA CW DX Contest, Jun 8, 1500z to Jun 9, 1500z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + CQ Zone No.; Logs due: July 30.

Cookie Crumble QRP Contest, Jun 9, 1700z to Jun 9, 2200z; All; Bands: All, except WARC; RS(T) + (state/province/country) + cookie no. + name; Logs due: July 31.

4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint, Jun 10, 0000z to Jun 10, 0200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: RS(T) + (State/Province/Country) + Member No., Non-member: RS(T) + (State/Province/Country) + Power; Logs due: June 12.

RSGB 80m Club Championship, Data, Jun 10, 1900z to Jun 10, 2030z; RTTY, PSK; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 11.

NAQCC CW Sprint, Jun 12, 0030z to Jun 12, 0230z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; RST + (state/province/country) + (NAQCC No./power); Logs due: June 15.

Phone Fray, Jun 12, 0230z to Jun 12, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: May 31.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 12, 1300z to Jun 12, 1400z and, Jun 12, 1900z to Jun 12, 2000z and, Jun 13, 0300z to Jun 13, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 15.


UKSMG Summer Contest, Jun 1, 1300z to Jun 2, 1300z; not specified; Bands: 6m Only; RST + Serial No. + 6-character grid square + (optional UKSMG member no.); Logs due: June 24.

REF DDFM 6m Contest, Jun 8, 1600z to Jun 9, 1600z; CW, SSB, FM; Bands: 6m Only; RS(T) + Serial No. + 4-character grid square; Logs due: June 17.

ARRL June VHF Contest, Jun 8, 1800z to Jun 10, 0259z; All; Bands: 50 MHz and up; 4-character grid square; Logs due: June 20.

Also, see Kentucky QSO Party, Dutch Kingdom Contest, SKCC Sprint Europe, SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, above.


30 May - 12 Jun 2019

May 30, 2019

May 31, 2019

June 1, 2019

June 2, 2019

June 3, 2019

June 4, 2019

June 6, 2019

June 7, 2019

June 8, 2019

June 9, 2019

June 10, 2019

June 11, 2019

June 12, 2019

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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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