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Contest Update Issues

The ARRL Contest Update
June 12, 2019
Editor: Paul Bourque, N1SFE

How about giving all of your ground-related connections a good check, especially those at your perimeter. With all of the electrical storms that spring and summer bring, it's a good time to verify that your connections can fulfill your expectations. Also make sure protecting chokes and bleed resistors have integrity. It is possible for a conductor or protection device to do its job and then fail. If you don't check them periodically, you can't be sure.

The West Virginia QSO Party and All Asian DX Contest (CW) offer the best bets for HF operation this upcoming weekend, and if you'd like a challenge, this weekend also has the Stew Perry Topband Distance Contest. FT8 users might find that contest a fun change of mode since the exchange is just grid squares but using CW.

The weekend of June 22, the US HF bands will be packed with ARRL Field Day! It's not too late to join up with a group in your area, check out the Field Day locator on the ARRL website.


13 Jun - 27 Jun 2019

Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

June 13

June 14

June 15

June 16

June 17

June 19

June 20

June 21

June 22

June 24

June 25

June 26


WSJT-X users, especially those setting up for ARRL Field Day: WSJT-X version 2.0.1 is the one you want for ARRL Field Day. Please read the release notes, and pay particular attention to program version numbers. According to the release notes for 2.1.0-rc7: "Release candidate WSJT-X 2.1.0-rc7 will be available for beta-testing through July 21, 2019. It will be inoperable during the ARRL June VHF QSO Party (June 8-10) or ARRL Field Day (June 22-23)."

Michael, W9IP is looking for support from other Amateurs to get certificates for 2 meter contacts included in those awarded in the DX Marathon event. He notes: "Although the Marathon includes 2m, almost no one submits logs because there are no award certificates for 2 meters." He suggests that email to the DX Marathon's manager, K9EL, in support of the addition may be enough to have the certificates issued.

VE2FK is publishing a Field Day Call History file for use with N1MM Logger+. Feedback or corrections should go to him via email.

OZ0J and Bob, N6TV, are collecting Headquarters (HQ) call signs for an HQ multiplier list for July's IARU HF Championship contest. Last year's list is used as the starting point, so send any changes to OZ0J.

Recent CQ Contest Hall of Fame Inductee Bruce, WA7BNM, has added a new club activity tracker feature to "Club member activity can be sorted chronologically, by contest or by call sign for the past 10, 30, 60, 90 days, as well as the past 6 or 12 months. By default the activities are generated based on the club selection on the score submittal form. However, an activity tracker can be configured to determine club association by using a list of call signs. In that case a club member's activity would show up even if they participated on an entry associated with a different club. As an example, the tracker for the Southern California Contest Club is based on the club's roster."

Presentations from the 2019 Contest University are now online. Sixteen presentations from this year, ranging from "Contesting with Integrity" to specs on the latest rigs are online. Dan, N6MJ, covers 2BSIQ and SO3R in his presentation, including how to train and what to eat to prepare yourself for this demanding style of operating.

The Youth on the Air group in Region 2 have a Facebook page. (Ward, N0AX)



Actually abbreviations for "Both In Phase" and "Both Out of Phase" usually found on a StackMatch device. By adjusting whether stacked Yagi antennas are fed "Both In Phase" or "Both Out of Phase" the pattern can be changed to find a more favorable elevation angle to work a station.


Over the last twelve years, Frank, W3LPL (right), has presented over 50 times at Contest University. At Contest University 2019, Tim, K3LR (left), presented a warm thank you to Frank for sharing his wealth of knowledge with generations of contesters.[Credit: K3LR, Photo]

Tom, K8CX, has been taking photos at Hamvention for 23 years. 2019's crop of 361 photos have been added to their own gallery for your perusing pleasure. You can find pictures by call sign among all the photos by visiting the Ham Gallery website.


The 2019 7QP scores have been posted at www.7QP.ORG. According to the contest chairman Dick, K4XU, the number of logs submitted in 2019 surpassed 2018 by 8%. "Since there are four QSO parties running on 7QP weekend, the combined activity rivals that of the biggest like the California QSO Party (CQP)." Over 5200 distinct calls were represented in the 7QP logs.

Tomi, OH2BBT has produced statistics on the CQ WW WPX CW Contest using the increasing popular Tableau visualization software. (Andy, KU7T)


Turn off the Radio AGC to Increase Digital Decoding Accuracy

From Ed, W0YK's presentation at 2019 Contest University: Decoders for digital modes tend to work better when the radio AGC is turned off. If you can't turn off AGC, then set it to SLOW. "Using a fast AGC increases the decode error rate in modern software decoders." Also, make sure you are NOT using any twin-peak or other specialized filtering provided by your rig manufacturer. Chances are, the software decoder will work better without it.


Some people are into shoes, while for some pliers grab their attention. According to its website, "Knipex offers over 140 different types of electronics pliers." (Ward, N0AX, originally from Bob, N6TV)

Gary, NA6O, has put up a web page describing some of the equipment he's built and uses to measure RFI, along with some exact model numbers of LED lights that he's found to not emit high levels of RFI.

Transmission lines for electrical power are the focus of "Field Guide to Transmission Lines." Both AC and DC transmission are covered.


Funneling New Contesters

"Finding new contesters" is seen as a admirable task, and we collectively pin great hope on developing contest interest in "youth." We have to find "youths," get the attention of the "youth," encourage them to get a license, and then show them how wonderful contesting can be. In marketing terms - yes, this is marketing - the steps from not-yet-interested youths to contesters is called a funnel, and at each particular step a certain portion of the starting group will drop out. You want a high percentage of people to 'convert' into contesters, but you might start with 100 at the top of the funnel and there might only be 2 or 3 that make it to "contester."

If you could start with a population of people that have already made it through some portions of the funnel, you don't have to expend time and energy moving people through those parts of the funnel! You could concentrate on the last step of getting newly licensed Amateurs to learn about contesting.

Here's good news: We can find people who have already made it past the first three steps and are already licensed, because the FCC provides information about newly licensed amateurs via the FCC website. It's possible for the membership committee of any contest club wanting to find potential new members to use the FCC website RIGHT NOW, THIS VERY INSTANT to find recently licensed amateurs based on criteria such as their city, state or even Zip code. ARRL-affiliated clubs can even obtain this information via the ARRL website - ask your section manager.

Mark, KB7HDX, ARRL Northwest Division Vice Director has been using this information for literally ten years. He and Wilse, WX7P (SK), started the monthly practice of sending Eastern Washington (EWA) section-specific information to new Amateur licensees in EWA. For the cost of an envelope, paper, and postage, every new Amateur in the Eastern Washington section over the last decade has been welcomed with a packet with information about the local repeaters, contact information for their Emergency Coordinators, information on local clubs, and of course ARRL information. According to Mark, his work has made a difference - han per-capita ARRL membership in Eastern Washington exceeds the average. Since Wilse's passing, Mark has localized outreach even further to helpers in five Eastern Washington areas. It seems that the more local the outreach, the greater the response.

How can your club's membership funnel use the newly licensed Amateur information?

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


13 Jun - 27 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, 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.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Jun 14, 0145z to Jun 14, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 16.

NCCC Sprint, Jun 14, 0230z to Jun 14, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 16.

All Asian DX Contest, CW, Jun 15, 0000z to Jun 17, 0000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + 2-digit age; Logs due: July 17.

ARR BPSK63 Contest, Jun 15, 1200z to Jun 16, 1200z; BPSK63; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: July 16.

Ukrainian DX Classic RTTY Contest, Jun 15, 1200z to Jun 16, 1159z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Ukraine: RST + 2-letter oblast, non-Ukraine: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: July 1.

Stew Perry Topband Challenge, Jun 15, 1500z to Jun 16, 1500z; CW; Bands: 160m Only; 4-Character grid square; Logs due: July 1.

West Virginia QSO Party, Jun 15, 1600z to Jun 16, 0400z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; WV: RS(T) + county, non-WV: RS(T) + (state/province/country); Logs due: July 5.

ARRL Kids Day, Jun 15, 1800z to Jun 15, 2359z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10, 2m repeaters; name + age + QTH + favorite color; Logs due: July 15.

Feld Hell Sprint, Jun 15, 1800z to Jun 15, 1959z; Feld Hell; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; (see rules); Logs due: June 18.

Run for the Bacon QRP Contest, Jun 17, 0100z to Jun 17, 0300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + (Member No./power); Logs due: June 23.

Phone Fray, Jun 19, 0230z to Jun 19, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: June 21.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 19, 1300z to Jun 19, 1400z and, Jun 19, 1900z to Jun 19, 2000z and, Jun 20, 0300z to Jun 20, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 22.

RSGB 80m Club Championship, CW, Jun 19, 1900z to Jun 19, 2030z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: June 20.

NAQCC CW Sprint, Jun 20, 0030z to Jun 20, 0230z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; RST + (state/province/country) + (NAQCC No./power); Logs due: June 22.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Jun 21, 0145z to Jun 21, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 23.

NCCC Sprint, Jun 21, 0230z to Jun 21, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: June 23.

His Maj. King of Spain Contest, SSB, Jun 22, 1200z to Jun 23, 1200z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; EA: RS + province, non-EA: RS + Serial No.; Logs due: July 8.

Ukrainian DX DIGI Contest, Jun 22, 1200z to Jun 23, 1200z; RTTY, PSK63; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; UR: RST + 2-letter Oblast, non-UR: RST + QSO No.; Logs due: July 23.

ARRL Field Day, Jun 22, 1800z to Jun 23, 2100z; All; Bands: All, except 30, 17, 12m; W/VE: Number of transmitters (see rules) + Operating class + ARRL/RAC section, DX: Number of transmitters (see rules) + Operating class + "DX"; Logs due: July 23.

QCX Challenge, Jun 24, 1300z to Jun 24, 1400z and, Jun 24, 1900z to Jun 24, 2000z and, Jun 25, 0300z to Jun 25, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: July 2.

SKCC Sprint, Jun 26, 0000z to Jun 26, 0200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./power); Logs due: June 28.

Phone Fray, Jun 26, 0230z to Jun 26, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: June 28.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Jun 26, 1300z to Jun 26, 1400z and, Jun 26, 1900z to Jun 26, 2000z and, Jun 27, 0300z to Jun 27, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: June 29.


SMIRK Contest, Jun 15, 0000z to Jun 17, 0000z; CW, Phone; Bands: 6m Only; 4-character grid square + SMIRK No. (optional); Logs due: August 18.

IARU Region 1 50 MHz Contest, Jun 15, 1400z to Jun 16, 1400z; CW, SSB; Bands: 6m Only; RS(T) + QSO No. + locator; Logs due: June 30.

AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, Jun 15, 1400z to Jun 15, 1700z (144) and, Jun 15, 1700z to Jun 15, 1800z (432); CW; Bands: 144 MHz, 432 MHz; RST + "/" + Serial No. + "/" Power class + "/" + 6-character grid locator; Logs due: July 1.

WAB 50 MHz Phone, Jun 16, 0800z to Jun 16, 1400z; SSB; Bands: 6m Only; British Isles: RS + serial no. + WAB square, Other: RS + serial no. + country; Logs due: July 7.

Also, see ARRL Kids Day, Feld Hell Sprint, and ARRL Field Day, above.


13 Jun - 27 Jun 2019

June 13, 2019

June 14, 2019

June 15, 2019

June 16, 2019

June 17, 2019

June 18, 2019

June 20, 2019

June 21, 2019

June 22, 2019

June 23, 2019

June 24, 2019

June 23, 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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