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Contest Update Issues

The ARRL Contest Update
September 18, 2019
Editor: Paul Bourque, N1SFE

Here it comes - fall contest season! The chill in the air, the reappearance of our stealthy wire antennas as the leaves fall. Fall signals the beginning of weekend hours spent in front of the radio. This coming weekend you can warm up with a few QSO parties, including the Collegiate QSO Party sponsored by W4DFU at the University of Florida, the Washington State Salmon Run, and New Hampshire, Iowa, and New Jersey QSO Parties. There are varying hours and exchanges, so check the rules. If the ether favors, maybe we'll hear some watery CW signals coming over the pole for the Scandinavian Activity Contest. These days any contact via the polar path is to be treasured. The weekend of September 23 things get serious with the CQ World Wide DX RTTY Contest. As I've written before, if you can operate FT8 or FT4, you're already equipped to run RTTY in AFSK mode. You just need to install and configure some software. Easy, right?


Ward, N0AX, writes: "Appreciated the note about the online log in the last issue. Actually, the first online logging service that I am aware of is In The Log ( It was developed several years ago (2010) by K5TR and N5KO in support of the initial Rookie Roundup contests when the planned real-time logging service development did not happen as planned. I have used it from time to time but I think it is largely inactive today although it is still running and available. Those two guys have produced a lot of quality software in support of the contest community."


Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

19 Sep - 2 Oct 2019

September 19

September 20

September 21

September 22

September 23

September 24

September 25

September 26

September 27

September 28

September 30

October 1

October 2


The W4DXCC DX and Contest Convention will be held September 20 and 21 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The main program has something for nearly everyone, including a session by Bill, N4IQ, entitled "So you want to be a Contester...But do Not have a Beam?" Friday's events include a Ham Radio Bootcamp.

The 25th annual Pacific Northwest VHF Conference will be held October 11-12 in Issaquah, Washington. More information on the conference is available on the conference website.

Contest University USA 2020 will be held in Dayton Crowne Plaza Hotel on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Hotel registration for the event opened just a few days ago on September 16, 2019. According to Tim, K3LR: "After the 2019 Crowne Plaza experience I conducted a thorough review of all available facilities in the Dayton/Xenia area including several site visits. I also met with key stakeholders and they assure me that the security issues with the Crowne have been dealt with. Local authorities have given assurances that there will be improvements during our stay for 2020. The adjoining parking garage work will be completed in time for our arrival. Therefore contester activities will stay at the Crowne for 2020." Make sure you use the group code "CON" when making your reservation.

The 2020 Dayton Hamvention week dates are:

According to posts by Tsutsumi Takehiko, JA5AEA, to the WSJT-X Development email list, the regulatory agency in Japan responsible for frequency allocations is considering changes to bring Japan's 160 meter band plan allocation for FTx modes to be more compatible to those used in the rest of the world. At the same time, allocations for those modes in the 80 meter and 40 meter bands may also be reconsidered.

Dink, N7WA, writes:

It's here, the Salmon Run. Sponsored by the Western Washington DX Club, it's the only place you can win smoked salmon for getting on the air. We also have beautiful certificates, plaques, and this year, something new - a commemorative beer glass to a few deserving ops.

It all happens September 21 and 22. (See the rules for specific times.)

On the WWDXC web site you'll find the...rules, county activation list (including county expeditions and mobiles), and Washington State county abbreviation list. If you paper log, please take the time to use WA7BNM's WA State Salmon Run Cabrillo generator.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask via email.
mike, n7wa

Bill Clark, K6WSC, Chairman of the Arizona QSO Party, writes: "The 11th running of the Arizona QSO Party is October 12 & 13, 2019. A record number of logs were received for this event last year. Category winners in the AZQP will receive plaques, and the top New Contesters will receive Arizona Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly awards. Participants can print their own ARRL-AZ QSL after working the Arizona Section Manager W7RAP. Detailed participation certificates can be created by all entrants. The Bonus Station this year is W7A. Results will be published shortly after the log due date of October 23. Join the party, make some contacts, and have ham radio fun in the AZQP! Check the Arizona QSO Party website for up-to-date information on awards, activated counties, multiplier abbreviations, resources, logs received, results and more."

VY0ERC is the call sign of the Eureka Amateur Radio Club - "Probably the most northerly located Amateur Radio club in the world" according to their page. And as of August 2019, VY0ERC reports signals heard via the Reverse Beacon Network and

The VY1 Multiplier in ARRL Sweepstakes will become even more difficult after the ham radio retirement of VY1JA due to health issues. According to the The Daily DX, J Allen worked his last station as VY1JA on September 14, and is concentrating on station shutdown. Logs have already been uploaded, and it's expected that signals as the remote VY1AAA will also go quiet soon. (The Daily DX)



As an adjective, having a hissing sound. Usually applies to components of speech with "s", "sh", "ch", etc. Some microphones that are too "bright" may require "de-essers" to reduce sibilance.


The GNURadioCon 2019 is going on this week in Huntsville, Alabama. Check out the agenda, and watch YouTube for the talks in the future. During the conference participants can even compete in a "Capture the Flag" contest.

Mike, W4AAW writes: "John, N0JSD, 14 years old, visited my shack to operate in the ARRL RTTY Roundup. Activity was slow, so John went to CW and happened across several stations in the CVA contest, a Contest for Brazilian Army personnel and veterans. We read the rules and found there was a teen category. John found the CVA contest among the N1MM Logger+ supported contests. He set up his exchange as, "599 TEEN." With 1500 watts and a five-element monoband Yagi, his CQs got a lot of responses. He's quite a good CW operator. John forwarded this message he received after the contest:

Hi John!

My name is Alisson. I'm a Brazilian ham and my call sign is PR7GA, but in CVA DX Contest I was using the call PR7CP, from our local Amateur Radio Club. We have made a QSO at Sunday, in CVA, by 20:37 UTC. You can hear the exact moment when I started to hear you at 20 meters in this YouTube video:

I have recorded my entire operation in CVA. It's in my channel.

I'm writing to you because I just want to say: Congratulations!!!!! When I heard your exchange, I was amazed...It's not easy to see young men like you in the bands...Specially in CW.

I'm the editor of a weekly news BLOG of our club, called QTC ECRA. It's also transmitted in our VHF repeaters and 80 meters, and also in YouTube. I'll talk a little about you by tomorrow, to inspire other teens like you here in Brazil to discover our beloved hobby.

Nice to meet you! Hope to hear you again in the bands!

73s from Brazil!

Alisson, PR7GA


The Preliminary August NAQP SSB results should be on the NCJ website around the end of the week according to the NAQP SSB Manager Bill, AC0W. He'll accept questions until October 4.

The 2019 ARRL RTTY Roundup final results article has been updated on the ARRL website. According to Jeff, WK6I: "An error in calculating the final scores was not detected until the author had already written most of the article, requiring him to restart the process. These FINAL results superceed earlier published Preliminary, and QST Summary, Results."


Get An Independent Evaluation

It's important to understand your station's strengths and weaknesses. But sometimes pride of ownership can cloud an accurate assessment of what most needs to be improved. Invite a fellow operator (even better, more than one) to use your station during a contest to really understand how it performs. You'll need to convince them to be brutally honest. You might want to observe them during band changes, when conditions are difficult, etc. to see if they can take full advantage of what makes your station special. Then, you'll have to convince yourself to listen to their critique without arguing with them. You might want that new amplifier, but it might be a better use of resources to have a better antenna.


The amount of information transmitted by human languages per unit time may be constant across most human languages. Researchers measured the rate at approximately 39 bits per second, and found that some languages were able to encode concepts more succinctly than others.

Mel, N7GCO, winds power cables onto these "cable donuts" to keep excess amounts neat. You can find similar ones using a search engine.

When restoring or fixing gear, sometimes "coil dope" is called for as a coating to keep wires in place for coils, or to moisture proof components. Here's an Instructable on how one person made their own with a solvent and polystyrene peanuts.

Plasma antennas use plasma instead of metal to form the elements of antennas. The concept was first patented in 1919, but technology to realize them hasn't been practical, and still may not be.

I don't have a specific application for the Milwaukee M12 600MCM Cable Cutter Kit, but I'm still searching. The battery-powered tool will cut smaller wires, so maybe the excuse I'll use is that it will cut more radials to length faster.


Orderly Shutdown

Nobody knows the significant time and investment you've made in this hobby as well as you do. That's why it might be important to you and your family that your equipment is put in good hands in the event that you are no longer able to participate. You should have radio friends you can depend on to handle your gear fairly. Don't forget the takedown of antennas and towers. Be considerate by reserving appropriate compensation for safe, professional removal. Your friends don't want to be climbing towers that they've not maintained. Many more issues are discussed in the article "Silent Key Estate Planning - A Guide," by Dino Papas, KL0S, in the September 2019 issue of QST.

Another thing to consider is formalizing an agreement with family members to keep your Amateur Radio friends informed and involved as your circumstances might change, perhaps suddenly. Family members, even close ones, who are not amateurs may not understand that strong friendships can be made and maintained over the air over years without seeing someone in person. Make sure that your intentions are clear and explicit about who should be kept in the loop, and provide alternate means of contact besides a frequency and a time.

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


19 Sep - 2 Oct 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, Sep 18, 1300z to Sep 18, 1400z and, Sep 18, 1900z to Sep 18, 2000z and, Sep 19, 0300z to Sep 19, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: September 21.

NAQCC CW Sprint, Sep 19, 0030z to Sep 19, 0230z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; RST + (state/province/country) + (NAQCC No./power); Logs due: September 22.

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

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

AGB NEMIGA Contest, Sep 20, 2100z to Sep 21, 0000z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 80m Only; AGB Member: RST + QSO No. + Member No., non-Member: RST + QSO No.; Logs due: October 20.

Collegiate QSO Party, Sep 21, 0000z to Sep 22, 2359z; CW/Digital, Phone, Digital; Bands: All, except WARC; School Name/abbreviation + RS(T) + operating class; Logs due: October 15.

Scandinavian Activity Contest, CW, Sep 21, 1200z to Sep 22, 1200z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: September 27.

All Africa International DX Contest, Sep 21, 1200z to Sep 22, 1200z; CW, SSB, RTTY; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: October 7.

SRT HF Contest SSB, Sep 21, 1300z to Sep 22, 1300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RS + CQ Zone; Logs due: see rules.

Iowa QSO Party, Sep 21, 1400z to Sep 22, 0200z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: All, except WARC and 60m; IA: RS(T) + County, non-IA: RS(T) + (state/province/"DX"); Logs due: October 22.

QRP Afield, Sep 21, 1500z to Sep 21, 2100z; All; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RS(T) + (state/province/country) + (power or NE QRP No.); Logs due: October 20.

Wisconsin Parks on the Air, Sep 21, 1600z to Sep 21, 2300z; SSB, FM; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 2m; WI Park: park abbreviation, Non-Park: (state/prvince/country); Logs due: September 30.

New Hampshire QSO Party, Sep 21, 1600z to Sep 22, 0400z and, Sep 22, 1600z to Sep 22, 2200z; CW/Digital, Phone; Bands: All, except WARC; NH: RS(T) + county, non-NH W/VE: RS(T) + (state/province), DX: RS(T) + "DX"; Logs due: October 31.

New Jersey QSO Party, Sep 21, 1600z to Sep 22, 0359z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; NJ: RS(T) + county, non-NJ: RS(T) + (state/province/"DX"); Logs due: October 1.

Washington State Salmon Run, Sep 21, 1600z to Sep 22, 0700z and, Sep 22, 1600z to Sep 23, 0000z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2m; WA: RS(T) + County, non-WA: RS(T) + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 6.

Feld Hell Sprint, Sep 21, 1800z to Sep 21, 1959z; Feld Hell; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; (see rules); Logs due: September 25.

Classic Exchange, Phone, Sep 22, 1300z to Sep 23, 0700z and, Sep 24, 1300z to Sep 25, 0700z; AM, SSB, FM; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2m; Name + RS + (state/province/country) + rcvr/xmtr manuf/model; Logs due: November 1.

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

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

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

UKEICC 80m Contest, Sep 25, 2000z to Sep 25, 2100z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; 4-Character grid square; Logs due: September 25.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, Data, Sep 26, 1900z to Sep 26, 2030z; RTTY, PSK; Bands: 80m Only; [other station's call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: September 29.

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

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

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY, Sep 28, 0000z to Sep 30, 0000z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; 48 States/Canada: RST + CQ Zone + (state/VE area), All Others: RST + CQ Zone; Logs due: October 4.

Maine QSO Party, Sep 28, 1200z to Sep 29, 1200z; CW, Phone; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; ME: RS(T) + county, non-ME: RS(T) + (state/province/"DX"); Logs due: October 14.

QCX Challenge, Sep 30, 1300z to Sep 30, 1400z and, Sep 30, 1900z to Sep 30, 2000z and, Oct 1, 0300z to Oct 1, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: October 3.

IQRP Quarterly Marathon, Oct 1, 0800z to Oct 7, 2000z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: All; RS(T); Logs due: October 21.

Phone Fray, Oct 2, 0230z to Oct 2, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: September 20.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Oct 2, 1300z to Oct 2, 1400z and, Oct 2, 1900z to Oct 2, 2000z and, Oct 3, 0300z to Oct 3, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: September 21.

UKEICC 80m Contest, Oct 2, 2000z to Oct 2, 2100z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; 4-Character grid square; Logs due: September 25.


ARRL EME Contest, Sep 21, 0000z to Sep 22, 2359z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 50-1296 MHz; Signal report; Logs due: December 17.

ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest, Sep 21, 0600 (local) to Sep 23, 0000 (local); Any; Bands: 10 GHz to light; 6-Character Maidenhead Locator; Logs due: October 22.

SARL VHF/UHF Digital Contest, Sep 21, 1000z to Sep 22, 1000z; Digital; Bands: 50 MHz, 70 MHz, 144 MHz, 432 MHz, 1296 MHz; RST + 6-character grid locator; Logs due: October 14.

144 MHz Fall Sprint, Sep 23, 1900z to Sep 23, 2300z; not specified; Bands: 2m Only; 4-character grid square; Logs due: October 7.

222 MHz Fall Sprint, Oct 1, 1900z to Oct 1, 2300z; not specified; Bands: 222 MHz; 4-character grid square; Logs due: October 15.

AGCW VHF/UHF Contest, Sep 28, 1400z to Sep 28, 1700z (144) and, Sep 28, 1700z to Sep 28, 1800z (432); CW; Bands: 144 MHz, 432 MHz; RST + "/" + Serial No. + "/" Power class + "/" + 6-character grid locator; Logs due: October 14.

Also, see Collegiate QSO Party, Iowa QSO Party, Wisconsin Parks on the Air, New Hampshire QSO Party, Washington State Salmon Run, Feld Hell Sprint, Classic Exchange, Phone, above.


19 Sep - 2 Oct 2019

September 19, 2019

September 20, 2019

September 21, 2019

September 22, 2019

September 23, 2019

September 24, 2019

September 25, 2019

September 26, 2019

September 27, 2019

September 28, 2019

September 29, 2019

September 30, 2019

October 1, 2019

October 2, 2019

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