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Contesting, but not for prizes

Jul 22nd 2011, 03:51

kp4ray

Joined: Jul 11th 2007, 14:52
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Is it permissible or okay to make QSOs during contest venues as a means to increase DXCC/WAS, etc contacts totals without submitting logs or check-logs? As an new entrant, there's no way to even come close to honorable mention, so why submit formal logs?

QSOs are valuable to the other operator, but how will they be verified for scoring purposes without some sort of log?
Jul 22nd 2011, 11:26

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Contests are a GREAT way to make contacts for various awards, or just for the sheer joy of working a rare country. Most contesters do log their contacts, both to submit their logs for the contest, but also to be able to QSL the contact later for those seeking awards. Many contesters also upload their logs to ARRL's Logbook of the World, which automatically confirms the contact for many ARRL awards.

If the other operator does not upload LoTW logs, or even if you just prefer "real" QSLs, you would seek a QSL from the contest station in the same way as you would for any other station. For US stations, sending your own card, with a QSL request, and a self-addressed stamped envelope should be sufficient, and most contesters do QSL because they hope they will work you again in future contests.

For overseas contacts, you should probably do a Google search on the call sign of the station, followed by the words QSL. This way, if there are any specific QSL instructions for that station, you can follow them. For many countries, it is possible to send cards to the incoming QSL bureau of the country where the station is located, if the operator has permanent residence there.

It is not necessary for you to submit a log to the contest for you to count as a valid point for the other station, or for you to seek a QSL from the contest station. He or she is most happy to have worked you and added some points.

Having said that, I do encourage all who participate in a contest to send in a log. This is a good way to ensure that the contest sponsor has a good idea of the activity level in the contest. Contests have been cancelled due to poor turnout, and logs show a serious level of interest in a contest. You may want to use the contest again in the future to add a few more new ones to your QSO collection. Your log also serves a valuable role in helping the contest sponsor verify that the stations that worked you accurately copied the contest exchange.

I participate in many contests casually, although once in a while, I like to put in a full effort. My station is modest, QRP on HF to a wire antenna, so I won't "win" the contest, but it is fun to give out some points, work a few new ones and see if I can beat my last year's performance, or beat out a few close friends with similar modest stations.

Most contesters started out casually, so you may find yourself bitten by the contest bug. Even if not, each of us should enjoy the contest in our own way, and operate for our own reasons. The important part is that you continue to enjoy the many, many things that you can do with your Amateur license.

Welcome to Amateur Radio!

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Jul 22nd 2011, 16:16

N5KM

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Ray,

I, too, would suggest submitting your logs. You may be surprised at
the results. Some of the smaller contests don't have thousands of
entrants so you may do well enough to win. I have many awards/prizes
for what I considered non-winning scores: Many certificates, a T-shirt,
a wine glass (California QSO Party), etc. These were totally unexpected.
A friend even won a VHF contest with just 84 contacts. So please
submit those logs.

73 and good contesting.
Jul 24th 2011, 01:56

kp4ray

Joined: Jul 11th 2007, 14:52
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Many thanks to both colleagues - I am active on LoTW, maintain my own accurate log, and have submitted contest as well as check-logs in the past. Your responses have given me good information and will pursue the log submission process. 73 from KP4RAY.
Jul 26th 2011, 12:51

w1rfi

Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Many contesters routinely submit their logs to LoTW, so if they confirm the contact there, unless you want a paper QSL, you have the contact confirmed for most ARRL awards. The Leauge is also adding other non-ARRL awards to the program, but that will take time, so if you are pursuing other awards, you may still want a physical card. Some hams are QSLing only via LoTW, but most are still willing to send a paper card for an SASE, an SAE and IRCs or an SAE and "green stamp."

It sounds like you're having some fun with all this, and that's more important than the QSL!

73,
Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL Lab
Technical forums moderator
Jul 28th 2011, 21:54

K4RO

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
It's definitely permissible to make QSOs for non-contest awards, but it's helpful to everyone when you submit your contest log to the sponsor. It helps you by providing a detailed report on your own copying accuracy. It helps other operators by providing more data to cross-check with their accuracy reports, and it helps the sponsor to more fairly adjudicate the final results. Please consider submitting your contest logs. If you wish to have your log omitted from the scoring results, just submit a check log.
Nov 10th 2012, 08:59

K7EVI

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I got to work about 35 minutes of one contest --- and got a certificate for the top score in my county with, as I remember, 28 contacts or so. AND PLEASE submit your log, both to the sponsor and to LoTW and to eQSL. as AG. If you enjoy the contact, the ham you contact may want the credit, also. Those two verifiers handle different awards.

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