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Contesting 101. Presentation to The Great Lakes Division Symposium September 12, 2009 By Dave Pruett, K8CC. Dave Pruett, K8CC. Amateur since 1969 Contesting since 1971 Great Lakes Division Representative to the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee

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Contesting 101

Contesting 101

Presentation to

The Great Lakes Division Symposium September 12, 2009

By Dave Pruett, K8CC


Dave pruett k8cc
Dave Pruett, K8CC

  • Amateur since 1969

  • Contesting since 1971

  • Great Lakes Division Representative to the ARRL Contest Advisory Committee

  • Volunteer ARRL Contest Log Checker for the ARRL 160M and 10M Contests

  • Former editor of the National Contest Journal (NCJ)

  • Chairman of the Michigan QSO Party


What is a contest
What Is A Contest?

An on-air operating event with pre-determined rules, where amateur stations achieve a score through completing contacts with each other, exchanging information dictated by the contest rules.

Examples: Field Day, SS, OhQP, etc.


Why participate in a contest
Why participate in a contest?

  • It’s fun!

  • Make contacts for awards

  • Sense of achievement from seeing your callsign in the published results

  • Make a lot of contacts in a short period of time

  • To compete!


Why participate in a contest1
Why participate in a contest?

  • Improve personal operating skills

  • Become familiar with propagation

  • Reason to improve your station

  • Prove out your station and become familiar with it’s capabilities

  • Comraderie with fellow contesters


When do contests occur
When do contests occur?

In general, contests occur the same weekend every year, which helps when planning your participation.

The WA7BNM Contest Calendar:

www.hornucopia.com/contestcal


Who may participate in a contest
Who may participate in a contest?

  • In most contests, all stations are welcome to join in. (In a few contests, only members of the sponsoring organization may participate).

  • No pre-registration required

  • No problem if you decide not to submit an entry to the contest sponsor


How does someone participate in a contest
How does someone participate in a contest?

  • Get on the air and work other stations according to the contest rules

  • Submit an entry to the contest organizers (optional)

  • Enjoy the published results (optional)


Does my station need anything special to participate in a contest
Does my station need anything special to participate in a contest?

Nothing special is needed – any station capable of making on-the-air contacts is perfectly ready to participate in a contest




How are contests scored
How are contests scored? contest?

Score = Contact Points x “Multiplier”

  • Each contact receives a point value based on contest rules

  • The “multiplier” is usually the number of geographic entities contacted, sometimes counted separately by band or mode as defined by contest rules


Scoring example ohqp
Scoring Example: OhQP contest?

  • OhQP counts 2 points for each CW QSO and 1 point for each phone QSO

  • OhQP counts multipliers separately by mode

    CW: 50 contacts, 25 multipliers

    Phone: 100 contacts, 40 multipliers

    Score = (50 x 2 + 100 x 1) x (25 + 40)

    13,000 points


How to get started in contesting
How to get started in contesting contest?

JUST DO IT! Don’t be afraid to jump in

Many hams get their first exposure to contest-style operating during ARRL Field Day

Domestic contests like the ARRL Sweepstakes or state QSO parties are also good opportunities for first-time contesters


How to enter a contest
How to enter a contest contest?

In general, the entrant must provide the contest sponsors with:

  • A log of all contacts claimed

  • A summary of information about their entry

  • In some cases a list of claimed multipliers and a duplicate QSO check sheets may be required


How to enter a contest1
How to enter a contest contest?

In most cases, the entry can be either physical “paper” documents or an “electronic” log file. The requirements for submitting may be different for each type.

A paper log must be mailed to the contest sponsors, while the electronic file may be sent via e-mail.


Paper entry examples
Paper Entry Examples contest?

Log Sheet

Summary Sheet


Paper entry examples1
Paper Entry Examples contest?

Multiplier Check Sheet

Duplicate Check Sheet



Cabrillo electronic log file
Cabrillo Electronic Log File contest?

START-OF-LOG:2.0

CREATED-BY:NA Version 10.65

CONTEST:ARRL-FIELD-DAY

CALLSIGN:K8MAD

ARRL-SECTION:MI

OPERATORS:K8CC, K8MR, K8RM, K9NW, KU8E, W8AJ

CATEGORY:MULTI-ONE ALL LOW

CLAIMED-SCORE:9782

CLUB:Mad River Radio Club

SOAPBOX:Severe rainstorm ripped open the tent

NAME:David A. Pruett, K8CC

ADDRESS:2727 Harris Road

ADDRESS:Ypsilanti, MI 48198 USA

QSO: 7044 CW 2001-06-23 1802 K8MAD 2A OH W9UUU 4A IN

QSO: 7044 CW 2001-06-23 1803 K8MAD 2A OH W8RS 1A MI

QSO: 14016 CW 2001-06-23 1804 K8MAD 2A OH W6UW 1A SCV

QSO: 7044 CW 2001-06-23 1805 K8MAD 2A OH W3BTN 3A EPA

QSO: 7044 CW 2001-06-23 1805 K8MAD 2A OH K8TKA 5A OH

QSO: 50 PH 2001-06-23 1805 K8MAD 2A OH W8DXA 2A OH

QSO: 7044 CW 2001-06-23 1806 K8MAD 2A OH W8ZPF 2A OH

QSO: 7044 CW 2001-06-23 1806 K8MAD 2A OH KN1DX 1D VA

END-OF-LOG:


Contest logging programs
Contest Logging Programs contest?

  • CT by K1EA www.k1ea.com

  • NA by K8CC www.datomonline.com

  • TR Log by N6TR www.trlog.com

  • WriteLogwww.writelog.com

  • N1MM Logger www.pages.cthome.net/n1mm

  • WinTestwww.win-test.com

  • SD by EI5DI www.ei5di.com

  • N3FJP Contest Log www.n3fjp.com


Multi operator contesting
Multi-Operator Contesting contest?

  • A multi-operator station is where several operators join together to operate in a contest as a single entry

  • All contacts are made under a single callsign

  • Depending on contest rules, the team may operate one radio (single-transmitter) or multiple radios (multi-transmitter)

  • The final score is calculated from all contacts made


Club competition
Club Competition contest?

  • Many contests have a “Club Competition”, where club member’s scores are added together as a total attributed to the club. The club with the most points wins.

  • The club competition score does not affect the members individual scores for competition, awards, etc.


Club competition example
Club Competition Example contest?

Eight scores for the 2008 MI QSO Party had Blossomland ARA listed as their club:

The Blossomland ARA Club Competition score is 296,731

Blossomland ARA Logs

N8SS 240,684

K9RON 25,317

KX8D 14,775

W8BYC 5,100

KF8Z 3,698

KD8GRG 3,626

N8KBG 3,432

KC8YEJ 99

Total296,731

All entries were also scored individually in their respective categories


Contesting 1011

Contesting contest? 101

Questions?