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Author Topic: QSO Party exchange question?  (Read 1227 times)
KC0PBP
Member

Posts: 24




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« on: March 26, 2003, 06:28:04 PM »

Hi,

I am new to ham and thus new to contesting.  When the
exchange info is listed as 'serial number', is that
literally your radio serial number?

What about SPC? What info is this?

Thanks for the info!

Lance
KC0PBP
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 121



« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2003, 09:16:36 PM »

Serial number is a sequential number for each QSO - in your first QSO you give out 1, next is 2, etc.  Sometimes leading zeroes are added (001, 002, etc.)

To what contest are you referring? (not sure about the "SPC")

Mike N2MG
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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2201




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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2003, 10:13:37 PM »

Hi,

    Welcome to the world of Contesting, as frustrating/aggravating as it may be.  Just remember it's supposed to be fun; I'd recommend you not take it too seriously, or you'll go crazy!  (I give out points on the contests if I can, but I'm definitely NOT a contester; my bnlood pressure would go through the roof if I were; I'm just in it for the fun of making contacts and giving out points.  I DO log the contacts, though, so if there's ever a question, I CAN confirm a contact!)

    BUT, to address your question, "SPC" usually means you report your STATE (US) PROVINCE (Canada) or Country (DX.)
    Good luck, and have fun.  
73,
Larry WA9SVD
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WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20537




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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2003, 05:07:20 PM »

I think the "radio serial number" thing was hilarious, and encourage us all to start there in the future.

Wouldn't it be cool if the first number given out in the contest was 0219378865?

When I'm not entering a "serial number exchange" contest (like November SS), I always start at some number other than one.  I mean, who cares?  The whole reason for exchanging serial numbers is to see if the other guy really copied properly or not.  I've often started out at 1,000.  So, five minutes into my operation, I'm at about 1010.  I do keep track of them, though, and don't repeat any.

Work enough specialty contests, and you'll find some *great* exchanges.  I remember one Sprint where the exchange was "what you had for dinner."  I was giving out "59 Spaghetti."  Now, *that's* a contest.

WB2WIK/6
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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2201




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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2003, 05:46:15 PM »

Hi Steve,

    But won't some of the "non-cognescenti" get really confused if their rigs have alphabetical characters in their "serial number?"  (LOL!)
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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2201




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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2003, 05:52:06 PM »

Hi Steve,
    Next contest, I'llo be sure to give you a 5U4GT-1 number!  ROFL!
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 121



« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2003, 08:35:28 PM »

Non-numeric characters in the serial number would give new meaning to the cut-number problem!

Mike N2MG
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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2201




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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2003, 12:31:35 AM »

OK Mike (N2MG),
    I'm showing my ignorance here.  (I'm not really into contesting, but I like to "give out points...")
      (I just learned that "serial numbers" has no relation to the number of boxes of cereal used by a multi-op station!)
    What do you mean by "cut numbers?"  I'm not familiar with the term.
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 121



« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2003, 10:59:32 AM »

Cut numbers are used quite often in "Serial number" contests on CW.  We are all used to sending a "N" for the 9 in signal reports so contesters use the N in serial numbers as well.  Many contesters use a T for a zero (especially leading zeroes) but some guys take it to the extreme of sending E or S for 5, and A for 1, and even U for 2.  It's debatable if that really speeds things up...some swear by it, others swear at it!

Mike N2MG
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N5CTI
Member

Posts: 69




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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2003, 12:38:20 PM »

So, if you've never contested before, or by the sound of it, you've never participated in that particular contest before, how are you supposed to know what format to use? I haven't noticed it in contest announcements/rules, but maybe I just haven't been paying attention.

Or are you supposed to synthesize it based on the fact that 1) they have to be serialized for verification purposes, if necessary, and 2) you have to report certain information about your contact based on the contest rules? And then we apply our knowledge about message formatting to send things in the right order.

I was looking in the ARRL Operator's Handbook, and when I saw there was a chapter on contesting, and knowing how many contests ARRL sponsors, I thought, "Here, at last, I'll find the authoritative answer to my question about formatting contest contacts." Of course, I was sorely disappointed, because they gave a single example of a contest contact, and didn't explain what all the various parts were.

Guess I'd better go find a contesting Elmer...

73

Boyd / N5CTI
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 121



« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2003, 03:24:26 PM »

You can usually pick up the exchange by listening to a few QSOs, but not always.

I would start by reading the rules for a particular contest. Most of them are on the web somewhere; certainly all the big ones are. Check the eHam calendar for a listing of the major contests - some other calendars have far more depth. For those, try searching the eHam links for "calendar".

http://www.sk3bg.se/contest/

is HUGE.

The ARRL website has one, and www.contesting.com...

I highly recommend trying to find a local contesting Elmer.

73 Mike N2MG
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 121



« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2003, 03:31:13 PM »

To the question re: cut numbers - their use is far less common than might have been indicated.

You are never required to use them... but they are used from time to time.  WPX CW is the biggest contest in which you'll hear their use regularly.  In my limited WPX experience, Europeans (mostly eastern) use them the most - perhaps they like to fluster we poor, CW-challenged Americans. ;-)

You will VERY rarely hear them (other than the N for 9 and T for zero) in a domestic contest such as Sweepstakes or a QSO party.

73 Mike N2MG

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WA9SVD
Member

Posts: 2201




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« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2003, 05:16:11 PM »

Mike,

    Thanks for the explanation.    Even some of us "Oldbies" (after 38 years licensed, I'm hardly a "newbie!") can learn things!  But I think I'll just stick to giving out points.  I find it's more fun that way.  With the modest station I have, I'm not going to be able to compete with anyone, anyway!  
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AA8RF
Member

Posts: 67




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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2003, 08:50:57 PM »

Something I have always wondered - do the serial numbers *have* to start with 1? What if you started at 4000 or 5000 just for fun? Would the contest body disqualify you? Or it might be entertaining to give out fractional numbers like 102.5...

-Jim
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N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 121



« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2003, 02:08:49 PM »

Lots of folks start at a higher number than 1.  The contest log checking software is SUPPOSED to compare what is logged to what is logged...not anything else.

Of course, some contests might stipulate that you start with "1", but I've never heard of anyone getting DQed for breaking that "rule".

Mike N2MG
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