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Author Topic: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend  (Read 11500 times)
K3TN
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Posts: 293


WWW

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« on: March 26, 2013, 03:00:52 AM »

If you are a phone op, and need a break from the Easter Bunny, The WPX SSB contest is this weekend. Full rules can be found here, but the rules are pretty simple: the exchange is signal report plus serial (QSO) number and call sign prefixes are the multipliers - and you get double points for contacts on the low bands. Oh, and contacts with stations from other countries count more, even more if the station is in a different continent.

OK, the rules are pretty complicated, but there is a nice FAQ here.

73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 0



« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 04:46:36 AM »

Yeah, operating the contest is easy.  Give out 59 plus a serial number.  Listen to others and how they do it. And log the contacts.

However, the scoring and category selections can be confusing.
So work the contest and figure out the rest later. ;-)

Of course, you should use a computer logging program - there are plenty of free ones.
To find some, go to eHam's link page (click "Ham Links" in our left menu), choose "Software Freeware/Shareware" as the category and hit "Go".
Then scan the page for logging software. (hint CTRL-F the term "log" l)

73 Mike N2MG
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AB3CX
Member

Posts: 637




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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 01:38:34 PM »

Well, that ruins a contest I usually enjoy doing; who decided Easter Weekend was a good time for it?  The thing is last weekend there was no significant contest on at all.  This is probably the traditional weekend for this contest, but really...
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2238




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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 11:34:27 PM »

(b) Contacts between stations on the same continent, but different countries, are worth one (1) point on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and two (2) points on 7, 3.5, and 1.8 MHz.

Exception: For North American stations only
Contacts between stations within the North American boundaries
(both stations must be located in North America) are worth two
(2) points on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and four (4) points on 7, 3.5,
and 1.8 MHz.

Maybe I am missing something here.....but
Is this fair to the EU Ops?
F station works DL on 20m.......One QSO Point.
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
BUT:
N.A. Station works VE on 20m...TWO QSO Points. Roll Eyes
2 points per 20/15/10m QSO between stations in NA
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
....but EU's get ONE point for same achievement.

Is this fair to the EU Ops?
Instead of calling it WPX SSB,
maybe call it NA SSB
« Last Edit: March 26, 2013, 11:37:38 PM by AD6KA » Logged
K3TN
Member

Posts: 293


WWW

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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 02:46:40 AM »

Well, the NA 2 point rule helps Canadian and Mexican hams, but not so much US hams - there are only 70,000 or so VE hams, which is roughly the same as Germany. If you add up all the EU countries, there are close to 10x as many EU ham as VE/XE - not to mention a lot more active contesters.

A few years ago I wrote a piece on the history of the WPX contest for CQ magazine - the rules have changed constantly over the years for a whole variety of reasons.

John K3TN

(b) Contacts between stations on the same continent, but different countries, are worth one (1) point on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and two (2) points on 7, 3.5, and 1.8 MHz.

Exception: For North American stations only
Contacts between stations within the North American boundaries
(both stations must be located in North America) are worth two
(2) points on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and four (4) points on 7, 3.5,
and 1.8 MHz.

Maybe I am missing something here.....but
Is this fair to the EU Ops?
F station works DL on 20m.......One QSO Point.
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
BUT:
N.A. Station works VE on 20m...TWO QSO Points. Roll Eyes
2 points per 20/15/10m QSO between stations in NA
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
....but EU's get ONE point for same achievement.

Is this fair to the EU Ops?
Instead of calling it WPX SSB,
maybe call it NA SSB

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John K3TN
N2MG
Administrator

Posts: 0



« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 06:00:14 AM »

Well, that ruins a contest I usually enjoy doing; who decided Easter Weekend was a good time for it?  The thing is last weekend there was no significant contest on at all.  This is probably the traditional weekend for this contest, but really...

Well, they didn't "decide" to pick Easter for the weekend. 
Easter moves around significantly from year to year.
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N3QE
Member

Posts: 2367




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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 07:48:02 AM »

There are many little quirks to the WPX rules that make it interesting for those of us with limited operating hours available. Some of the scoring rules seem kind of arbitrary, perhaps even unfair, but they also make it interesting to those who try to maximize points in limited time.

CQ WW also has some interesting scoring rules. For example I could operate S&P, choose my QSO's carefully, and rack up many mults but end up with a score of zero :-).

Tim.

(b) Contacts between stations on the same continent, but different countries, are worth one (1) point on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and two (2) points on 7, 3.5, and 1.8 MHz.

Exception: For North American stations only
Contacts between stations within the North American boundaries
(both stations must be located in North America) are worth two
(2) points on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and four (4) points on 7, 3.5,
and 1.8 MHz.

Maybe I am missing something here.....but
Is this fair to the EU Ops?
F station works DL on 20m.......One QSO Point.
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
BUT:
N.A. Station works VE on 20m...TWO QSO Points. Roll Eyes
2 points per 20/15/10m QSO between stations in NA
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
....but EU's get ONE point for same achievement.

Is this fair to the EU Ops?
Instead of calling it WPX SSB,
maybe call it NA SSB

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KD8IZZ
Member

Posts: 282




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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 03:49:04 PM »

This should be a good chance to get some new countries. I need so much of Asia still and a few easy ones elsewhere. However, I'm not optimistic about 10 meters being open.
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W6UV
Member

Posts: 540




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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2013, 02:02:43 PM »

I'm not optimistic about 10 meters being open.

There's only one visible sunspot group at the moment on the earth-facing side of the sun, so 10 meters is probably not going to be in good shape. STEREO A and B show some groups that should rotate into view soon and boost the flux -- let's hope they arrive in time for the contest.
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2013, 09:03:04 AM »

...so 10 meters is probably not going to be in good shape. STEREO A and B show some groups that should rotate into view soon and boost the flux -- let's hope they arrive in time for the contest.

At noon Saturday (16:00Z) here on the east coast of the USA, it's pretty thin pickings.  I'm getting some Europeans on 15, but 10 and 20 have both been painfully quiet.  Fingers crossed for later.
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2013, 01:44:20 PM »

...10 and 20 have both been painfully quiet.  Fingers crossed for later.

Just turned the radio back on after doing some chores, and worked two ZLs and 5W in the space of 5 minutes, on 10 meters.  :-)  Good example of why you shouldn't look at the solar flux numbers and decide there's no point in trying ten meters, it's always worth turning on the rig and *listening*.  :-)
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AJ4RW
Member

Posts: 568




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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2013, 04:25:07 AM »

Even though there's a lot of good DX to be had this weekend, I've also noticed that the bands haven't quite been up to par.  15 meters has always been fairly easy to get a good run going with EU and some Africa but this contest it hasn't happened so far.  Signals from EU haven't been as strong as they normally are and even quite a few NA's haven't as good a signal as expected.  Hope today gets better.

Randy
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NV2A
Member

Posts: 141




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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2013, 07:44:59 AM »

I am simply curious but I expect some hostility on the answers:

Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything for you but type in the info?  If you do it with a FT DX 5000MP, it covers 10 bands with 3 registers each for a total of 30 possible places to leave the "memory button" turned on.  If you do, it won't work right.  Took me 3 days to figure out what was going on but it's really slick software for FREE.
 Grin
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2013, 10:06:39 AM »

I am simply curious but I expect some hostility on the answers:  Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything for you but type in the info? 

In my case, I'm just REAL old-fashioned, and I don't know what this software will do for me that I'd want.   I generally write callsign and time, and the exchange, on paper while I'm playing in a contest or working a little DX.  Then I transfer it to a MS-Access database I use for a log.  That does everything I want; click a button to see what bands/modes I have this or that country on, print QSLs, that sort of thing.   

I've really never tried any real logging software, and don't know what it would do for me.  I'm old-fashioned enough that I don't look at the cluster much, and while I *can* log directly into a light front-end for my database, I rarely have the computer on when I'm playing on HF, unless I"m doing RTTY or PSK.

I guess if I knew I could export data from a logging program into Access, where I can manipulate it and get statistics and that sort of thing, I might try it.  But I've never had enough interest in logging software to try it.    So:  what does N1MM logging do for you that you really like?  Why do you like it so much?  (Note: not being hostile, not a bit; i've just never used logging software and don't know what it does for you.)   --ken
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AC4RD
Member

Posts: 1235




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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2013, 02:28:00 PM »

Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything ..

Ray, I wound up taking a look at N1MM's website, and the logging software does look nice.  I see it integrates with fldigi, which I like, and it appears to have some other nice features.  And it DOES support ADIF output, so I could import contacts from that into my database.  About the only feature it doesn't have that I'd like is running on both Windows and linux machines.  Apart from that, it's definitely interesting.  I may give it a try, just to see.  Thanks for mentioning it!   -ken
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