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Author Topic: ARRL 10 meter contest (this weekend)  (Read 8396 times)
WS4T
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Posts: 179




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« on: December 07, 2010, 01:32:26 AM »

Anybody else excited about this weekend and the ARRL 10 meter contest?

Last year I managed a grand total of 4 QSOs. Hope to at least double that this year.  Wink

I did manage to put up a hexbeam so I am in better shape than last year.

During CQ WW CW, the band seemed very alive from here when I listened on Sunday morning (although I did 80m singleband).

73,
Gary, ES1WST
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WX7G
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Posts: 5917




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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 08:42:31 AM »

I'll be working the 10 meter contest. I run CW and make a few Q's using meteor scatter. That's why the exchange should be short and sweet without repeats as a meteor scatter opening may last just a few seconds.
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WA8UEG
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Posts: 336




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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 12:08:18 PM »

I am looking forward to it. Worked Reunion Island this morning on 10 SSB so hope it's a good sign for this weekend.
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K5TEN
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Posts: 143


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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 12:50:23 PM »

NEW:  Scoring change to allow multiplier credit for Mexican States (over 30) so if there's some short-hop look for scores to sky-rocket from now on.

To help a bit...most Spanish speaking stations do not use the same phonetic alphabet that we do and Mexican stations will most likely identify their state in Spanish and then a three letter abreviation for their state in Spanish phonetics...here is a list of Spanish frequently used phonetics.  Please bear with me if the Spanish word is misspelled but the phonetic pronouncing in () will be correct to help you say it right on the air.

A  Alpha or America   (Ah-mahr-ee-ka)
B  Bravo
C  Canada   (Kan-ah-DA)
D  Dinamarca   (DEEN-ah-mark-ah)
E  Eduardo   (Ed-ward-oh)
F  Franzia or Francisco
G  Golfo or Guatamala
H  Hotel or Honduras  (Hon-dur-asss)    H is almost silent
I   Italia  (EE-tal-ee-ah)
J   Julio   (Hoo-lee-O)
K  Kilo
L  Lima or Leonardo  (Leo-narrr-doh)
M Mexico  (May-hee-ko)
N Novembre  (No-vem-bray)
O Ontario   (own-TAH-ree-oh)
P  Papa  (Pah-Pah)
Q  Quebec  (Kay-bek)
R  Romeo  (ro-MAY-oh)
S  Santiago  (San-tee-Aah-go)
T  Tango  (Tan-go)
U  Universidad   (OO-nee-vers-ey-DAHHD)
V  Victoria   (Veek-tor--ee-ah)
W  Washington  (War--sheeng-TON)
X  Xeliphono  (EEX-zeel-ee-fon-o)
Y  Yankee  (Yang-kee)
Z  Zanzibar  (ZAN-zee-bahrrrr)

Learning these will definitely speed up the contact and ensure you have the correct Mexican state in the log for the multiplier.  If they use the regular Standard English phnetic, great--if not, this list will help you to get the 100% info in the log this weekend

73

Bruce

PS--There are some quasi-standard Spanish phonetics but these are the ones I hear and use most on the air.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 05:24:36 PM by Bruce Dale Brady » Logged
K5TEN
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Posts: 143


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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 01:08:38 PM »

Meteor Scatter  

While there are some authorities in the scientific community who believe meteor scatter
rarely occurs as propagation phenomenon on ten meters and it does indeed exist there.  Even the
ARRL acknowledges this by placing the ARRL Ten Meter Contest at a time in December
when there is a regular and reliable annual show so there will at least be some form of
propagation—even in times of a solar minimum-- the Geminids.  Geminids produces
rates of between 60 and 80 meteors per hour typically, however there is controversy
amongst some scientists that this number is steadily increasing year to year and they don't seem to
have figured out why.  This group of meteors is believed to be debris from the tail of an
ancient comet.  Most meteors are about the size of a grain of sand or even pea sized, however,
there have been meteors as large as a mile or so in diameter that have struck the Earth in antiquity
but this area of debris does not seem to have any that large.


For the most part, we shall be concentrating on the garden variety "grain of sand" sized
meteors.  These tiny QSO generators are strinking the far upper region of the ionisphere
at thousands of miles per hour.  They burn up in the upper atmosphere (approximately
60 to 80 miles above the Earth) and what you are actually seeing when you see a meteor
enter the atmosphere with the naked eye are the burning of gases from the heat that the
meteor generates as it plumets at hyper-speed through the atmosphere.  The trail that can
be seen is actually an ionized atmosphere that remains ionized for a short period of
time allowing radio amateurs to make short contacts in the time frame that the gases are
still ionized.


There are conflicting schools of thought on the exact time the gasses will remain ionized
to make a contact.  Personally, my observations have been anywhere from :30 seconds to
just less than a minute at 28 mHz.  In some instances it has even been less, say :15 to :20
seconds. This phenomenon also has been observed at 50 mHz, 144 mHz, 220 MHz, to
a lesser extent on 432 mHz.  All with differering lengths of time that the gasses remain
ionized to make a contact on each band.


There is a secret to using meteor scatter to your advantedge on ten meters: BREVITY!  In
A contest situation, (again, using the annual ARRL Ten Meter Contest as a reference)
once all the E and F layer propagation is gone for the day you have two choices.  You can
either pick a frequency and call CQ or go hunting and pouncing for others calling CQ.
 

Keep in mind you may only have :15 to :45 seconds maximum to make your contact
exchange!  Neither you or the person you are in contact with have time to exchange
pleasantries, exchange recipies, or discuss your favorite sports teams. 


If you are answering a meteor scatter CQ, give the report and exchange information and
your done!  The CQ’ing station might even have enough time to make yet another contact
off that same meteor trail.  If you are the one calling CQ, make the exchange and speak
distinctly!   Chances are that if the station answering your CQ needs a second or even
third try to get the callsign and exchange information correct that the meteor trail will
dissolve and your chances of making it a valid exchange will highly diminish.


If you are the station calling CQ during a meteor scatter event it is highly advised to call
CQ in the briefest possible way.   I use “CQ (Contest)-Kilo-Five-Tango-Echo-
November”. 


That’s it.  Nothing fancy, nothing longer.  I can do this in about three seconds.  I usually
leave about two to three seconds of space in between.  If no stations are heard replying, I
repeat the call again.  If another radio amateur drops their callsign in, make the exchange
as quickly as possible, but again speak as clearly as possible to avoid having to re-send.
You just might get a chance to work a second station off the same meteor “ping” as well.


If you are in a meteor scatter situation and are unable to make the complete exchange, or
if you are even remotely unsure that both exchanges were complete, or the other station
dropped out and the “ping” was over, scratch the contact as a “busted” or incomplete
contact.  Your chances of having another meteor entering the atmosphere at exactly the
speed, angle, location, etc. that occurred for the first attempt for a second attempt to get
the QSO valid in the log are remote .  This is exactly the reason to work fast
and speak distinctly.  Getting the exchange correct the first time through will save on
logging and scoring headaches later.


(The above text Copyright © 2010, all rights reserved)




73  (and good luck!)

Bruce




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WS4T
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 06:04:54 AM »

Bruce,

Thanks for the interesting details about meteor scatter!

Otherwise: Conditions are miserable here today (Thursday, December 9). I called CQ for a while and got zero replies. Our nearest receiving station (SK6NL) is confirming what I'm (not) hearing: http://sm6knl.se/faros/Gif/

Unfortunately, 10m is very hard from this far north (59N) at this part of the solar cycle. But I'll be there on Saturday/Sunday. I plan to let N1MM call CQ for me and do some other work on the computer while I'm waiting!

73,
Gary
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1097




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« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 06:00:54 PM »

I'll be on too, but I am NOT expecting much.
With a solar-flux in the mid-upper 80's
we won't get much help from Ole Sol on 10m.
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K5TR
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Posts: 385


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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 11:43:46 AM »

Even with the low solar flux there is still a good chance of sporadic E this weekend - the solar flux has been low for this contest for a number of years now but people are still making 1000 or more contacts.  If you dont hear anything on the band when you listen just keep coming back and dont forget to tune through it several times as you can tune past people that at CQing if you do it when they are listening. 

I would also expect conditions to be good enough to have openings from the USA to South America and on
other paths that cross the equator. 

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George
K5TR
WB2WIK
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Posts: 20542




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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 03:30:32 PM »

If everybody listens, nobody hears anything.

Call CQ.  A lot.  More often if you hear nothing.  Much less required if the band's full of signals.
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KC0W
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Posts: 45




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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 05:25:46 PM »

Not expecting much, but as always, count me in!!!


 Tom KCØW
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1097




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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 05:46:44 PM »

Even with the low solar flux there is still a good chance of sporadic E this weekend - the solar flux has been low for this contest for a number of years now but people are still making 1000 or more contacts.  If you dont hear anything on the band when you listen just keep coming back and dont forget to tune through it several times as you can tune past people that at CQing if you do it when they are listening. 

I would also expect conditions to be good enough to have openings from the USA to South America and on
other paths that cross the equator. 


/sarcasm ON/
Yeah...The sporatic E is REALLY COOKING !!!!
In almost 2 hours, 4 Q's
2 CW
and
2 phone

One with K5TR

Can't hear the stations because of all the LOUD noise
from the crickets chirping !!!

/sarcasm off/
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N4OGW
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Posts: 285




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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 06:28:52 AM »

And don't assume it stops when the sun goes down: even way past sunset there was lot of activity on friday night here. 10 was open to the west (TX,CA,...) and later (10:30 PM) to northeast from here.

Tor
N4OGW/5
Starkville, MS
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K5TR
Administrator

Posts: 385


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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 08:43:58 AM »

I have a guest op this weekend and I think he had about 500 contacts last night in the first six hours of the contest so at least for him the sporadic E was cooking.

Hope you get some at some point during the weekend.

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George
K5TR
KC0W
Member

Posts: 45




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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 04:57:07 PM »

Just as I thought, the contest so far has been a complete joke as of writing this. (Saturday evening)

 Worked a dozen or so Caribbean & South American stations along with a a pair of Alaskan stations, other than that the band was completely dead here into North Dakota................Maybe propagation will improve on Sunday? It surely can't get any worse!!!  Smiley



                                   
                                           Tom KCØW
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N0UY
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Posts: 158




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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2010, 05:59:50 AM »

We all get a little spoiled working contests with decent band conditions and all the tools we use on a regular basis.    This contest here in Northern Minnesota reminds me a lot of what it is like working the ARRL VHF in September and especially January.  Got to be listening constantly and rotating the antenna almost continuously.  Then if you run a low power station you've got to have some luck on your side also.   No body said this hobby was supposed to be easy.  If it was, I'd have to find something else to do that would give me a sense of accomplishment.  Just wait.  It won't be long and this contest will be like shooting ducks at the county fair. Hi.  It's just not going to happen in this one.

Ray
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