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Author Topic: Contesting Lite  (Read 709 times)

Posts: 5

« on: April 05, 2004, 03:26:54 PM »

I'm just getting started in HF.  I haven't yet caught the contest bug, but I am interested in making some quick HF contacts offered by other contesters.  Am I doing any harm to make contact but to never submit a log?  It seems sort of pointless to give a sequence number 003 if I'm not going to do anything with it.

And this will sound REALLY STUPID, but I'll ask anyway.  What, exactly, is the signal report "5x9" referring to?  What is 5 and what is 9?  Is it referring to getting an S9 signal over S5 noise?  But that should be 9x5. This seesm to be the kind of thing you would find in some ARRL publication or web site, but so far I've found nothing.

Thanks for tolerating my ignorance!


Posts: 5

« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2004, 04:58:58 PM »

It's best to turn in a log of possible, however...

Casual contacts do make up a significant part of contesting.  I think the treatment of unreciprocated contacts varies by contest, but here's one way:  If there is just one contact with a given callsign, it is thrown out as a glitch (typo, etc.)  If there are several or more contacts with a callsign, it is treated as a casual contester with no submitted logs.  And, of course, if the casual contester submits a log, no matter how small, the contacts are matched up in the usual fashion (same exchange and band, and time within a few minutes, for instance).

So, if you want to make sure you're not causing any "harm", make sure you make at least three or more contacts within a contest if possible.  And, if not, don't worry too much about it.  The really competitive stations have enough QSOs and enough duplicate multipliers that a few blown QSOs are par for the course, and not all that damaging.

Posts: 671

« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2004, 08:12:30 PM »

No, it never hurts to make a contact in any long as you provide the other station with the info HE needs for HIS submission.  So you never go above  Number '03'...[by the way, at least two digits seem to be the general form for numbering Q's]  

For several years now *I* have not submitted a Contest Report, summary.   I have participated in Field Day, the November Sweepstakes and the Ten and 160...ARRL Contests.  My choice has been between just quitting when I got to the Dupe-Sheet-Needed number of contacts, OR....just having some fun and NOT making a submission. I have chosen the latter.

This year, I have obtained a very nice set of programs for Submission Tabulation..I will submit an 'entry' for each contest this year.

As for "Q5" and "S9", don't they use those terms on VHF/UHF ??

Posts: 1524

« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2004, 11:49:01 PM »

5x9 or 59 is the signal report for single sideband.

The first digit is readability and goes from 1 to 5.  Five is easily readable and 1 can't be understood at all.

The second digit is signal strength and is 1 to 9 with 9 being very strong and 1 being very weak.

The two parameters are independent.  Depending on propagation conditions a signal could be strong but unreadable or it could be easily readable but very weak.

59 = easily readable and very strong.
51 = easily readable and very weak.
19 = unreadable but very strong (i.e. static may be interfering for example).

10 over 9 means 10db over a signal strength reading of S9.


59+10 = easily readable and very strong.  It is so strong that the meter shows 10db over the S9 on your meter.

Now this material is covered in the Technician study guides and you should know it.  If you do not, get hold of a copy of "Now You're Talking" and reread that chapter.


Posts: 122

« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2004, 02:15:31 PM »

No dupe sheets needed if you use a computer and submit electronic logs.  Some contest logging software is free (N1MM logger for Windoze and CT for DOS.)

Search eHam's links for more info.

Mike N2MG


Posts: 671

« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2004, 08:22:14 PM »

Yeah... As a shameless plug, the contesting software from N3FJP is beautiful.  Kim and Scott really did it right. You can go to their web page and FREE  download a sample of their skill...  If you like it, $6  lets you register your copy.  Nice people..great program.   GADS! How I hated those @#$%   Dupe Sheets !

Posts: 2

« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2004, 07:15:51 PM »

K5BAW has probably already noticed that 5 x 9 is the only signal report you will hear in a contest. (From a casual contester who tries really hard not to mess up the serious guys...)

Posts: 53

« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2004, 06:43:06 AM »

Contesting Lite?  Is that the low calorie or low carb version?

As mentioned, "unique" callsigns are sometimes tossed out by the contest committees.  That means one that only shows up in one log submitted for the contest.  Therefore you should either try to make several contacts or submit log information.

Submitting log information does NOT require you to be an entrant in the contest.  You can submit a scribbled list of contacts as a "CHECK LOG" and find that it is appreciated by the contest committee as well as the competitors that you do work.  It will serve to verify their contacts and eliminate the "unique" issues.

The exchange of 5/9 + whatever (state, serial number, name, zone, etc) is standard so that the 59 part of it can be mass loaded on a log.  Sending a 57 or 46 signal report (although it may be accurate!) causes the other operator to manually enter that information and do it NOW so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.  It slows them down a tiny bit and the big boys don't like that when they are running 300 contacts an hour!  For instance, 59001 requires the operator to input/log "1" while 46001 requires an entry of "46" and "1".  It isn't much but it is a pain in the proverbial.

The contest operators appreciate the LITE contesters, too.  They are a source of contacts and often multipliers.  If the pool was only the "big boys" it would be a tie as soon as they all worked each other!

Posts: 39

« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2006, 03:54:02 PM »

Interesting to see other Ham Operators answer the contest questions and ignore the more basic "What does 5x9 mean"?  One Ham actually did address it, just that it wasn't used on VHF/UHF.  One Ham did finally explain the signal report.  Man guys, whats up?  This Ham needed help with basic knowledge way before entering a contest, CLEARLY!!  I guess it doesn't matter, just get on the air, give everyone 59 so it doesn't mess up our logs.  Thats nuts.  This is an old post so I don't expect that too many Hams will see it.  K5BAW if you are still on the air and have any questions please don't hesitate to E-Mail me anytime.  I don't know if I can help but I will try.  God Bless!!

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