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Author Topic: WW WPX Contest  (Read 579 times)
K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« on: May 26, 2007, 08:37:28 AM »

So, I think this is the contest I was copying on 40 m last night.  I could not tell for sure because I never copied anything that seemed to hint what contest this was.  But, the CW was so fast that maybe I missed something.

However, it seemed to me that the most common transmission to raise a station was "TEST callsign".  For example, if I were sending it would be "TEST K7PEH".  So, is this the normal protocol.  I never heard any CQ or anything like that.  Heard a bunch of 5NN though when the signal report is being sent.

Those who are regular contesters may take all this for granted but for us who are really new to this stuff (and, still relatively new to CW) it is really difficult to figure out what is being sent.  The main problem I have is that the speed is so fast (~35 wpm probably on average) that I need repeats to get things like call signs so when something is not repeated a lot I miss it entirely.

So, some questions....

1.  Do you just send "TEST callsign" to raise a station or am I missing something else?

2.  How do you respond to a station?  Just by his call sign and yours.  I ask this because a lot of times I couldn't hear the other station or the bands were so crowded I couldn't even easily tell who was responding to whom.

3.  Do you wait for an established contact before the exchange or do you just assume the other guy copies you on the first response.  Again, this question is asked because it does not seem to be that there is much that is exchanged.
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KQ6UP
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Posts: 136




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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2007, 09:34:46 AM »

I am a total CW newbie too.  So maybe I can help from a neophyte's perspective.  I have been hacking at CW since I was 12, but this is the first time I have really taken it seriously.

OK, it is the WPX contest.

Calling station sends (C from now on):

CQ CQ TEST W6WPX

Recieving station sends (R from now on):

W2REC

C: UR 599 013 BK  (the number is the serial number of the contact)

R: RR UR 599 105 BK

C: TU (Short for Thank you)

That is it.  I worked about 15 Q's last night, but some times it would take 10 minutes for me to copy the call because they send it so freakin fast and so few times.  I wish some ops would send slower so the newbies would have a chance.  They won't QRS either.  Probably the best thing for newbies is to send really slow and call CQ, and keep sending ??  Every time they come back at 20 gazillion wpm.

Just my $.02,

Chris KQ6UP
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KQ6UP
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 09:38:23 AM »

Correction to my last post:

The calling station replies to the receiving station too.

R: W2REC

C: W2REC

R: UR 599 105 BK

C: RR UR 599 013 TU

Chris KQ6UP
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2801




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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 09:51:18 AM »

Very often in a CW contest, the "CQ" is dispensed with.  No problems there; no actual REQUIREMENT to use CQ.  "Test" is just the abbreviated form of "contest", and ofen sounds like "NST" because the T and the E are forced together to save time.  Again, no legal problems there.

So my sending "TEST (or NST) K7KBN" in a CW contest would be perfectly legal.  Someone answering in the heat of the contest would call me just using their own call.  No "K7KBN de K7PEH K", just "K7PEH".

Still legal.

I'd reply "K7PEH 5NN xxx", the xxx being a QSO serial number, my state, or whatever the contest rules require.  Then I'd stop sending.  You'd reply "TU 599 xxx".  I'd say "TU TEST K7KBN".

That's about it.  QSO complete, everything legal except for the requirement to identify on the last transmission, which is usually overlooked in contests.

Now, on phone during contests, it's usually "CQ CONTEST FROM K7KBN CONTEST".  "K7PEH". "K7PEH five nine xxx".  "Five nine xxx" "Thank you K7KBN contest".
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 10:15:06 AM »

The following is for "hunt and pounce", which is usually best for beginners.

1.  Often in contests, the calling station will indeed just go "TEST callsign".

2.  Once you know for sure what their call sign is, then drop in just your call sign.  DO NOT transmit if you don't yet know their call sign.

3.  When you here your call sign sent back to you, just drop in the exchange, i.e. "5NN xxx" for this contest where xxx is serial number.  If you think they missed part of your call, drop in "call 5NN xxx" instead.  This varies a bit but a lot of contesters want exchanges to be as brief and quick as possible.

4.  They will usually send back the exchange & TU (thank you).  Nothing further is required from you.  If you need a fill, this is when you ask for it.  However if you do not intend to send in your log to the contest sponsor (i.e. you are just after the DX contact), I wouldn't worry about fills.
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N8UZE
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Posts: 1524




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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 10:19:49 AM »

EDITED, I goofed a bit.

The following is for "hunt and pounce", which is usually best for beginners.

1.  Often in contests, the calling station will indeed just go "TEST callsign".

2.  Once you know for sure what their call sign is, then drop in just your call sign.  DO NOT transmit if you don't yet know their call sign.

3.  The station will send your call back to you at this time with their half of the exchange.  If you need a fill, this is when you ask for it.  If you don't plan to send in the log (i.e. you are just looking for DX contacts), I'd skip the fill so as not to slow them down.

4.  After getting the fill, send your exchange "5NN xxx" where xxx is the serial number.  If they missed part of your call (i.e. only sent a partial back to you), then send "call 5NN xxx".

5.  They will then send something like "TU" and no further response is needed from you.
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KQ6UP
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 12:41:19 PM »

What is a fill?
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KB9CRY
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Posts: 4283


WWW

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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 03:45:46 PM »

Click on the little word on the left of this page titled,  "Contesting"  You'll then find out if there was a contest on and will link you to the contest rules, once read, will yield what the exchange should be.  Pretty amazing!
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KB9CRY
Member

Posts: 4283


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2007, 03:54:30 PM »

I'd like to add somethings to this excellent post.


The following is for "hunt and pounce", which is usually best for beginners.

1. Often in contests, the calling station will indeed just go "TEST callsign".

2. Once you know for sure what their call sign is, then drop in just your call sign. DO NOT transmit if you don't yet know their call sign.



Correct correct, if they're too fast, move on and find someone you can copy.  



3. The station will send your call back to you at this time with their half of the exchange. If you need a fill, this is when you ask for it. If you don't plan to send in the log (i.e. you are just looking for DX contacts), I'd skip the fill so as not to slow them down.


A fill is some bit of missing information of which you'll send for example, SN? BK



4. After getting the fill, send your exchange "5NN xxx" where xxx is the serial number. If they missed part of your call (i.e. only sent a partial back to you), then send "call 5NN xxx".

5. They will then send something like "TU" and no further response is needed from you.



Actually what normally happens is like this:


Other:  CQ BS7H TEST

Me:  KB9CRY

Other:  KB9CRY 5NN 235   (If it's a serial number, or sometimes it may be power or CQ zone)

Me:  5NN 002 TU


That's it.  No other info exchanged.  
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1124




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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2007, 03:55:05 PM »

Thanks guys....these examples are just what I was looking for.  Surprising in that this kind of stuff is never really described anywhere that I can find.

As for the contesting web site or the other contest web sites that describe the contests and the exchanges -- these are well and good and I know all about them.  However, like I said, they do not describe the actual contest protocol of calling and connecting as the examples laid out here have shown.

Unfortunately, the actual exchange is not the mystery, how you go about making the call has been a mystery to me so far.  Oh, I forgot to add, it has been a mystery mainly because the code streams are blazingly fast and it takes awhile for me to pick any of this stuff up.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to join the contest so far today.  I have been out traveling around, showing our visiting friends the Puget Sound region and a few ferry rides.  Not a good day to get on the ferry though, our first was a 90 minute wait.
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KB9CRY
Member

Posts: 4283


WWW

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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2007, 06:42:48 AM »

The National Contest Journal may be one source, once in a while but yes, there is no definitive source on how to contest meaning how to actually make the contacts.  You just learn that from listening and experience.  You'll get there.
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AE6RF
Member

Posts: 151


WWW

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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2007, 10:24:44 AM »

It was actually my experience that most of the folks were going "slow" (~20 WPM) during the bulk of the contest and then sped up a lot as the deadline approached Saturday evening:

            Band : ALL
           Power : HIGH
            Mode : CW
Overlay Category : TB-WIRES
Default Exchange : 001
      Gridsquare : CM87

    ARRL Section : SCV
       Club/Team : Northern California Contest Club
         Software: N1MM Logger V7.4.2

        Band    QSOs    Pts  WPX
         3.5       7      13    3
           7      64     190   48
          14      71      93   51
          21       8      13    2
       Total     150     309  104


           Score : 32,136

My normal exchange is:

Callsign TEST
(Receiver callsign)
Receiver 5NN ###
(R 5NN ### TU)
TU Callsign

73 de Donald
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W4YA
Member

Posts: 317




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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2007, 07:21:27 PM »

There are several DX/Contest radio clubs in your area. If you are not familiar with them, see arrl.org/clubs. They will be glad to help you become familiar with the various CW contests, how to do it, etc. I'm sure some will have Field Day plans with "newbie" stations all set up with people to guide you through it. We were alll "newbies" at one time or another.

FD GOTA stations are great places to learn the ropes first-hand.

73,
Jim W4YA
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