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Author Topic: Basic questions about contesting  (Read 3662 times)
KF7TUU
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Posts: 4




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« on: July 17, 2012, 07:25:42 PM »

I must first admit that I had a bad attitude about contesting prior to getting my license. as a SWL, i'd come across contests and could not figure out what everyone was so excited about. I was certain I would not be participating in contests and did not see the point.

Then I read the rules and started hearing calls for the IARU championships last weekend and decided to answer a CQ contest. Then another, and another. So I get it now and it's fun.I worked my first DX station too.
 Ive read the rules for some others and have a few questions:
1. What is a "checklog"?
2. what are the serial numbers for?
3. I submitted my logs online for the IARU contest, is this required for the other station to get their points?
4. At this point, i'm finding the appeal in making lots of contacts with brief, defined, exchanges. I'm not so interested in points. Can i still participate or is this frowned on?

Thanks
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K0YHV
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 08:03:36 PM »


1. What is a "checklog"?
2. what are the serial numbers for?
3. I submitted my logs online for the IARU contest, is this required for the other station to get their points?
4. At this point, i'm finding the appeal in making lots of contacts with brief, defined, exchanges. I'm not so interested in points. Can i still participate or is this frowned on?
Thanks

1. A checklog is one that is sent in without being eligible for awards, or having the score printed.  The operator just sent the log in for helping to verify their QSOs with other stations.
2. Serial numbers are used for some contests, like the CQ WPX contests.  It is the number of the QSO you just made.  You start with 1 and increase it with each QSO.
3. No, they get their points for each QSO whether that station sent in a log or not. 
4. Not at all, you are welcome in every contest, no matter how many QSOs you make.  They are great ways to get QSOs towards awards.  I have worked all states in one weekend during the November Sweepstakes a few times.  Now getting QSLs from each state is a different story.

Welcome to the world of contesting.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have, and find it as frustrating as I have a few times also.

John AF5CC
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KB3LIX
Member

Posts: 1096




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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 10:51:05 PM »

I would have never have believed that I would enjoy
contests either.
Several years ago, I read an article in a magazine
entitled something like: "Contesting, the SPORT of Amateur Radio.
After reading the article, my thought was, What a CROCK of POOP,
contesting sounds silly to me and I do not want any parts of it.

That all changed in October 2005 when I tried a bit during the
Pennsylvania QSO party.

Since than, I have been HOOKED !
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K3TN
Member

Posts: 281


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 03:25:15 AM »

Welcome to contesting! The Potomac Valley Radio Club has a set of recorded webinars on contesting tips and techniques you can watch - check it out here.

There are also many Oregon clubs that have members who get together to contest - you can see a list here.

Finally, the Contesting.com website has many good resources and a link to WA7BNM's site with the full calendar of contests during the year. In August there are two good domestic (North America only) contests that are fun for those new to contesting, the North American QSO Partys, CW and SSB - details here.

See you on the bands - 73 John K3TN
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John K3TN
N7VEA
Member

Posts: 48




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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 05:10:19 AM »

If you are just casually operating and grabbing a few QSOs here and there for your own log then submitting a contest log isn't absolutely necessary.  I would suggest that it would be more important to make more than one or two Qs though.  Some contests don't count "uniques", which are callsigns that only show up in one or two logs, and the contester may or may not be penalized.  But if you show up in 5 or 6 logs then no worries for anyone.  Just a courtesy.

And I agree with the other guys, contesting is addictive... bet you can't do just one.

73, Bill N7VEA
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N0NB
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Posts: 77


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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 06:54:38 AM »

So I get it now and it's fun.I worked my first DX station too.

Welcome to the fray!

Quote
Ive read the rules for some others and have a few questions:
1. What is a "checklog"?

In addition to the previous answer, the contest scorer may reclassify any submitted log to "checklog" status if there are too many errors or the entry is disqualified for some reason.

Quote
2. what are the serial numbers for?

Just another twist in the rules for the exchange that give certain events their flavor.  November Sweepstakes also use a serial number as part of the exchange.  In this case, the number mimics that of an NTS message number that increases for each formal message origination.

Quote
3. I submitted my logs online for the IARU contest, is this required for the other station to get their points?

No.  However, if you had only worked one station in the 'test and had not submitted your log, the log cross-checking software would flag you as a "unique" in the other station's log.  Too many "uniques" can result in a penalty or they are simply removed without penalty depending on the contest/sponsor.  By sending in your log, no matter how paltry, you're assisting both the contest sponsor and the stations you worked.

Many uniques are legitimate but most are probably busted calls (calls not logged correctly) where the log checking software cross-references each log entry against the others and can determine based on date/time what the correct call should have been.  Some time after the contest each entrant can request their UBN (Unique, Busted, Not in Log) report from the log checking software.  That gives a good indication of areas that need work, particularly in CW contests.

Quote
4. At this point, i'm finding the appeal in making lots of contacts with brief, defined, exchanges. I'm not so interested in points. Can i still participate or is this frowned on?

You're absolutely encouraged to participate.  Most of us are competing against ourselves in terms of beating last year's score, QSO count, States/sections/DXCC entities, etc.  Sometimes it's just about competing with your buddy across town.  Once in a while we surprise ourselves and win our section!  It's also just a good way to improve our operating skills in terms of being able to copy in QRM or learning how to use our transceiver's features to mitigate QRM and so on.  Then there is the value in learning about propagation, antenna patterns, and on and on.  A contest is a great environment for this as stations are on the air from all points on the compass.

Then there is the personal aspect.  Can you listen to the din for hours on end?  I can't, I need breaks so I'll never do a continuous 24 hour stint in the chair.  Is that faint signal really a juicy DX multiplier or just someone in my skip zone that I'm hearing via back scatter.  Does the propagation path favor the vertical or horizontal antenna?  Sometimes there is little difference and at others there is a lot!

In short, have fun, and it appears you're well on your way.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 06:56:58 AM by N0NB » Logged

73, de Nate
Marysville, KS

SKCC 6225
N7SMI
Member

Posts: 315




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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 05:49:17 PM »

I'm also a new ham and thoroughly enjoy contesting. On a whim I participated in the RTTY Rookie Roundup contest last year after being licensed for just a few weeks and on digital just a few days and was surprised to get first place in our call area (though I'm slow to admit there were only 3 log entries). I've been hooked since.

I try to make a goal for each contest. For the North America contests, it's generally to work as many states as I can - and I've been very close to working all 50 a few times.

In other contests, I try to work at least one new country, or maybe just work as many stations as possible (though I know my station isn't highly competitive). You'll definitely want to work the 7th Area QSO Party and Rookie Roundup contests (for the next 3 years at least) where you are the one in demand.

I'd recommend getting up-to-speed with N1MM Logger. It makes contesting MUCH easier. Here's a great primer - http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Video+-+Operating+N1MM+Logger+on+Field+Day

Hope to catch you on the air in the upcoming contests!
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N2RJ
Member

Posts: 1155




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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 09:26:29 AM »

I would suggest that if you want to work a few contacts in the contest, don't just work one. It might be counted as a unique and get tossed out. Work at least three to five contacts if you can.
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WA2ONH
Member

Posts: 246




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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 10:32:12 AM »

Want to know more about this CONTESTING thing?

GoTo: The Contesting Compendium

Our goal is suitably modest - we simply want to collect all the world's good information about amateur radio contesting and make it accessible from a single portal.

If you're a new contester, or just curious about what this ham radio contesting thing is, we suggest you start with these articles:
= Introduction to Contesting from Wikipedia.
= Getting started in contesting

Then either come back here or follow any of the links there that interest you. Some of them will take you outside this Contesting Compendium but you can always use the back arrow to come back here. Enjoy!

If you're already into contesting, the next logical question is, "Will you help us make it happen?" Please check out our brief Mission Statement.

Look over the Table of Contents for details about the scope of the project, How to Read/Browse to see what is already here, and the How To Contribute page when you decide you might be interested.

Keep checking in with us. The Compendium will get better and better. Welcome aboard!

LINK: http://wiki.contesting.com/index.php/Main_Page

Enjoy!
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73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
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