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Author Topic: Contesting basics for newbie  (Read 2827 times)
KJ6ZOL
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Posts: 320




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« on: October 05, 2013, 05:58:40 PM »

I was listening to the CA QSO party just now on 40m, and I realized that I don't know the first thing about answering contesters. Replies will come too late for this year, but how does contesting work?
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AJ4RW
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Posts: 568




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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 07:27:01 PM »

Bryan, try this site  http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.php .  It gives you the contest calendar for the next 8 days and also for the last 2 months and for the next 10 months.  It also gives you the exchange info of what to tell the other station and the exchange the other station will give you amongst other valuable info.  The best way to find out more about contesting is to google it and read.  There are also books you can order.  Also participating in some contest is the best learning experience after you read some and research the exchanges for a particular contest.  Bottom line, make sure you have some fun!

73 Randy AJ7G
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N0IU
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 04:20:49 AM »

The hornucopia contest calendar website also provides a link to the contest sponsor's website where you can get the full details of the contest including the rules. This is must reading before you begin.

Another important thing, as I am sure you noticed as you were listening, is that the contest participants are not interested in any other bits of information other than what is required for the contest.

And as Randy said, have fun!

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N5INP
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 04:30:15 AM »

I'm also interested in this too. I'm still confused though. For example after looking at the California QSO party page, it says this -

Quote
EXCHANGE:
1. California stations send QSO number and County. 
2. Stations outside of California send QSO number and State, Canadian Province, or "DX". 

http://www.cqp.org/Rules.html

What if you just want to answer the contester, but don't really want to try to win the contest? How do you answer if you don't want to keep track of your QSO number? Or is the answer that you should not answer unless you are going to take part in all aspects of the contest?

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N0IU
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 04:41:58 AM »

The bottom line is that if you are not going to "play by the rules", then don't answer the contester.

And if you don't keep track of your QSO number, you could actually be costing a legitimate contest participant points. When logs are checked by the contest sponsor, if they see that everyone who worked you has the same QSO number, this would indicate that you were not following the rules and the contact would be removed from their log. Its not going to make the difference between winning or losing the contest, but it is inconsiderate on your part.

And you don't have to enter to win. Enter to have fun. Enter to accelerate your progress towards earning your WAS or DXCC certificates.
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N5INP
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 05:03:50 AM »

The bottom line is that if you are not going to "play by the rules", then don't answer the contester.

...

And you don't have to enter to win. Enter to have fun. Enter to accelerate your progress towards earning your WAS or DXCC certificates.

OK thanks. So if I follow the rules (and don't really want to win the contest) I can just log the QSOs (keeping track of the numbers) as "regular" contacts and upload them to eQSL and so on? In other words I can use the contacts as you said for WAS etc.
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N0IU
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 05:18:16 AM »

In other words I can use the contacts as you said for WAS etc.

Absolutely! But to clarify, if you are going to use the contest contacts for WS, DXCC, etc, you need to submit your logs through LoTW (or good old paper QSL cards!)
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KS2G
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Posts: 362




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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 03:16:06 PM »

...how does contesting work?

Take a look at these sites:

Getting started in contesting
http://wiki.contesting.com/index.php/Getting_started_in_contesting

Amateur Radio Contesting FAQ
http://www.qsl.net/zs1an/contesting_faq.html

You don't have to be "in the contest" (that is, plan to submit a log) but you DO have to provide the require "exchange" information.

73,
Mel - KS2G

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N5INP
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 04:18:05 PM »

Thanks a lot for the info!
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WA2ONH
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Posts: 246




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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 04:52:53 PM »

Also info at K9JY site, in particular ...

30 Days — 30 Ham Radio Contesting Tips
LINK: http://k9jy.com/blog/2007/10/10/30-days-30-ham-radio-contesting-tips/

and...

The ARRL's NCJ - National Contest Journal site at
LINK: http://www.ncjweb.com/index.php

In any contest, always read the rules first to know the proper exchange, and then jump in - have FUN!
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 05:02:07 PM by WA2ONH » Logged

73 de WA2ONH dit dit    ...Charlie
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