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Author Topic: Contest operating times??  (Read 5801 times)
AJ4RW
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Posts: 568




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« on: December 26, 2013, 04:16:58 AM »

I hope this makes cause I've had a problem putting this into context.   This is something that has puzzled me for a long time.  Some contest only allow a certain amount of time to operate for the duration of the contest.  One contest in mind is some of the "CQ" contest which allow, if you're a single operator, to operate 30 out of 48 hours.  Is this figured on the length of time per contact or on when you start and then finish in a certain period of time.  Example:

I started at 1200z with the first contact and my last contact is 1300z on the same date.  I made a total of 4 contacts.  Each contact took a minute which totals 4 minutes.  Is my total operating time 4 minutes or 1 hour?  I would like to know how the contest sponsor considers this.  This might have been covered at one time but I couldn't find it doing a search.

73 Randy AJ7G
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N3QE
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Posts: 2344




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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 05:52:58 AM »

If you look in e.g. CQ WW rules, you find this definition of off time:

Quote
off times are a minimum of 60 minutes during which no QSO is logged.

In your example you had 61 minutes of on time.

Other contests phrase "off time" a little differently. Minimum 30 minute chunks are common, and some go further to tell you that you should not be using the receiver in off time.

Today most off time computations are done automatically by looking at the Cabrillo, and you need to make sure you have 30 or 60 minutes of consecutive off time logged in the Cabrillo. i.e. a QSO at 1200Z followed by a QSO at 1300Z, is no off time at all (that was only 59 consecutive minutes of no QSO's).

If you go over time, just submit your actual full log, and the contest sponsor will automatically not count any QSO's after end of allowed time. In general you won't be penalized for the extra QSO's, they just won't count towards your score.
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N0IU
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Posts: 1350


WWW

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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 09:25:11 AM »

As far as working 30 hours of a 48 hour contest, the contest (for you) ends 30 hours after your first contact. IOW, this means that if you start the contest at 0000z on day 1, you can not log any more contest calls past 0600z on day 2.
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N2NL
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Posts: 362




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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 12:28:09 AM »

As far as working 30 hours of a 48 hour contest, the contest (for you) ends 30 hours after your first contact. IOW, this means that if you start the contest at 0000z on day 1, you can not log any more contest calls past 0600z on day 2.

Not necessarily.

Each contest defines what counts as "off time".  Usually it is 30 minutes.  So, you can operate the 1st 24 hours, then take a minimum of 30 minutes off, then continue.

Generally, "on air" time counts as operating time.  If you are actively listening, it counts as on time.  Reality however is that the log checker can only see logged QSOs.  Let me try to explain with a couple examples:

1200z QSO
1225z QSO
Only 24 minutes between these two QSOs, so this counts as 25 minutes of operating time.  Please note you can stuff as many QSOs as possible between these two QSOs and it all counts as 25 minutes of operating time.

1200z QSO
1231z QSO
In this case, 30 minutes passed between QSOs and this counts as 30 minutes of off time assuming that is what the rules state (IE CQWW DX WPX contest).

Required off time adds interesting strategy to the competition.  Lets say you are low band challenged?  Take off during night time hours.  Also, you need to understand propagation and when to take time off when rate/mults are at minimums. 

73, Dave KH2/N2NL
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N3QE
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 07:01:30 AM »

As far as working 30 hours of a 48 hour contest, the contest (for you) ends 30 hours after your first contact. IOW, this means that if you start the contest at 0000z on day 1, you can not log any more contest calls past 0600z on day 2.

I do not know any contests that define off time that way. Most follow the minimum-30-minutes or minimum-60-minutes off-time rules.

The vast majority of contesters get some sleep both nights, although I happen to know handful of iron men who go straight through :-)

Closest activity I know of that has a rule like you suggest, is Field Day with its rule 3.2. Wow, for being "not a contest" Field Day has a lot of rules! http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2013/2013%20Rules.pdf
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N7SMI
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 09:33:13 AM »

As far as working 30 hours of a 48 hour contest, the contest (for you) ends 30 hours after your first contact.

This is a very common misconception. It just plain doesn't work this way... at least unless you operate the first 30 hours straight.

You could, for example, operate for 20 hours, take 18 hours off, then work the last 10 hours of the contest to get your 30 hour max. Or you could operate 2 hours and take 1 hour off and repeat this pattern until you've accumulated 30 hours of operating time. So long as your breaks are 30+ minutes long (or whatever is defined in the rules), this does not count as operating time.
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N0IU
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 02:20:14 PM »

OK, so I made a mistake! I usually allow myself one mistake a year so I try and wait until as close to the end of the year as possible.

Forgive me???

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N2NL
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Posts: 362




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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 03:22:10 PM »

OK, so I made a mistake! I usually allow myself one mistake a year so I try and wait until as close to the end of the year as possible.

Forgive me???



No worries!

The point of this whole hobby is to have fun!  If not, you're doing it wrong Smiley

73, Dave
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AJ4RW
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Posts: 568




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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2013, 01:36:30 PM »

Thanks for the input and Amen to having FUN!.  "Off" time was pretty much self explanatory but the "on" time computation was ambiguous to me but since there's no penalty for going over, great!  Now I just need to figure out how to keep from pooping out hi hi.  Going over has never been a problem but I thought I might try and push it on a few contest.  My objective has never been the score but to have fun, see how many contacts I could make and DXCC challenge entities I could add.

73 Randy AJ7G
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VE3CX
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2014, 05:19:28 AM »

Chances are you are not going to come in first place, but that is not really the real reason for entering. 

Get on, have fun, and compete against yourself.  How to do that?  Enter a contest and do what you can, keeping the fun factor in mind.  Next year, see if you can beat this years score.  Conditions might be better/worse/different, which adds to the fun factor, but by competing against yourself, you WILL come in first place :-)

At the end of the contest, write yourself a note.  Station description, how were conditions, high points, low points, and anything interesting that happend.  When this same contest rolls around next year, read that note.  It will be a great motivator, and help you track your personal progress.  The note is for YOU, and you alone - don't need to post it anywhere.  But is does serve as a reminder of what happened last year, and will help get you back into a good frame of mind for this years contest.  Its always interesting when you can look at several years worth to see what has changed with your station, scores, etc.

Along the way, your operating skills will improve, you will pick up new countries/states, and progress on any awards you decide to go after.  It all adds to the fun factor :-)

Tom - VE3CX
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