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eHam Forums => Contesting => Topic started by: K3TN on March 26, 2013, 03:00:52 AM



Title: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: K3TN on March 26, 2013, 03:00:52 AM
If you are a phone op, and need a break from the Easter Bunny, The WPX SSB contest is this weekend. Full rules can be found here (http://www.cqwpx.com/), but the rules are pretty simple: the exchange is signal report plus serial (QSO) number and call sign prefixes are the multipliers - and you get double points for contacts on the low bands. Oh, and contacts with stations from other countries count more, even more if the station is in a different continent.

OK, the rules are pretty complicated, but there is a nice FAQ here (http://www.cqwpx.com/rules_faq.htm).

73 John K3TN


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: N2MG on March 26, 2013, 04:46:36 AM
Yeah, operating the contest is easy.  Give out 59 plus a serial number.  Listen to others and how they do it. And log the contacts.

However, the scoring and category selections can be confusing.
So work the contest and figure out the rest later. ;-)

Of course, you should use a computer logging program - there are plenty of free ones.
To find some, go to eHam's link page (click "Ham Links" in our left menu), choose "Software Freeware/Shareware" as the category and hit "Go".
Then scan the page for logging software. (hint CTRL-F the term "log" l)

73 Mike N2MG


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AB3CX on March 26, 2013, 01:38:34 PM
Well, that ruins a contest I usually enjoy doing; who decided Easter Weekend was a good time for it?  The thing is last weekend there was no significant contest on at all.  This is probably the traditional weekend for this contest, but really...


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AD6KA on March 26, 2013, 11:34:27 PM
(b) Contacts between stations on the same continent, but different countries, are worth one (1) point on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and two (2) points on 7, 3.5, and 1.8 MHz.

Exception: For North American stations only
Contacts between stations within the North American boundaries
(both stations must be located in North America) are worth two
(2) points on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and four (4) points on 7, 3.5,
and 1.8 MHz.

Maybe I am missing something here.....but
Is this fair to the EU Ops?
F station works DL on 20m.......One QSO Point.
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
BUT:
N.A. Station works VE on 20m...TWO QSO Points. ::)
2 points per 20/15/10m QSO between stations in NA
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
....but EU's get ONE point for same achievement.

Is this fair to the EU Ops?
Instead of calling it WPX SSB,
maybe call it NA SSB


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: K3TN on March 27, 2013, 02:46:40 AM
Well, the NA 2 point rule helps Canadian and Mexican hams, but not so much US hams - there are only 70,000 or so VE hams, which is roughly the same as Germany. If you add up all the EU countries, there are close to 10x as many EU ham as VE/XE - not to mention a lot more active contesters.

A few years ago I wrote a piece on the history of the WPX contest for CQ magazine - the rules have changed constantly over the years for a whole variety of reasons.

John K3TN

(b) Contacts between stations on the same continent, but different countries, are worth one (1) point on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and two (2) points on 7, 3.5, and 1.8 MHz.

Exception: For North American stations only
Contacts between stations within the North American boundaries
(both stations must be located in North America) are worth two
(2) points on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and four (4) points on 7, 3.5,
and 1.8 MHz.

Maybe I am missing something here.....but
Is this fair to the EU Ops?
F station works DL on 20m.......One QSO Point.
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
BUT:
N.A. Station works VE on 20m...TWO QSO Points. ::)
2 points per 20/15/10m QSO between stations in NA
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
....but EU's get ONE point for same achievement.

Is this fair to the EU Ops?
Instead of calling it WPX SSB,
maybe call it NA SSB



Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: N2MG on March 27, 2013, 06:00:14 AM
Well, that ruins a contest I usually enjoy doing; who decided Easter Weekend was a good time for it?  The thing is last weekend there was no significant contest on at all.  This is probably the traditional weekend for this contest, but really...

Well, they didn't "decide" to pick Easter for the weekend. 
Easter moves around significantly from year to year.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: N3QE on March 27, 2013, 07:48:02 AM
There are many little quirks to the WPX rules that make it interesting for those of us with limited operating hours available. Some of the scoring rules seem kind of arbitrary, perhaps even unfair, but they also make it interesting to those who try to maximize points in limited time.

CQ WW also has some interesting scoring rules. For example I could operate S&P, choose my QSO's carefully, and rack up many mults but end up with a score of zero :-).

Tim.

(b) Contacts between stations on the same continent, but different countries, are worth one (1) point on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and two (2) points on 7, 3.5, and 1.8 MHz.

Exception: For North American stations only
Contacts between stations within the North American boundaries
(both stations must be located in North America) are worth two
(2) points on 28, 21, and 14 MHz and four (4) points on 7, 3.5,
and 1.8 MHz.

Maybe I am missing something here.....but
Is this fair to the EU Ops?
F station works DL on 20m.......One QSO Point.
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
BUT:
N.A. Station works VE on 20m...TWO QSO Points. ::)
2 points per 20/15/10m QSO between stations in NA
(Differrent Country, Same Continent)
....but EU's get ONE point for same achievement.

Is this fair to the EU Ops?
Instead of calling it WPX SSB,
maybe call it NA SSB



Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KD8IZZ on March 27, 2013, 03:49:04 PM
This should be a good chance to get some new countries. I need so much of Asia still and a few easy ones elsewhere. However, I'm not optimistic about 10 meters being open.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: W6UV on March 28, 2013, 02:02:43 PM
I'm not optimistic about 10 meters being open.

There's only one visible sunspot group at the moment on the earth-facing side of the sun, so 10 meters is probably not going to be in good shape. STEREO A and B show some groups that should rotate into view soon and boost the flux -- let's hope they arrive in time for the contest.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AC4RD on March 30, 2013, 09:03:04 AM
...so 10 meters is probably not going to be in good shape. STEREO A and B show some groups that should rotate into view soon and boost the flux -- let's hope they arrive in time for the contest.

At noon Saturday (16:00Z) here on the east coast of the USA, it's pretty thin pickings.  I'm getting some Europeans on 15, but 10 and 20 have both been painfully quiet.  Fingers crossed for later.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AC4RD on March 30, 2013, 01:44:20 PM
...10 and 20 have both been painfully quiet.  Fingers crossed for later.

Just turned the radio back on after doing some chores, and worked two ZLs and 5W in the space of 5 minutes, on 10 meters.  :-)  Good example of why you shouldn't look at the solar flux numbers and decide there's no point in trying ten meters, it's always worth turning on the rig and *listening*.  :-)


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AJ4RW on March 31, 2013, 04:25:07 AM
Even though there's a lot of good DX to be had this weekend, I've also noticed that the bands haven't quite been up to par.  15 meters has always been fairly easy to get a good run going with EU and some Africa but this contest it hasn't happened so far.  Signals from EU haven't been as strong as they normally are and even quite a few NA's haven't as good a signal as expected.  Hope today gets better.

Randy


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: NV2A on March 31, 2013, 07:44:59 AM
I am simply curious but I expect some hostility on the answers:

Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything for you but type in the info?  If you do it with a FT DX 5000MP, it covers 10 bands with 3 registers each for a total of 30 possible places to leave the "memory button" turned on.  If you do, it won't work right.  Took me 3 days to figure out what was going on but it's really slick software for FREE.
 ;D


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AC4RD on March 31, 2013, 10:06:39 AM
I am simply curious but I expect some hostility on the answers:  Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything for you but type in the info? 

In my case, I'm just REAL old-fashioned, and I don't know what this software will do for me that I'd want.   I generally write callsign and time, and the exchange, on paper while I'm playing in a contest or working a little DX.  Then I transfer it to a MS-Access database I use for a log.  That does everything I want; click a button to see what bands/modes I have this or that country on, print QSLs, that sort of thing.   

I've really never tried any real logging software, and don't know what it would do for me.  I'm old-fashioned enough that I don't look at the cluster much, and while I *can* log directly into a light front-end for my database, I rarely have the computer on when I'm playing on HF, unless I"m doing RTTY or PSK.

I guess if I knew I could export data from a logging program into Access, where I can manipulate it and get statistics and that sort of thing, I might try it.  But I've never had enough interest in logging software to try it.    So:  what does N1MM logging do for you that you really like?  Why do you like it so much?  (Note: not being hostile, not a bit; i've just never used logging software and don't know what it does for you.)   --ken


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AC4RD on March 31, 2013, 02:28:00 PM
Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything ..

Ray, I wound up taking a look at N1MM's website, and the logging software does look nice.  I see it integrates with fldigi, which I like, and it appears to have some other nice features.  And it DOES support ADIF output, so I could import contacts from that into my database.  About the only feature it doesn't have that I'd like is running on both Windows and linux machines.  Apart from that, it's definitely interesting.  I may give it a try, just to see.  Thanks for mentioning it!   -ken


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: N4KC on March 31, 2013, 02:56:24 PM
Ken, most logging software does everything your Access database does plus much more.  I'm old-fashioned, too, but I don't want to give up my N3FJP logging software--day-to-day or in contesting.  I can simply type in a call and see if I have worked the station before, if I or he QSLed, if I need the country, his beam heading and distance from me, his country, continent, state, etc. and more.  I can also see notes about any previous QSO.

For reporting, there are plenty of options available...granted not as many as you could likely create in Access if you know how...but with one click, I can see countries worked, countries needed, and much more.  The software also makes it very simple to work with Logbook of the World.

Computer logging is a boon for contesting, serious or not.  It shows dupes immediately, completes entries for you, and, of course, can be used for partial rig control on CW, so once you put in the call sign, the program does the rest of the transmitting of the exchange for you.  When the contest is over, the system generates your log for submission and automatically does all the math for you.  That makes complicated scoring like the WPX a non-issue.  By the way, some systems show you a map of sections, states, or countries worked so far in the contest, a graph of run rates to show where you are most efficient, and much more.

It's a free or very inexpensive tool, Ken.  I bet if you tried it, you would love it.  And kiss that old paper log goodbye!

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)
 
 


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KD8TFG on March 31, 2013, 05:13:50 PM
...10 and 20 have both been painfully quiet.  Fingers crossed for later.

Just turned the radio back on after doing some chores, and worked two ZLs and 5W in the space of 5 minutes, on 10 meters.  :-)  Good example of why you shouldn't look at the solar flux numbers and decide there's no point in trying ten meters, it's always worth turning on the rig and *listening*.  :-)

Just turned the radio on to take a picture of it for my sale ad, and hit Ganbria on 28.498 as the sun is setting here in Ohio on my first call to him


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: K1RAX on March 31, 2013, 06:50:37 PM
Why not simply download N1MM contest logging software for free and let it do everything ..

Ray, I wound up taking a look at N1MM's website, ...  About the only feature it doesn't have that I'd like is running on both Windows and linux machines.  Apart from that, it's definitely interesting.  I may give it a try, just to see.  Thanks for mentioning it!   -ken

I ran N1MM in a virtual machine (Oracle VirtualBox) on a mac... worked fine.  VirtualBox is free and can run on linux.  You would need a copy of windows to install into the virtual machine.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KD8IZZ on April 01, 2013, 09:33:50 AM
10 meters was almost completely empty for me during the contest, but I may have missed a early morning opening. I did get some ATNOs for 40 meters around 0300 local, Australia and New Zealand into my low dipole. Go ahead and laugh but it was exciting for me.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KF7CG on April 01, 2013, 11:09:51 AM
10 meters wasn't doing well at my QTH, some action but not great. Had good runs to Europe on 20 and 15. That isn't bad for just a Gap Titan DX and a dipole at 20 feet. Only 100 watts, too. Yeilded 289K score and 382 contacts.

All in all not bad for just having fun. Only work about 32 of the allowed 36 hours.

KF7CG


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: N2RJ on April 01, 2013, 12:32:15 PM
Easter killed this contest for me. I wish it wasn't on Easter weekend this year.

Same reason Thanksgiving kills CQWW CW for me too, but this year it won't be I think...


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AC4RD on April 02, 2013, 09:20:24 AM
Ken, most logging software does everything your Access database does plus much more.  ... I can simply type in a call and see if I have worked the station before, if I or he QSLed, if I need the country,.. I can also see notes about any previous QSO. .... with one click, I can see countries worked, countries needed, and much more.  The software also makes it very simple to work with Logbook of the World.

Don, I downloaded N1MM yesterday and loaded it; played just a bit.  I admit it looks nice, but all of the stuff you've listed above I already do with my Access database, and I realized while I was looking at N1MM that "rolling my own" log program gives me a lot of flexibility.  But I'll give N1MM a try in the next contest and see how it goes.  See if there's anything I'm missing.  Thanks!


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KF7CG on April 02, 2013, 10:22:25 AM
N1MM logger worked great for me in the contest. Especially since this was my first attempt at SO2R style contesting. Nice to have the logger monitoring the frequency on both rigs full time in real-time. Just enter call and received serial number the rest is automatic.

Another note, contest was a chance to compare my two rigs: FT-950 versus FT-450D. Of course the FT-950 was better but the FT-450D wasn't bad, just wasn't as good when the QRM got up.

KF7CG


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: N0IU on April 02, 2013, 11:47:57 AM
The other advantage to N1MM is that it knows what the rules are! In some contests, you can only work a station once and with others, you can work them on multiple bands. This is a huge time saver when determining if you should take the time to attempt to work a station again.

Another really great feature of N1MM is the ability to "spot" a station. Let's say you hear a station that you would like to work but just aren't having any luck getting through. Once you enter the other station's callsign, all you have to do is move off frequency and the callsign and frequency will automatically be "spotted". This will allow you to move on and make more contacts and if you want to try and work that missed station again, all you have to do is click on the "spot" and it will take you back to that frequency... assuming you have N1MM set up for rig control.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KR5P on April 04, 2013, 03:57:35 PM
I had a lot of fun with this contest. I really enjoyed getting some new DX with my pretty modest setup.

The funniest thing that happened was at the very end of the contest. I had discovered that there was quite a bit of activity on 10 meters Sunday afternoon. I was getting a lot of QSOs with South America and the south Pacific like Australia and New Zealand. I was working one station in Brazil or Argentina I think. They were running and gave me their number. I'm pretty sure they said "3 90 99" as in "three ninety ninety-nine". I asked them to repeat it several times because Writelog didn't have room for 39,099 and I was pretty sure no one in the history of CQ WPX had ever gotten nearly 40,000 QSOs. The other operator finally got tired of me and quit talking to me. I waited to hear his next two QSOs to see what was wrong. When I heard him give out 4,000 I understood what had happened! He then dropped off the air so I guess he was done for the day. I felt bad that my brain had such trouble figuring out what he was trying to say. I am always grateful that contesters primarily use English and make things easy for me. For some reason I just couldn't hear 3999.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: PD2R on April 05, 2013, 05:57:25 AM
Been there, done that. When your tired your brain starts messing things up. Asking for the other guy to repeat several time but your just not getting it.
I had a similar thing during last years ARRL 10 meter contest. There was this German station who was equally loud on short path as well as on long path. That caused such an echo effect that I simply could not copy his call. After a couple of tries propagation changed slightly so the echo effect subsided a bit. Finally I was able to copy his callsign correctly.



Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: KB3LIX on April 05, 2013, 11:43:29 AM
I skipped WPX Phone this year.

I cut my contesting teeth on phone contests.
I added CW & digital later, but phone was my first love.

I started off Friday evening on 20m. Almost immediately,
I ran into a station from Cuba (a T48 something or other)
Not only was he overprocessed, he was screaming as loud
as he could AND speaking fast, V E R Y fast, like
a gatling gun or Thompson Machine gun with a 1,000,000
round magazine. I couldn't understand crap.
With the NOISE BLANKER OFF
Attenuator ON
I could hear his splatter +/- 10kc.

Went up band and found several more, same thing, all knobs to
the right syndrome, screaming.

Went to 40m, found 2 US stations that sounded just fine
and gave out some points. Continued up, and MORE idiots
and I gave up for the night.

Got on saturday, gave out a few points and called it quits.

I suppose I am getting grumpier & more miserable
with age, but I can no longer tolerate the multitude
of idiots with the AKttR syndrome.

Someone needs to EXPLAIN to these JERKS that LOUD &
DISTORTED beyond intelligibility are two VERY different things.

Funny thing, the horrible sounding stations are NOT in the US
or Canada. I could name a few countries that are the BIG violators,
but that would be futile.

No one missed me, I am sure of that, but how many
others are out there that feel the way I do, and are skipping the
festivities because of a few idiots.


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AD6KA on April 05, 2013, 12:39:27 PM
Quote
No one missed me, I am sure of that, but how many
others are out there that feel the way I do, and are skipping the
festivities because of a few idiots.

I feel the same way you do, that contests seem
to bring out a lot of "All Knobs To The Right" guys.
But I don't let it ruin my fun, just shake my head and
spin the VFO.

Quote
he was screaming as loud as he could AND speaking fast,
V E R Y fast, like a gatling gun or Thompson Machine gun
with
a 1,000,000 round magazine. I couldn't understand crap.

Yeah, this is a pain. We shouldn't have to dial a station
in and then spend 3-4 minutes just trying to make out
the call....ALL because the guy is speaking too fast, with an accent,
and/or using non standard phonetics. Maybe an email to
the OP or club stating this is in order. Same as the AKTTR
situation....

OTOH I did have fun overall with this contest.
More than I expected. My main rig is tits up and so
is my amplifier. So I was running barefoot in a contest,
when I am normally QRO (AL-80A). But I was still pleasantly
surprised at how many stations I could work and who,
with 100 watts into a roof mounted HF6V.
Even got a new one for 40m, D4C. Yeah, I know
it's a monster contest station, but still I was stoked!.
I couldn't get them on the higher bands though....
but I already  have that  prefix  on the higher bands,
but was new on 40m. Ya just never know until ya call!  ;D
73, Ken  AD6KA


Title: RE: WPX SSB Contest This Weekend
Post by: AJ4RW on April 06, 2013, 06:14:19 AM
Quote
No one missed me

Hey Bill, I missed you.  I can always use the points plus it's nice to work someone you're familiar with.  I always have fun in any contest even though SSB contest aren't my favorite.  Only operated about 15 hours but still had a blast.

Randy AJ4RW