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What serial number is referred to in a cq contest? How do I determine that serial number?

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Serial numbers usually count from 1 to N where 1 is for your first contact of the contest. Serial numbers are incremented by 1 typically. But, there is no reason why you cannot start at 577 and increment by 5 if you want unless the rules require you do count in a specific fashion [Recently added update per discussion in comments].

I actually start at 22 for some reason. All my contests I do are CW and I just like the sound of 22 I guess.

Also, during a contest when the exchange uses serial numbers, the other operator will give you his serial number and you give yours. Of course the numbers are not the same. In contesting and submitting your log, serial numbers are usually included to demonstrate a qualified contact.

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  • $\begingroup$ But, there is no reason why you cannot start at 577 and increment by 5 if you want. There is a reason, if the rules of the contest explicitly say so. Maybe it's regional, but IMHO, such statement is a bit too general. +1 for the rest of the answer. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Sep 11 '16 at 21:15
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe too general to say you can start at 577 and increment by 5 but how do you determine where you started. When you submit your log for a contest, you submit those log entries you choose to submit. Therefore, those running the contest would have no way of knowing where you started or by how much you incremented. Given that, it is rather silly I think to have a rule that says you must start at 1 and increment by 1. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Sep 12 '16 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ Your contests allow you to do something like that? Interesting. Most of the rules I've seen expect contestants to submit full logs and mark entries that they shouldn't be scored in the contest as invalid. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Sep 12 '16 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ I have never submitted a full log. But, I never submit a log with the intent to participate at winning. I only submit logs to contribute to the validation process of those contacts I have made for the benefit of others. I am not a contester that devotes 100 percent of time to the contest -- my logs are typically interspersed with other contacts that are not part of the contest. By the way, I have only chosen to play in contests for a little less than the last 20 years or so. Maybe your contesting experience is more than mine but I have never had a log rejected in that time. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Sep 12 '16 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrejaKo By the way, I agree with you that the rules on counting in serial numbers should be followed in spite of the freedoms I personally take so I have updated my answer. $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Sep 12 '16 at 17:25
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You did say 'cq' contest. Did you mean the CQ WW DX or WPX contest? For CQ WW DX, the message is your CQ Zone: 5 for US east coast, 3 for west coast, 14 for W Europe, etc. For WPX, it is a serial number. The rules state that it starts from 1.

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