Questions tagged [contest]

Questions about the rules, processes and procedures in amateur radio contesting.

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Fox & Hound or regular FT8 for ARRL International Digital Contest?

So I'm thinking about casually working the ARRL Int'l Digital contest this weekend to try to pick up (hopefully they'll confirm!) a couple of new DCXX entities so I can get my DXCC (almost there). ...
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2 votes
2 answers
257 views

What are the biggest amateur radio contests ("radiosport")?

What are currently the (5 or 10) biggest amateur radio contests in terms of Worldwide participation (total number of stations or operators on the air during the contest)? Are they the ones with "...
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5 votes
3 answers
652 views

Why are contest signal reports always "59" or "599"?

I've heard lots of contest exchanges, and the signal report almost always seems to be 59 for phone or 599 for Morse, even when the operator giving the report has to request information to be repeated ...
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  • 8,922
2 votes
1 answer
77 views

Contesting dialog

I have noticed that participants in an HF exchange will often give number and a letter followed by a state, e.g. 1E Wisconsin. What does this mean?
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  • 21
2 votes
2 answers
480 views

Not participating in contests

I have only a small amount of time each week when I can get on the air. Frequently I turn on the radio and hear numerous operators participating in one contest or another. Is there some way to ...
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  • 1,208
5 votes
3 answers
167 views

Is Field Day a contest?

Is the ARRL Field Day a contest, or is it not a contest? Kindly explain the reasoning behind your answer. A non-ham could not tell the difference.
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  • 7,515
6 votes
1 answer
530 views

What does "THREE ALPHA in Virginia" mean?

I'm listening to the 40m band during Field Day and I keep hearing things like "You are THREE ALPHA in Virginia," or "do you hold me ONE ALPHA in Eastern Pennsylvania?", or "you are TWO ALPHA Maine." ...
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  • 727
1 vote
2 answers
817 views

When to log a callsign suffix for a QSO?

When do I log a callsign suffix in the logbook when I hear them say something like portable or QRP after their callsign? I'm specifically referring to cases where they don't use stroke or slash ...
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8 votes
3 answers
762 views

Emergency/battery power rules for Field Day: do they include computer equipment?

There are some contests such as ARRL's Field Day that provide special categories or points for contestants who operate using emergency or battery power. The 2016 FD rules for "Class A - Battery" ...
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4 votes
2 answers
678 views

Linux based SDR spectrum capture via CLI

I need to setup a Linux box to run unattended capture of about 10 MHz - contiguous worth of spectrum (Hardware must support between 500 kHz and 200 MHz) targeting voice (mix of AM and FM voice ...
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  • 43
5 votes
1 answer
295 views

Expected practices for one ham operating under another's privileges?

I understand that in the United States, amateur operators and even non-licensed persons may participate in domestic (and approved international) communications on bands they wouldn't normally be ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What happens if a station did not submit a contest log?

What is the result of a contest station not submitting a log for the contest? Are all the contacts nullified for the other stations that contacted him? Is it bad form for a non-participating station ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to determine a serial number in cq contest?

What serial number is referred to in a cq contest? How do I determine that serial number?
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3 votes
3 answers
3k views

Convert maidenhead grid square to lat/long in Excel?

I have a list of maidenhead grid squares in an Excel sheet that I want to convert to latitude and longitude. I want to keep it as simple as possible. Does anyone know of a formula to convert from ...
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  • 31
2 votes
3 answers
365 views

How can I speed up my QSO rate for Field Day

I've just finished Field Day, and my 4 hours of operating my club's station resulted in about 70 qsos/ hour, no more than 80. Some of the other operators topped 120. How can I improve my QSO rate to ...
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8 votes
2 answers
161 views

Is using an HT and walking considered mobile?

I've seen many contests define mobile as something like being able to legally move and broadcast. Well, using an HT while walking I can legally move. Does this count as mobile contacts for a contest?
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3 votes
1 answer
46 views

How can I find out what ham radio events or contest are going on? [duplicate]

Looking for a good place to find out what contest or events are going at the present.
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16 votes
6 answers
21k views

What's the difference between saying “CQ” or “QRZ” in a contest?

I'm listening to (or let's say I'm trying to participate in) a contest (or perhaps Field Day), using SSB. I noticed that a station would, after completing a contact, sometimes say “CQ” and sometimes ...
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  • 23.1k
3 votes
1 answer
101 views

What is "skimmer like technology" as named in the rules for the Australian Remembrance Day Contest?

In the rules for the Australian Remembrance Day Contest, I read: Use of skimmer like technology with a bandwidth greater than 3 KHz is not allowed. What is considered for 'skimmer like technology' ...
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  • 1,064
1 vote
2 answers
561 views

How do contest multipliers work?

Example, a recent contest offered a multiplier for "All 50 states". I presume that means I have to get all 50 states to get the multiplier. However, nowhere does it list what to multiply by? I'm ...
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5 votes
1 answer
176 views

Can a 1A Field Day station qualify for the "Alternate Power" bonus?

We just finished our Field Day operations, and we're having a disagreement on whether we qualify for the Alternate Power bonus. Our 1A (single transmitter, emergency power) station was completely ...
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  • 1,871
6 votes
3 answers
336 views

What exactly is field day, and do I need equipment?

I have been a ham not quite long enough to experience field day. I have been excited for the weekend ever since I heard about it. I looked at the ARRL site for field days in my location, and found a ...
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  • 7,422
10 votes
1 answer
7k views

What is a CQ contest and what is the proper way to respond to a CQ contest call?

As I listen, I often hear stations calling "CQ contest". When I hear stations respond, they seem to do so with a specific set of information. I recognize the call sign and a signal report but there ...
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9 votes
3 answers
181 views

How does contesting benefit Amateur Radio and its community?

Some use contesting for personal accomplishment, some out of pure enjoyment, others to gather awards, and some to hone their ability to work their craft. For instance, you may learn or improve your ...
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  • 11.9k
6 votes
2 answers
268 views

What are contests? What do I need to know about them being new to ham radio?

I have heard about radio "contests" but I haven't seen a real explanation of what they are and what they entail. What do I need to know about contests before getting a technician license for the first ...
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  • 225
9 votes
4 answers
250 views

Are there ways for people with receivers to participate in contests?

At the moment I only have an HF receiver (or I will when I build it, hopefully soon). Are there any contests I can participate in, or ways for me to participate in a contest without borrowing a ...
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  • 11.9k
20 votes
3 answers
3k views

I hate contests. How can I avoid them?

There's nothing worse to getting home, turning on the radio, and being unable to find a clear frequency that isn't full of a bunch of meaningless QSOs where somehow everyone is 599 and no one has ...
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4 votes
1 answer
78 views

How much should we invest time in collecting multipliers in the big contests?

In most big contests, the total score is calculated by multiplying the number of QSO points by the amount of worked DXCC entities ("countries"), or prefixes. What would be a good strategy to divide ...
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  • 2,351
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do some DX listen on a different frequency than they transmit on?

I've heard some DX indicate "CQ up 5" for instance, indicating that they are listening on a different frequency than they are transmitting on. What are the reasons one might want to do that?
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  • 11.9k
6 votes
1 answer
144 views

What prevents automation in contests?

It seems that using a CW skimmer with an SDR one could fully automate a contest station, and even handle multiple contacts simultaneously in the case of pile-ups. Has this been done or discussed ...
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  • 11.9k
4 votes
2 answers
259 views

How is a second radio managed when operating SO2R (Single Operator Two Radios)?

I am relatively new to contesting, and I have heard of a category called SO2R (Single Operator, Two Radios). Are they really talking about 2 radios, or just 2 VFOs in one radio? Running one radio ...
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  • 6,274
6 votes
2 answers
131 views

During a radio contest, how do I determine if a station is "too faint" to be worth trying to contact?

Suppose I hear a station during a contest that is an eligible contact, but not necessarily a multiplier (worth points, but only a nominal amount of points). This station is relatively faint, (maybe 2-...
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  • 1,871
8 votes
1 answer
192 views

How do I maintain my frequency during a contest?

Suppose I am operating a busy HF contest, and I have found an open frequency to call CQ. I make a number of contacts, and then suddenly another station starts to call CQ right on top of me. The other ...
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  • 1,871
10 votes
2 answers
367 views

How do I find a frequency to call CQ on during a contest?

I know that in many contests, sitting on a frequency and calling CQ is a very effective strategy to rack up points. However, during very popular contests it can be very difficult to find an open ...
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  • 1,871
3 votes
1 answer
68 views

What are some reliable sources of propagation forecasts?

Where can I go to find propagation forecasts? How useful are propagation forecasts over time? For instance, I've been told by meteorologists that weather forecasts three days out generally ...
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  • 11.9k
11 votes
4 answers
405 views

How do I increase my phone intelligibility?

Listening to various operators at different times, I've sometimes noticed, especially during contests, that some operators are easier to understand than others, and it doesn't all seem to be due to ...
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  • 11.9k
6 votes
2 answers
142 views

Is CW necessary to be competitive in most ARRL contests?

The ARRL hosts many contests throughout the year, and maintains a leaderboard of sorts to encourage competition. Is it possible to rank on any of the leaderboards without knowing or using morse code?
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  • 11.9k
10 votes
1 answer
909 views

What is the process of making a voice contact?

I got into Amateur Radio for emergency preparation and to allow me to expand my electronics hobby. Initially I didn't find much value in contesting or making contacts, but apparently there are some ...
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  • 11.9k
11 votes
3 answers
212 views

What skills will I learn from contesting?

I got into Amateur Radio for emergency preparation and to allow me to expand my electronics hobby. My needs are being met, but I'm wondering if I'm missing out on increasing my skills by avoiding ...
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  • 11.9k
5 votes
1 answer
124 views

Why should I practice one month before a contest, rather than the week before?

I've seen suggestions that it's better to practice a month prior to a contest, rather than at any other time prior to the contest. What is special about a that time frame that it would be suggested ...
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  • 11.9k
10 votes
2 answers
101 views

Where on the web can I find a calendar of upcoming contests?

For years, I have been using SM3CER Contest Service for HF contests. It is always good to have a backup, so I am looking for more or better. What do you recommend?
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  • 1,267
9 votes
2 answers
302 views

How are multiple-operator contest stations with one radio usually operated?

I am the president of a small school club. We plan an participating in the ARRL SSB Sweepstakes this weekend, which is our (new) club's first real multi-op contest effort. How do multioperator/club ...
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8 votes
1 answer
5k views

What does TX/RX Exchange refer to?

I am using the Aether logging software and it has two fields I do not understand: TX Exchange and RX Exchange. I know TX and RX refer to transmit and receive, but I'm not sure what to populate in ...
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  • 1,704
3 votes
1 answer
386 views

How is a "Generally Inactive" ham determined for Field Day GOTA?

ARRL Field Day Rules allow a GOTA station to be operated by "a generally inactive licensee. " There are members of my club which started to become active again after a long term of inactivity a few ...
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2 votes
3 answers
3k views

GNU/Linux contest logging software? [closed]

What contest logging software exists for the GNU/Linux operating system?
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  • 2,266