Hot answers tagged

19

Most countries follow the band plans that disallow contesting on WARC frequencies, which include three narrow slices of shortwave frequencies at 30M, 17M, and 12M. If you stick to these frequencies you will rarely, if ever, be bothered by contests. It's a small slice of spectrum though, so you might simply consider doing what some amateurs do and simply ...


12

There are quite a few key things that can be learned by doing a contest. Here's a few key skills. Learn to copy messages exactly. Improved recognition of faint signals. Ability to communicate in adverse situations. If a contest isn't an adverse situation, I don't know what is! Contesting often promotes mobile or portable communication, which is often useful ...


11

Microphone technique has a good bit to do with clarity. Talk across the mic, not directly into it, unless it is a noise canceling type designed to be used that way. Speak no more than 2" away from the mic, even if it is a desk mic or a boom mounted type; many people make the mistake of thinking that just because they have a desk or boom mounted mic that ...


10

First off, amateur radio isn't very strict. With few exceptions, nobody is going to be very upset if you miss out on something during a casual contact. If you mess up too badly, you'll be asked to provide the missing piece of information, be it a signal report, location, repeat your call sign because it couldn't be copied, or whatever the issue may be. So ...


10

First, some background on general amateur radio procedure: Field Day "is not a contest", but acts a lot like one. In any contest contact, the "exchange" is whatever information is communicated, beyond the call signs of the participants and the procedure of making and confirming the contact. In many contests, but not Field Day, the exchange is a signal ...


9

The first thing to realize is that you can't make anyone move. So you can contact him and tell him (politely) the frequency was in use and he's interfering with you. At that point he may apologize and QSY. Yes, that does work, I have seen it happen. Or he'll tell you to pound sand or just plain ignore you. If that happens, there is really nothing to be ...


9

This is called operating "split" and it takes a certain amount of skill to work a DX operator working split and even more to operate split. The reason this is done is to help manage the pileup. If too many stations are calling and the pileup becomes unmanageable it takes longer and longer to complete an exchange. This is less fun for everyone. By ...


8

One strategy is to camp a frequency starting before the contest. No, those QSOs don't count for the contest, but it lets you get into the rhythm of things and shake down any issues with your setup before the clock starts running. Lots of contesters do this and you might pick up some DX while running like that. In multi-band contests, one strategy is to ...


8

I use the WA7BNM Contest Calendar, usually the 8 Day version is enough for me, I can't plan much farther in advance. This one is nice with links to the rules and such so I check it regularly. There is also the ARRL Contest Calendar, it usually only has the ARRL sponsored contests though. And there is always the handy 3830 Scores site for the post contest ...


8

In general, it is not a bad thing to work stations in a contest and not submit a log. In the big popular contests that don't have difficult exchanges, such as the ARRL DX contest or the CQ WPX contest, the majority of participants are casual. Casual operators are not trying to beat their buddies, or their scores from the year before; they are just there to ...


7

A "CQ Contest" is simply a limited CQ, just like someone can call CQ some-specific-area or CQ any-member-of-a-particular-club. I don't think I've heard this variant on SSB, but I imagine in some contests it may be beneficial to actually specify the contest in question. During a contest, there is usually a specific set of information to exchange. The exact ...


7

This became clear to me after a bit of time to think, but it wasn't at all clear on initially jumping in. It helps to know the formal definitions of the codes used: CQ is “Calling any station”. The station is asking for (new) contacts from anyone. QRZ? is “Who is calling me”. The station is asking for a calling station to repeat their callsign. Only a ...


7

Insofar as there is an agreed-upon definition of the term “mobile” (and “portable”, which is closely related/confusable and so I'm covering it here), this is how I have most frequently seen the terms used when people are being precise about it: Portable: A station set up in a temporary location. If you've parked a radio on a picnic table and strung a wire ...


6

My advice won't necessarily be good for a competitive score, but here is what I've found from running a school Club station during Sweepstakes. The main thing is to have fun! Don't take it too seriously if it's your (or anyone that's operating) first time contesting. For running multi op, it really depends on how many people you have and their experience ...


6

Trial and error. A lot depends on your equipment, antenna, definition of worthwhile. Also, the band and propagation conditions. The cool thing about HF is that while he might be faint to you, how he hears you could be completely different. For me personally, they typically need to be 3 S units up for a smooth exchange, but other folks have had other ...


5

Nothing. And this is a point of some controversy. In contests that allow electronic aids (like spotting networks and skimmers), the users are generally in a separate category. In some cases you go from Single Operator to Single Operator Unlimited, in other cases: Multi-Op Single transmitter. Other contests prohibit aids of any kind, including skimmers. ...


5

For the 2013 Field Day rules, this is answered in the FAQ in the information packet. Emphasis is in the original document. Q. What is considered a generally inactive licensee? A. The GOTA station is not for everyone. The generally inactive licensee provisions pertain to someone who holds an amateur that has been inactive for a significant period ...


5

Most of the ARRL contests have separate events for phone and CW, November Sweepstakes, for example. Some contests have both modes, like Field Day; all the state QSO parties usually support all modes and bands. Non-ARRL contests run the full gamut of rules. The guys at the top of the heap are serious operators; they have their equipment and workflow finely ...


5

Eric Scace, K3NA wrote a two part article for the NCJ a few years back on all the adjustments you can make to your audio chain to improve it's quality. While the article focuses on audio quality for contesting, I think most of the points are relevant "regular" phone contacts. He has 6 main areas that he addresses: Operator training — Things like ...


5

During contests, a popular station (say DX) has a pileup with lots of stations trying to make contact. A station will often merely say QRZ for picking up someone from the pileup. Thus, in this I am agreeing with the previous answer but with the following comment. I believe that this method of saying QRZ is now so popular in this pileup situation (that is, ...


5

What are the best hardware options for this considering the bandwidth and frequency requirements and availability of stable linux drivers. (I was thinking one of the SDRPlay family of devices but would welcome input on this) So quick summation of your requirements: at least 10 MHz analog bandwidth and 10 MS/s (complex) or 20 MS/s (real-valued) sampling ...


5

No, Field Day is not a contest, because stations do not submit logs for checking to validate the claimed scores. No plaques or other commemorations of competitive achievement are sponsored or awarded by ARRL, the sanctioning organization. That does not stop participants from behaving as though Field Day is a contest. Inasmuch as a primary goal of the ...


4

I've used CQRLOG which is built on MySQL but otherwise has many of the same features as other loggers and is fully customizable. If that's too much and you're looking for a simpler solution, Xlog is a barebones logger that can still interchange data with some of the Linux PSK and other digital mode software. Both support all the popular export formats, ...


4

Another advantage of the "split" comes from the US Extra test material. The DX station can call CQ on a frequency that may be out-of-band for broadcast for a lower license class (say General/Technician) OR for other countries which may have a slightly different band limit (but who can still listen to the CQ call frequency). And the CQ station can listen on ...


4

Generally SO2R means one person ("Single Operator") with two separate transceivers attached to two separate antennas ("Two Radios"). The operator doesn't actively transmit and receive on both at the same time, as you say it's a full time job with just one radio. The second radio (that is, which ever radio is not currently being transmitted on), is ...


4

Field Day is an emergency preparedness exercise/ contest that is held the last full weekend of June each year in the United States and Canada. It is sponsored and maintained by ARRL. Points are awarded in a variety of ways, but the general idea is that the station should be set up in short order, operate only on emergency power, and a number of other ...


4

Of course you get the 100 points. You only used one transmitter, so there wasn't an issue of using more than your classification allowed. What the next-to-last sentence of that paragraph is getting at, somewhat sloppily, is operations that only used alternate power briefly to make their 5 QSOs. For example, our group was 2A, using two transmitters full time ...


4

As said by other answerers, it's typically the station announcing 'I'm ready for more contacts at this time.' It doesn't necessarily have to be a DX station, but any station that is attracting a lot of traffic during contests. It is kind of informal usage, as Kevid Reid mentioned, the official QRZ definition is 'who is calling me?', and CQ means 'calling all ...


4

Assuming for the sake of precision that the particular point in the grid square that you want the exact latitude and longitude for is the midpoint of the 6-character subsquare, this can be done readily with Excel formulas. If the 6-character grid square data is in cell A1, in a format similar to AA00aa (i.e. upper-case, then digits, then lower-case), the ...


3

You can also use anything with a waterfall display to help you find open space. If you're set up for digital mode operation, you can run fldigi even for CW contests, use that to find the best "gap", and tune to it without actually using fldigi to transmit.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible