Welcome to “The ARRL Contest Update” from Big Island ARRL News.
Views expressed in this contest update are those of the reporters and correspondents.
Content supplied by HQ ARRL, 225 Main Street, Newington, CT, 06111.
Editor: Brian Moran (N9ADG).
Accessed on 22 August 2019, 0505 UTC, Post 1085.
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IN THIS ISSUE
The YARC (Young Amateurs Radio Club) Summer QSO Party is coming up on August 24. This event’s purpose is to “introduce young amateur radio operators to radiosport and encourage young amateurs to get on the air” and to “encourage old timers to contact as many young operators as possible. All stations may participate, but stations with a median operator age of over the age of 30 submit in their own category.” There are three other state QSO parties that weekend.
22 Aug – 4 Sep 2019
The July 2019 ARRL Board of Directors meeting minutes included two resolutions related to machine-initiated and machine-made (“automated”) contacts. According to ARRL Radiosport and Field Services Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, “Effective immediately, we will be incorporating into all Contest and DXCC Rules the following resolutions prohibiting automated contacts:
33. Returning to further recommendations from the Programs and Services Committee, Mr. Sarratt moved, seconded by Mr. Norris, that WHEREAS, there has been a growing concern over fully automated contacts being made and claimed for contest credit; THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, on the recommendation of the Programs and Services Committee, the Board directs that the rules for ARRL contests – both HF and VHF/UHF – be revised to include the requirement that each claimed contact must include contemporaneous direct initiation by the operator on both sides of the contact. Initiation of a contact may be either locally or by remote. After discussion the motion was ADOPTED by voice vote.
35. Ms. Jairam moved, seconded by Mr. Williams: WHEREAS, there has been a growing concern over fully automated contacts being made and claimed for DXCC credit, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, on the recommendation of the Programs and Services Committee, the Board directs that DXCC rule 6 be amended to add 6a, as the following: 6a. Each contact claimed for DXCC credit must include contemporaneous direct initiation by the operator on both sides of the contact. Initiation of a contact may be locally or by remote. After discussion the motion was ADOPTED.
The first ever World Wide Digi DX contest is coming up on August 31. Here are some resources by Don, AA5AU, for getting your logging program to cooperate with FT-mode software for the contest:
John, K6AM, writes: “The normal 2-week interval between the ARRL International DX CW and Phone weekends is three weeks in 2020, due to the leap year adding another Saturday to the month of February. I discovered this as I was planning my annual trek to ZF1A and had to book an extra week.”
Bob, 5B4AGN, is soliciting interest in another group buy of his popular six band band-pass filter kits. According to Bob: “At this stage I wish only to scope interest. I seek no commitment to participate and offer no commitment a buy will take place. Should there be significant interest, I will have a body of work to carry out to confirm viability. Certain components may be more difficult to source than they were and key manufactured components will be subject to minimum economic order quantities. I imagine we will need minimum demand of 50 units for a buy to be viable.” Those that are interested in these kits should join the TXBPF Group, and post a message to Bob. Construction requires the ability to wind toroids, solder components, and perform alignment of the individual filter sections using equipment you probably have in your ham shack. Comprehensive construction instructions are available in the files area of the TXBPF Group. According to Bob: “As a guide, the cost of the…kit at the time of the last group buy was GBP 245, (Not including the 24 toroid cores or the wire to wind them – Ed.).”
Tim, K9WX, Manager of the NAQP (North American QSO Party) Challenge, writes:
“The NAQP Challenge, an annual competition between the Northern California Contest Club, the Potomac Valley Radio Club and the Society of Midwest Contesters, is based on the scores of the six NAQP contests sponsored by the National Contest Journal.
Preliminary results have been published for the July NAQP RTTY contest on the NCJ website. Based on those results, SMC won the fourth round of the 2019 Challenge. SMC had the most participants and the highest sum of logs, the unbeatable combination. This has been the pattern for the winner of all 4 NAQP Challenge events this year. PVRC was second and NCCC third in the July RTTY round.
For the year, that gives PVRC two firsts and two seconds and SMC also has two firsts and two seconds, placing them in a tie. NCCC has four third-place finishes. PVRC has a small lead in overall NAQPC score, which is used as a tie breaker should two or more clubs be tied on NAQPC Points after the last two contests are scored.
The August NAQP CW contest was held on August 3, and those results are expected in the near future. The final NAQP event for 2019 will be the SSB contest on August 17 and it appears that, as has been the case the past 2 years, the winner of the 2019 Challenge will not be determined until the SSB contest has been scored.”
The World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF) has received a gracious $25,000 donation from Chick Allen, NW3Y, to be used to “promote and enhance youth involvement in radio sport contesting.” According to Tim, K3LR, WWROF Chairman, “This significant contribution is especially meaningful as it is well-aligned with WWROF’s mission of improving the operating skills of amateurs around the world, including those that are new to ham radio.” See the WWROF website for the full press release.
“Just wanted to let you know that August 24 and 25 will be active with three state QSO parties: Ohio, Kansas, Hawaii. We’ve looked at the rules for all three and now have compatible multiplier names that won’t be confused with a different party. If you’re not in any of the three states, you can work all three parties at the same time using the same log. Your logger may need manual help to log a QSO not in the state module you’re using, but most loggers have a way to manually force it to log a QSO. For example, in Writelog, use CTRL-Enter to log a QSO from a different state (different multiplier name) than what the logger expects. It may be wise to use the OH (Ohio) module, since it allows four characters for the multiplier name. It would be nice if the logger vendors would come up with a common module, but I don’t think that has happened yet.” – Alan, AD6E, Chairman, Hawaii QSO Party
The Hiram Percy Maxim Birthday Celebration starting August 31 is a 9-day operating event in celebration of “the 150th anniversary of the birth of ARRL’s first president and cofounder, Hiram Percy Maxim (HPM), W1AW.” There are 84 multipliers in total (not per band) and there are varying points for working different ARRL related stations, and various incentives for using different modes, being portable, using social media, and so on. All bands excluding 12, 17, 30, and 60 meters count! Logs will be scored, and certificates available for download. See the rules for more information.
Prop Pitch Rotator
A rotator that was originally a component in a propeller aircraft motor. The original use was to change the orientation of the blades of the propeller to change the amount and direction of thrust. For amateur use as an antenna rotator, they provide an incredible amount of turning torque for very large antennas. Kurt, N7NV, has information on various types of prop pitch assemblies on his website.
Steve, VE6WZ, tackles detecting problems in his receive antenna system in a new video. He discusses various failure modes, and how to prevent or mitigate them. For those operating remote, he also discusses how he can diagnose problems remotely (at about 6:27 in the video).
Mike, W4AAW, writes: “All of us PVRCers quite naturally root for the great W3LPL team in the big contests. However, we also have great respect for Frank’s biggest non-PVRC competitor, Tim Duffy’s K3LR. Here is a just-posted and brand new video by K7AGE, showing the K3LR installation. Both W3LPL and K3LR are at the pinnacles of technical achievement, radio sport competition, operating courtesy and gentlemanly conduct. Hats off to Frank, Tim, and their respective teams.”
If you missed the WWROF’s webinar on the upcoming World Wide Digital DX Contest, you can catch the replay here. (Mark, N5OT)
Use Score Comparisons on 3830scores.com
This tip is from Val’s, NV9L, presentation at the 2016 Contest University. The 3830scores website has a handy feature that lets you to look up scores and band breakdowns for a particular contest by year and call sign. Start by looking up a call’s results for a specific contest, then click on the “Compare Scores” button next to the score summary. Type in up to five calls past contest dates, and you can get a comparison in the same year or different years broken out by score, multipliers, and contacts per band. Picking a higher scoring station in your same area can hint at whether you need to have better antennas or better strategies for band changes.
The 2019 ARRL TAPR / DCC (Digital Communications Conference) is in Detroit, Michigan September 20-22. For more information on this technical conference, see the conference website.
The Mega Morse Tutor by W8BH, inspired by Morse Code Tutor by W8TEE, is another build-it-yourself project that can help increase your CW proficiency. This one has a slew of features, including the ability to send five letter groups, arbitrary text from a file on an SD Card, and “Follow Me” sending practice. This project started on an STM32 microcontroller, but has since been ported to a MEGA2560.
The K3NG Keyer project also has a”CW Training Module and Various Training Modes” and can also be used as the keying interface between your logging program and your radio.
GNU Radio is out with version 126.96.36.199. It’s the first minor release in 6 years. GNU Radio is a DSP processing framework where “blocks” that perform operations on signals are combined to form larger signal chains by drawing connections between them as a graph. GNU Radio works with a broad range of hardware and other software, and is the foundation of a number of Amateur Radio oriented projects including SatNOGS. GNU Radio Conference 2019 will be held September 16 – 20, 2019 in Huntsville, Alabama. Presentations from previous GRCons can be found on YouTube.
A Chinese satellite orbiting the moon was tasked with examining celestial RF sources in the 1-30 MHz range, using the moon as a shield to block RF from Earth and the sun. The satellite was also able to measure RF emitted by the Earth alone. This Southgate ARC articleshows a graph of the RF spectrum received at the moon from Earth. There’s no further information provided on whether this is a snapshot or a cumulative graph, or whether ionospheric effects are reflected in the data. DK3WN’s website has more information on the mission and spacecraft. (Larry, N6NC)
Last week, the Rolling Stones got up on stage here in Seattle, and played the same songs they’ve been playing for the last 50 years. The songs are familiar, but there’s new technology in the production. They don’t need to perform every night, or even ever again – yet they do. At their next stop, in Santa Clara, Keith said, “This is fun…I wouldn’t do it otherwise.” But affordances have been made to continue to have fun. Everyone wore sensible shoes. Hydration was important during the event. Fans and the band alike were on their way home well before midnight.
Some of the contesters and DXers you hear on the air have been rocking the bands for decades as well. Their strategy for continuing to have fun has likely evolved over time, to concentrate on the events that matter to them, making good personal choices to balance fun with everything else. They incorporate technology to make things easier. They tailor their scoring expectations to match the reality of the stations that they can maintain.
And, they realize, You Can’t Always Work What You Want.
Some long-lived bands are constrained by fan expectations. Simply put, their fans don’t want to hear “new stuff.” Are we similarly constrained when we’re told that certain modes or operating methods are not “real ham radio”?
That’s all for this time. Remember to send contesting related stories, book reviews, tips, techniques, press releases, errata, schematics, club information, pictures, stories, blog links, and predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
73, Brian N9ADG
22 Aug – 4 Sep 2019
An expanded, downloadable version of QST’s Contest Corral is available as a PDF. Check the sponsors’ website for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Aug 21, 1300z to Aug 21, 1400z and, Aug 21, 1900z to Aug 21, 2000z and, Aug 22, 0300z to Aug 22, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: August 24.
QRP Fox Hunt, Aug 23, 0100z to Aug 23, 0230z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: August 24.
NCCC RTTY Sprint, Aug 23, 0145z to Aug 23, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: August 25.
NCCC Sprint, Aug 23, 0230z to Aug 23, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: August 25.
Hawaii QSO Party, Aug 24, 0400z to Aug 26, 0400z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; HI: RS(T) + QTH, non-HI W/VE: RS(T) + (state/province), DX: RS(T); Logs due: September 30.
ALARA Contest, Aug 24, 0600z to Aug 25, 0559z; CW, Phone; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; ALARA: RS(T)A + Name, non-ALARA: RS(T) + Serial No. + Name + (whether YL/OM/club station); Logs due: September 30.
W/VE Islands QSO Party, Aug 24, 1200z to Aug 25, 0300z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; Islands: RS(T) + USI/CISA Island Designation, Non-Islands: RS(T) + (state/province/country); Logs due: September 30.
YO DX HF Contest, Aug 24, 1200z to Aug 25, 1200z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; YO: RS(T) + county, non-YO: RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: September 24.
SCC RTTY Championship, Aug 24, 1200z to Aug 25, 1159z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + 4-digit year license first issued; Logs due: August 27.
Kansas QSO Party, Aug 24, 1400z to Aug 25, 0200z and, Aug 25, 1400z to Aug 25, 2000z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; KS: RS(T) + county, non-KS: RS(T) + (state/VE section/”DX”); Logs due: October 1.
Ohio QSO Party, Aug 24, 1600z to Aug 25, 0400z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; OH: RS(T) + county, non-OH: RS(T) + (state/province/”DX”); Logs due: September 23.
YARC QSO Party, Aug 24, 1600z to Aug 25, 0359z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2, 222, 432; age + (state/province/MX/DX) ; Logs due: August 31.
CVA DX Contest, SSB, Aug 24, 2100z to Aug 25, 2100z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RS + type/UF(see rules); Logs due: September 9.
SARL HF CW Contest, Aug 25, 1400z to Aug 25, 1700z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: September 1.
QCX Challenge, Aug 26, 1300z to Aug 26, 1400z and, Aug 26, 1900z to Aug 26, 2000z and, Aug 27, 0300z to Aug 27, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: August 29.
SKCC Sprint, Aug 28, 0000z to Aug 28, 0200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./power); Logs due: August 30.
Phone Fray, Aug 28, 0230z to Aug 28, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: August 30.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Aug 28, 1300z to Aug 28, 1400z and, Aug 28, 1900z to Aug 28, 2000z and, Aug 29, 0300z to Aug 29, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: August 31.
QRP Fox Hunt, Aug 30, 0100z to Aug 30, 0230z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: August 31.
NCCC RTTY Sprint, Aug 30, 0145z to Aug 30, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: September 1.
NCCC Sprint, Aug 30, 0230z to Aug 30, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: September 1.
Hiram Percy Maxim Birthday Celebration, Aug 31, 0000z to Sep 8, 2359z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: All, except 60, 30, 17, 12m; W/VE: RS(T)/SNR + ARRL/RAC Section, DX: RS(T)/SNR + “DX”; Logs due: September 18.
World Wide Digi DX Contest, Aug 31, 1200z to Sep 1, 1200z; FT4/8; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; 4-character grid square; Logs due: September 6.
UK/EI DX Contest, SSB, Aug 31, 1200z to Sep 1, 1200z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; UK/EI: RS + Serial No. + District Code, DX: RS + Serial No.; Logs due: September 2.
Colorado QSO Party, Aug 31, 1300z to Sep 1, 0400z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, VHF/UHF; CO: Name + county, W/VE: Name + (state/province), DX: Name + DXCC prefix; Logs due: October 5.
Tennessee QSO Party, Sep 1, 1800z to Sep 2, 0300z; CW, Phone, Digital; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, VHF/UHF; TN: RS(T) + county, non-TN: RS(T) + (state/province/country); Logs due: October 2.
RSGB FT4 Contest Series, Sep 2, 1900z to Sep 2, 1959z; FT4; Bands: 80m Only; Signal Report + 4-character grid square; Logs due: September 3.
MI QRP Labor Day CW Sprint, Sep 2, 2300z to Sep 3, 0300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + (member no./power output); Logs due: September 16.
ARS Spartan Sprint, Sep 3, 0100z to Sep 3, 0300z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + Power; Logs due: September 5.
Phone Fray, Sep 4, 0230z to Sep 4, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: August 23.
CWops Mini-CWT Test, Sep 4, 1300z to Sep 4, 1400z and, Sep 4, 1900z to Sep 4, 2000z and, Sep 5, 0300z to Sep 5, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No., non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: August 24.
UKEICC 80m Contest, Sep 4, 2000z to Sep 4, 2100z; CW; Bands: 80m Only; 4-Character grid square; Logs due: September 4.
G3ZQS Memorial Straight Key Contest, Sep 4, 2300z to Sep 6, 2300z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; FISTS: RST + (state/province/country) + name + FISTS No., non-FISTS: RST + (state/province/country) + name + power; Logs due: October 6.
50 MHz Fall Sprint, Aug 24, 2300z to Aug 25, 0300z; not specified; Bands: 6m Only; 4-character grid square; Logs due: September 7.
22 Aug – 4 Sep 2019
August 23, 2019
August 24, 2019
August 25, 2019
August 27, 2019
August 29, 2019
August 30, 2019
August 31, 2019
September 1, 2019
September 2, 2019
September 3, 2019
September 4, 2019
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Hawaii Island Amateur/Ham Radio news:
Please save the dates 24 August-25 August 2019 for the Hawaii QSO Party. According to Alan (AD6E/KH6TU), the HQP will run from 0400Z 24 August through 0359Z 26 August 2019. “Translated, that’s 6 pm HST Friday through 5:59 pm Sunday. Work as many stations on as many bands and modes as you can.” You can find complete rules here: http://www.hawaiiqsoparty.org/Rules/HQP/HQPRules-2019-A.html
“Grid Madness 2019”, the Hawaii Island-based VHF/UHF Simplex Contest, will be held on Sunday, 15 September 2019, from 1300 to 1700 HST. You can find the revised contest package here: https://gridmadness.blogspot.com
For the latest Amateur/Ham Radio news and information, please check the blog sidebars and links. These news feeds are updated daily and weekly. Thanks for joining us today.
Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)
Public Information Coordinator
Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section