Here’s the latest Amateur/Ham Radio Contest News from HQ ARRL.

Views expressed in this post are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Content supplied by HQ ARRL.

Accessed on 09 December 2020, 1433 UTC, Post 1761.

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12:50 AM (3 hours ago)
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If you are having trouble reading this message, you can see the original at:
http://www.arrl.org/contests/update/?issue=2020-12-09

December 9, 2020

Editor: Brian Moran, N9ADG

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE
NEW HF OPERATORS — THINGS TO DO

The ARRL 10-Meter Contest is the weekend of December 12. In recent weeks, the band has been increasingly open for some long-distance communications, so this year’s contest may provide better propagation than those of the last few years. Don’t forget the 6-hour ARRL Rookie Roundup, CW, on December 20. If you’re reading this as a non-rookie, why not offer to help any rookies via Zoom or another remote method?

The RAC Winter Contest (December 19) has great activity, and new for 2020 is a “Rookie” subcategory. See the contest website for details, and don’t forget to use “Category-Overlay: Rookie” and “Soapbox: First Licensed in <YEAR>” in your submitted Cabrillo-format log if you qualify.

BUSTED QSOS

The link for the gaming/contesting desk chair was broken in the email version of last time’s Contest UpdateIt has been corrected in the online version.

CONTEST SUMMARY

Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

10 Dec – 23 Dec 2020

December 10

December 11

December 12

December 13

December 14

December 15

December 16

December 17

December 18

December 19

December 20

December 21

December 22

December 23

NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, AND GENERAL INTEREST

The ARRL RTTY Roundup is coming up fast. Please be aware of some changes:

  • Multi-operator stations can operate the entire 30-hour contest period.
  • There are two new multi-operator categories joining the existing multi-single category: multi-two and multi-multi.

Both of the new multi categories have a high-power class only. For the ARRL RTTY Roundup “All transmitters and receivers must be located within a 500-meter diameter circle, excluding antennas. (STN.2)” Please see the ARRL RTTY Roundup rules PDF for all of the details.

Starting with this year’s ARRL 160-Meter Contest (which was last weekend), the “ARRL Programs and Services Committee — on behalf of the ARRL Board of Directors will award a new “John Devoldere, ON4UN, Memorial Plaque” each year to the Single-Operator, High-Power (SOHP) winner.” Devoldere became a silent key on November 9. See the Sights and Sounds section, below, for a video of one of John’s operations from 1993.

The 11/26 issue of The Daily DX highlighted the recommendation by Larry, K8YYY, of the Simon’s World Map application for Microsoft Windows which can take a large-screen TV and give you a world view, with various settings to include space weather, terminators, and annotations such as zones, call sign prefixes, and so on. It’s freeware.

The field is set for the 2021 NAQP Challenge. The Northern California Contest Club, the Potomac Valley Radio Club, and the Society of Midwest Contesters have all agreed to participate in what will be the 9th edition of this annual contesting throwdown.

The NAQPC pits contesting clubs against each other in a year-long competition that uses the scores from the six North American QSO Parties as the basis for the scoring. Since its inception in 2013, each club has won the Challenge at least once and, for 2021, PVRC will try to extend its 2-year winning streak into a three-peat. The three clubs report that the competition inspires their members to “get on the air and stay in the chair” in order to contribute as much as possible to their club’s Challenge score. This increased participation also means there are more stations active in the NAQPs, making those contests more exciting for everyone. Contact Tim, K9WX, for more information.

The Rochester VHF Group is sponsoring a VHF Winter Sprint on Saturday, January 2, 2021 starting at 1600 UTC (11:00 AM ET) with two very interesting twists. Rather than following the traditional sprint format of focusing on a single band over a 4-hour period, the VHF Group’s Winter Sprint lasts for only 1 hour and allows stations to make contacts on all three VHF bands (6 meters, 2 meters, and 1.35 meters) using ARRL January VHF scoring (making it easy to log). Together, this Sprint is likely to push adrenaline levels to new heights as operators adjust their strategies accordingly. Full rules are found on RVHFG.org. Post results on 3830scores.com. — Ed, W2EV, Chairman, Rochester VHF Group

There’s a lot of technology and precision involved in fabricating a custom six-layer printed circuit board for modern electronic devices. This article by Bunnie Studios talks about the some of the many issues, and how they are surmounted. It’s a fascinating read, and includes insights on commercial versus “open hardware” product complexity.

Ward, N0AX, found the Mini Morse Code Transcriber project in the latest issue of Make, along with this quote “In the future, features could be added to wirelessly send messages from this device to a computer or friend with a similar device.” Ward’s comment: “Gosh, ya think? What kind of features might those be?” Your editor notes that the M5 Stack hardware that the project uses works with the Arduino ecosystem, so something like the K3NG CW Keyer could be ported to it.

W1MX, the MIT Radio Society, recently did an antenna refit. This antenna is clearly visible along the shore of the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts, atop the Walker Memorial building. The MIT Radio Society is enjoying a revitalization, and is reaching out to alums and interested parties who would like to contribute to its future.

Neil, WB9VPG, writes:

“YOTA Month Continues to Expand into the Americas. Youth-operated stations around the world will be part of a special event celebrating youth in amateur radio during the month of December. Amateur radio operators age 25 and younger will be on the air as special event stations around the world throughout December in celebration of youth in amateur radio. YOTA Month stations will be on all bands and modes at various times. QSL and award information is at http://events.ham-yota.com.

In the United States this year, the call signs will be K8Y, K8O, K8T, and K8A. Amateur radio operators should be encouraged to listen for and contact these stations as well as all call signs ending in the letters “YOTA” across the globe.

Eighteen youth operators in the Americas participated last year, and this year we expect to increase that number to 24. Last year, young hams worldwide surpassed their goal of 100,000 QSOs in the month of December with a final tally of 129,000. 12,467 of those QSOs were made by stations in the US, Canada, and Chile.

More information about YOTA Month specifically in the Americas can be found at http://YouthOnTheAir.org. The Youth on the Air website is sponsored by Icom America.

More information about YOTA Month globally can be found at http://events.ham-yota.com.

To obtain additional information about YOTA Month participation in the Americas, please contact YOTA Month coordinator Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO, or YOTA Camp Director Neil Rapp, WB9VPG, at yotamonth@youthontheair.org.”

QRP Labs is now shipping the QCX Mini, a single-band size-reduced CW transceiver kit. It boasts “rotary encoder synthesized tuning, VFO A/B/Split, iambic keyer, CW decoder,” and CAT control among its many features. This new kit has “cute” and “gift” written all over it.

In the “aren’t you glad it can be operated remotely?” department, large swaths of Maine have just experienced the worst winter storm (Nor’easter) in 20 years. There are quite a few new remote stations in Maine, positioned to benefit from better radio access to the EU. This real alert from the Bangor, Maine, police department paints a picture of the situation on the ground. As of this writing, there are still over 30,000 without power in Maine because of the storm.

After the ARRL 160-Meter Contest last weekend, Mark, N5OT, who is responsible for the contest results article write-up, implores: “Okay, is the dust is settling? Write down your ARRL 160 anecdotes before you forget them. Did you remember to take photos? It’s not too late to go back to the desk and fake some in retrospect… Nobody will ever know… It will be our little secret. Man that was fun!” Send your photos and anecdotes to Mark.

WORD TO THE WISE

Trove

From the Oxford Dictionary: “a store of valuable or delightful things,” such as the trove of past results articles from the ARRL RTTY RoundupARRL 10-Meter, and ARRL 160-Meter contest that have been uploaded to contests.arrl.org by Trey, N5KO.

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

Dennis, WU6X, was the presenter at a recent online meeting of the Sierra Foothills ARC. The title of his talk was “Contesting Tips” and was intended for those who are intending to contest, or just beginning to contest.

Takeoff Angles and HFTA” was presented by Kevan, N4XL, as part of the Deep Dixie Contest Club’s Zoom Learning Series. For HF antennas, higher is not always better!

In 1993, the OT3T CQ WW SSB multi-single operation took place at ON4UN’s QTH. This video is a documentary of that operation, including preparation, team, equipment, and of course, the contest. Highlights of the preparation for the contest included the construction of an 80-meter four square, 12 Beverage receiving antennas, amplifier rebuilds, and formation of the multi-single strategy. The operation achieved first place in Europe, and fourth place worldwide. (ON4WW)

How about a tour of KC1XX on Hurricane Hill? Marty, NC1J, posted this on YouTube recently: KC1XX Drone Antenna Tour

“Tomorrow’s World 1969” was a BBC production covering future trends. This episode features a spoken CW (!?) to typewriter interface, which seems sort of like RTTY, but…why not use RTTY? See the start of the program, then forward to 5:20 for the CW parts. Maybe today’s Alexa has this voice CW reading skill? (Dennis, N6KI)

RESULTS AND RECORDS

Trey, N5KO, writes: “This may be of interest to your readers since it is that time of year for the ARRL 160-Meter, ARRL 10-Meter, and ARRL RTTY Roundup contests. I have been working on a project to scan old QSTs and get legacy contest results loaded onto the new ARRL contesting website, contests.arrl.org.” Results for all three of these contests all the way back to their inaugural years can be viewed at:

John, K1AR, CQ WW Contest Director, notes that the raw claimed scores for the 2020 CQ WW CW Contest are now available online. Over 9,000 logs have been submitted so far!

OPERATING TIP

New Contesters: Ease Into Contesting by Searching and Pouncing

Dennis, WU6X, suggests that new contesters “ease into” contesting by trying searching and pouncing for contacts before running. Look for the loud stations calling CQ, and give them a call. It might take a few tries, but after a few contacts everything should become more familiar. Don’t worry about mistakes, everyone makes them, correct them, and continue on!

TECHNICAL TOPICS AND INFORMATION

Bob, KB6NU, discussed a number of web-hosted technical resources in a recent blog entry. Included are an impedance matching network calculator for toroid cores and an interactive introduction to Fourier Transforms.

Targeted ads seem to finally be finding things that are of interest to hams! Recently, ads for copper shielding tape have been “following me around” on various websites. It’s good for slug deterrent, but also advertised for “EMI Shielding, Electrical Repair and Grounding”

Navier Stokes systems of partial differential equations describe the behavior of a wide variety of physical systems, and can be combined with Maxwell’s equations to model magnetohydrodynamics. Now, deep learning techniques are being used to solve Navier Stokes systems of equations. The key was to “define the inputs and outputs in Fourier space.” Benefits of using the new techniques include speed and accuracy.

CONVERSATION

Green Fields

The 2021 ARRL RTTY Roundup on January 2-3 features two new categories for multi-ops: multi-two and multi-multi. January 2021 is NOT the best time for people from different households to be gathering in person, however if your “pod” includes others interested in contesting, the 2021 contest will definitely be for the record books. Because multi-2 and multi-multi are new categories, there are no existing records, so the high scores for these categories will, by default, become the new records! High scores are kept by U.S. Call Area, ARRL Division, ARRL Section, Canada Province, and DX entity. There are plenty of slots.

Maybe you can convince the PC gamer in the house that this is a sort of text-based old-school adventure, or that you absolutely need your spouse to participate, since they’re such a better typist than you.

If you have to look outside your immediate household for operators and you’re already set up for RTTY or FT8/FT4, consider staying safe and letting other team members access your station remotely via AnyDesk or another sharing technology. Key to making this easy and frustration-free for all involved is that all aspects of your station’s operation be controllable from your logging computer’s desktop, and that the RTTY audio be audible to the remote operator (if using RTTY) via the sharing software.

It is possible to do RTTY without listening to the receiver and just by watching the decode and X-Y or waterfall, but not recommended. Having tried it personally I can verify it’s a more difficult without the low-level audio to indicate when other stations are transmitting. For those that are using FTx modes, all you really need is the screen display!

You can see the existing all-time records for the ARRL RTTY Roundup on the ARRL Contesting website.

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 contest-update@arrl.org

73, Brian N9ADG

CONTESTS

10 Dec – 23 Dec 2020

An expanded, downloadable version of QST’Contest Corral is available as a PDF. Check the sponsors’ website for information on operating time restrictions and other instructions.

HF CONTESTS

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Dec 10, 0300z to Dec 10, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 12.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Dec 10, 1700z to Dec 10, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: December 15.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Dec 11, 0145z to Dec 11, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: December 13.

QRP Fox Hunt, Dec 11, 0200z to Dec 11, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: December 17.

NCCC Sprint, Dec 11, 0230z to Dec 11, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: December 13.

PODXS 070 Club Triple Play Low Band Sprint, Dec 12, 0000z to Dec 14, 2359z; PSK31; Bands: 160, 80, 40m; RST + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 21.

ARRL 10-Meter Contest, Dec 12, 0000z to Dec 14, 0000z; CW, Phone; Bands: 10m Only; W/VE: RST + State/Province, XE: RST + State, DX: RST + Serial No., MM: RST + ITU Region; Logs due: December 20.

TRC Digi Contest, Dec 12, 0600z to Dec 13, 1800z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; TRC Members: RST + Serial No. + “TRC”, non-TRC Members: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: December 20.

SKCC Weekend Sprintathon, Dec 12, 1200z to Dec 14, 0000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./”NONE”); Logs due: December 20.

ARI 40/80 Contest, Dec 12, 1300z to Dec 13, 1300z; Phone, CW, Digital; Bands: 80, 40m; RS(T) + 2-letter province car code; Logs due: December 22.

RTTYOPS Weekend Sprint, Dec 12, 1600z to Dec 12, 1959z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name] + [6-character grid locator]; Logs due: December 19.

International Naval Contest, Dec 12, 1600z to Dec 13, 1559z; CW, SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Naval Club Member: RS(T) + Club + Member No., non-Naval Club Member: RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: January 13.

QRP ARCI Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint, Dec 13, 2000z to Dec 13, 2300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + (ARCI number/power); Logs due: December 22.

CQC Great Colorado Snowshoe Run, Dec 13, 2100z to Dec 13, 2259z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country); Logs due: January 12.

K1USN Slow Speed Test, Dec 14, 0000z to Dec 14, 0100z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 16.

4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint, Dec 14, 0100z to Dec 14, 0300z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: RS(T) + (State/Province/Country) + Member No., Non-member: RS(T) + (State/Province/Country) + Power; Logs due: December 16.

OK1WC Memorial (MWC), Dec 14, 1630z to Dec 14, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: December 18.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest, Dec 15, 0100z to Dec 15, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: December 16.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Dec 15, 1700z to Dec 15, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: December 15.

NAQCC CW Sprint, Dec 16, 0130z to Dec 16, 0330z; CW; Bands: ; RST + (state/province/country) + (NAQCC No./power); Logs due: December 20.

QRP Fox Hunt, Dec 16, 0200z to Dec 16, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: December 17.

Phone Fray, Dec 16, 0230z to Dec 16, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: December 18.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Dec 16, 1300z to Dec 16, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 19.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Dec 16, 1900z to Dec 16, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 19.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Dec 17, 0300z to Dec 17, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 19.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Dec 17, 1700z to Dec 17, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: December 22.

NCCC RTTY Sprint, Dec 18, 0145z to Dec 18, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: December 20.

QRP Fox Hunt, Dec 18, 0200z to Dec 18, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20m Only; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: December 24.

NCCC Sprint, Dec 18, 0230z to Dec 18, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: December 20.

AGB-Party Contest, Dec 18, 1600z to Dec 18, 1700z; CW, SSB, Digital; Bands: 80, 40m; AGB Member: RST + QSO No. + Member No., non-Member: RST + QSO No.; Logs due: January 15.

Russian 160-Meter Contest, Dec 18, 2000z to Dec 19, 0000z; CW, SSB; Bands: 160m Only; Rus: RS(T) + Oblast code, non-Rus: RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: December 29.

RAC Winter Contest, Dec 19, 0000z to Dec 19, 2359z; CW, Phone; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6, 2m; VE: RS(T) + (province/territory), non-VE and VE0: RS(T) + Serial No.; Logs due: January 31.

Feld Hell Sprint, Dec 19, 0000z to Dec 19, 2359z; Feld Hell; Bands: (see rules) ; (see rules); Logs due: December 23.

OK DX RTTY Contest, Dec 19, 0000z to Dec 20, 0000z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + CQ Zone; Logs due: December 26.

Padang DX Contest, Dec 19, 1200z to Dec 20, 1159z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RS + Serial No.; Logs due: December 27.

Croatian CW Contest, Dec 19, 1400z to Dec 20, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: December 28.

RTTYOPS Weekend Sprint, Dec 19, 1600z to Dec 19, 1959z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name] + [6-character grid locator]; Logs due: December 19.

ARRL Rookie Roundup, CW, Dec 20, 1800z to Dec 20, 2359z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; NA: Name + 2-digit year first licensed + (state/province/XE area/DX); Logs due: December 23.

Run for the Bacon QRP Contest, Dec 20, 2300z to Dec 21, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; RST + (state/province/country) + (Member No./power); Logs due: December 27.

K1USN Slow Speed Test, Dec 21, 0000z to Dec 21, 0100z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 23.

OK1WC Memorial (MWC), Dec 21, 1630z to Dec 21, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40m; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: December 25.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest, Dec 22, 0100z to Dec 22, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: December 23.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint, Dec 22, 1700z to Dec 22, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20m; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: December 22.

SKCC Sprint, Dec 23, 0000z to Dec 23, 0200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6m; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./”NONE”); Logs due: December 25.

Phone Fray, Dec 23, 0230z to Dec 23, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15m; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: December 25.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Dec 23, 1300z to Dec 23, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 26.

CWops Mini-CWT Test, Dec 23, 1900z to Dec 23, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: December 26.

VHF+ CONTESTS

See SKCC Weekend SprintathonWorldwide Sideband Activity ContestRAC Winter ContestSKCC Sprint, above.

LOG DUE DATES

10 Dec – 23 Dec 2020

December 10, 2020

December 11, 2020

December 12, 2020

December 13, 2020

December 14, 2020

December 15, 2020

December 16, 2020

December 17, 2020

December 18, 2020

December 19, 2020

December 20, 2020

December 21, 2020

December 22, 2020

December 23, 2020

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ARRL Contest Update wishes to acknowledge information from WA7BNM’s Contest Calendar.

 

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Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section