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The ARRL Contest Update

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Here are the latest Amateur Radio contest news, events, and commentary compiled by HQ ARRL and W1AW.

Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio contest update are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 26 October 2022, 1236 UTC.

Content republished with permission of The ARRL.  Copyright ARRL.

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The
ARRL Contest Update

October 26, 2022

Editor: Paul Bourque, N1SFE

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In this Issue:
Upcoming Contests — Things to Do

The CQ WW Phone contest is this weekend. It’s probably the most popular, with thousands of stations on the air. Though recent conditions have been great on the higher bands, at the time of this writing forecasts say that geomagnetic conditions could be unsettled during the contest. If open, ten meters is great for multipliers — in this contest, “juicy mults” count separately for each band. Make sure you’re providing the right exchange: report and CQ zone. That practically means 59 and 3, 4, or 5 for the mainland US. The Explorer entry category for 2022 “is intended to encourage innovation in operating strategies, station design, and technology adaptation” and may be something to try for a distributed multi-op, because in that category, “members of a multi-operator team are permitted to operate from different locations.”

The CW leg of ARRL Sweepstakes is November 5 – 7. ARRL Sweepstakes is the “oldest domestic contest, beginning in 1930” with competition at the individual, team, and club levels. In this contest, multipliers are the 84 ARRL and RAC Sections; each may be worked once in the contest, regardless of band. The exchange is daunting to this contest’s first-timers, but familiar to those who have operated it before. Contacts may be made on 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters, but because multipliers may only be worked once, activity tends to cluster on the bands that are open and populated.

Don’t forget: “100 W is now the low-power category limit for all ARRL and IARU HF contests, effective January 1, 2022.”

Busted QSOs

In the last issue, the New York and Illinois QSO parties should have been listed as being on the weekend of October 15. Sorry about that.

Contest Summary

See the “Contests” section below for complete contest information.

October 27, 2022 – November 9, 2022

October 27

October 28

October 29

October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

News, Press Releases, and Special Interest

Contesters and DXers have a similar goal: make contacts as quickly and efficiently as possible. The International DX Association (INDEXA) published DXing tips in their summer newsletter, which were authored by many operators who you would also associate with contesting.

The Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge was last weekend, and the soapbox comments indicate conditions were worse than last year. This would be expected in a time of increasing sunspot activity. Get ready for the main event in December!

As more of our gear and software become connected to our in-shack networks and we make our stations accessible remotely, keeping unauthorized users out is of paramount importance. The NodeRED members on Groups.io have published some guidelines that should be followed by anyone considering opening access to their dashboards from the outside. The key is to not open any network ports, or port forward from the outside to the inside. Instead, use a VPN and require authentication.

Paul Wade, W1GHZ, has announced that after a 3-year hiatus, the Microwave Update will return in 2023. On April 14 – 15, 2023, the event will return to the Hilton Garden Inn at the Bradley Airport in Windsor, Connecticut. Details for registration and hotel information will be coming soon, at https://microwaveupdate.org. Those with an interest in submitting presentations or papers should email Paul at w1ghz@arrl.org.

Word to the Wise

Golden Log —

A submitted log judged by the contest sponsor to contain no mistakes.

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Sights and Sounds

This common-mode power line choke is constructed with type 31 cores and 12 AWG Romex-type cable.

Keeping electromagnetic interference (EMI) out of power lines is important when using generators with radio gear. Jim Brown, K9YC, provides guidance on constructing practical common-mode power-line chokes for this purpose, in his document, “A Ham’s Guide to RFI, Ferrites, Baluns, and Audio Interfacing.” I recently built a couple of the chokes shown in Fig 30a. If you’re building one, you’ll need at least 62 inches of Romex-type cable to make one of these with the three cores. In email communication with Jim, he reiterates to not substitute wire type or cores, otherwise you’ll be on your own for characterizing the performance of the chokes.

“For the faint of heart, this is what the logging computer screens looked like at W7RN during the JARTS RTTY contest. Those who know Jeff Stai, WK6I, will recognize his mascot, the rubber chicken.” [Tom Taormina, K5RC, photo]

Results and Records

Ed Muns, W0YK, notes: “The 2022 WW Digi DX Contest results are now online. Thank you for your patience, as they were delayed.”

Stu Phillips, K6TU, announces: “The results for the 2022 running of the Makrothen RTTY Contest are now available on the Pizza Lovers 259 website. Personalized certificates are available to all participants. We would like to thank all who took part and congratulate the top scorers in all categories. The 2023 Makrothen RTTY Contest will take place October 14 – 15, 2023.”

Since the finish of the Stew Perry/LowBand Jack contest last weekend, and as contest logs are submitted, the preliminary results of this contest are frequently updated on the contest website. Scores are updated as new low power and QRP log submissions are made, because those contacts earn a higher multiplier. Larry Tyree, N6TR, notes that “anyone interested in sponsoring a plaque for the December main event is welcome to sign up. Information is available on the website under Plaques.”

Operating Tip

The Logger-Calculated Score is Just an Estimate

For any given contest, contacts will be made and logged. The logging program will examine each contact, and to the best of its ability, keep a running total of what your score is in the contest. There are many reasons why the logger’s calculated score may not match what the contest sponsor calculates. Even with a golden log (see “Word to the Wise” above), calculating the exact score for some contests is impossible. This is because contests have rules that assign points based on information that the logging program doesn’t have. For example, in the recent Stew Perry Topband Challenge, a contact’s points are calculated based on the distance between the two stations participating, as well as the power category for each station. The logging program doesn’t know how much power the other station is using, so it can’t accurately calculate a score for logs containing contacts with QRP, low-power, and high-power stations.

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Technical Topics and Discussion

Cruciform drive screws have a head with two slots crossing. Some screws just have the two slots, some have slots and a dot or two, and sometimes the slots have a different shape where they cross. As long as you have a tool that will turn them, it’s ok, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. There are different types, denoted by the markings on the screw heads, and for critical applications, you should always use the right tool for the right screw, especially if you want to avoid cam-out and damaging the slots. It’s easy to geek out on this topic, but here’s a Wikipedia article that provides a high-level overview of the various types.

In a post to the Amps list on lists.contesting.com, Mike Schlamp, W5CUL, noted that there’s a Groups.io group dedicated to the Alpha 87A amplifier. Alpha RF Systems has a web page on these amplifiers that offers a wealth of technical information, as well as production dates for many legacy Alpha amplifier models.

Harvey Mudd College has published the video lecture series, “Learn SDR with Professor Jason Gallicchio,” on YouTube. The series of lectures are highlighted by demonstrations of the theory with actual RTL-SDR hardware. The lectures start with FM reception and proceed through on-off keying, phase-shift keying (PSK), doppler radar, digital symbol recovery, and GPS reception. The RTL-SDR receiver is an inexpensive USB-based receiver that was originally intended for DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial) reception, but now finds application in hundreds, if not thousands, of SDR-related projects.

A number of university researchers have figured out how to use Starlink signals as an analog for GPS. They did so by decoding Starlink signals and reverse engineering the data streams. One of the teams from Ohio State University has gone even farther, constructing a framework they’re calling cognitive opportunistic navigation, which will observe and decode arbitrary signals from an orbiting satellite to be able to accurately determine the receiver location on Earth.

Conversation

Sustainable Contesting

Becoming a better operator usually refers to becoming more skilled at the techniques of contesting. The human operator is part of the signal chain — becoming and maintaining a healthier human is something that can translate into better contest scores. There’s no quick pill for this one, and some of the most important skills are boring, like getting more and better sleep, eating appropriately, and exercising regularly.

Sitting for 12, 24, or 48 hours during a contest has a negative impact, but you can take advantage of the time between contests to counteract those effects. Maintaining the human can lead to a longer life, and therefore more contests. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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

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Contests

October 27, 2022 – November 9, 2022

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 Test (CWT) , Oct 27, 0300z to Oct 27, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Oct 29.

CWops Test (CWT) , Oct 27, 0700z to Oct 27, 0800z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Oct 29.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Oct 27, 1700z to Oct 27, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Nov 3.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, SSB , Oct 27, 1900z to Oct 27, 2030z; SSB; Bands: 80; RS + Serial No.; Logs due: Oct 30.

NCCC RTTY Sprint , Oct 28, 0145z to Oct 28, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Oct 30.

NCCC Sprint , Oct 28, 0230z to Oct 28, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Oct 30.

Zombie Shuffle , Oct 28, 1500z to Oct 28, 2359z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RS(T) + (state/province/country) + (Zombie number/area code) + name; Logs due: Nov 15.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Oct 28, 2000z to Oct 28, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Oct 30.

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB , Oct 29, 0000z to Oct 30, 2359z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RS + CQ Zone No.; Logs due: Nov 4.

Ham Spirit Contest, CW , Oct 29, 0600z to Oct 30, 0559z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + ITU Zone No. + 2-character grid field; Logs due: Nov 6.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Oct 31, 0000z to Oct 31, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 2.

QCX Challenge , Oct 31, 1300z to Oct 31, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: Nov 6.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Oct 31, 1300z to Oct 31, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 3.

OK1WC Memorial (MWC) , Oct 31, 1630z to Oct 31, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 4.

QCX Challenge , Oct 31, 1900z to Oct 31, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: Nov 6.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Oct 31, 1900z to Oct 31, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 3.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest , Nov 1, 0100z to Nov 1, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: Nov 2.

QCX Challenge , Nov 1, 0300z to Nov 1, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: Nov 6.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 1, 0300z to Nov 1, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 3.

Silent Key Memorial Contest , Nov 1, 0600z to Nov 1, 0859z; CW; Bands: 80, 40; RST + SK call sign you wish to recognize; Logs due: Nov 15.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Nov 1, 1700z to Nov 1, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Nov 8.

QRP Fox Hunt , Nov 2, 0100z to Nov 2, 0230z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Nov 3.

Phone Weekly Test , Nov 2, 0230z to Nov 2, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: Nov 4.

A1Club AWT , Nov 2, 1200z to Nov 2, 1300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: RST + Name; Logs due: Nov 7.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 2, 1300z to Nov 2, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 5.

Mini-Test 40 , Nov 2, 1700z to Nov 2, 1759z; CW; Bands: 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 4.

Mini-Test 80 , Nov 2, 1800z to Nov 2, 1859z; CW; Bands: 80; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 4.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 2, 1900z to Nov 2, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 5.

UKEICC 80m Contest , Nov 2, 2000z to Nov 2, 2100z; SSB; Bands: 80; 6-Character grid square; Logs due: Nov 2.

Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest , Nov 3, 0000z to Nov 4, 0300z; CW; Bands: 40; Maximum 13 wpm, RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (Member No./power); Logs due: Nov 10.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 3, 0300z to Nov 3, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 5.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 3, 0700z to Nov 3, 0800z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 5.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Nov 3, 1700z to Nov 3, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Nov 10.

NRAU 10m Activity Contest , Nov 3, 1800z to Nov 3, 2200z; CW, SSB, FM, Digital; Bands: 10; RS(T) + 6-character grid square; Logs due: Nov 17.

SKCC Sprint Europe , Nov 3, 2000z to Nov 3, 2200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./”NONE”); Logs due: Nov 10.

QRP Fox Hunt , Nov 4, 0100z to Nov 4, 0230z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Nov 5.

NCCC RTTY Sprint , Nov 4, 0145z to Nov 4, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Nov 6.

NCCC Sprint , Nov 4, 0230z to Nov 4, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Nov 6.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Nov 4, 2000z to Nov 4, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 6.

Gunung Jati DX Contest , Nov 5, 0000z to Nov 6, 2359z; SSB; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RS + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 13.

ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, CW , Nov 5, 2100z to Nov 7, 0300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Serial No. + Precedence (Q/A/B/U/M/S) + [your call sign] + Check + ARRL/RAC Section; Logs due: Nov 14.

EANET Sprint , Nov 6, 0800z to Nov 6, 1200z; Any; Bands: Any; RS(T); Logs due: Nov 16.

High Speed Club CW Contest , Nov 6, 1400z to Nov 6, 1700z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Members: RST + HSC No., non-Members: RST + “NM”; Logs due: Nov 20.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Nov 7, 0000z to Nov 7, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 9.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 7, 1300z to Nov 7, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 10.

OK1WC Memorial (MWC) , Nov 7, 1630z to Nov 7, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 11.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 7, 1900z to Nov 7, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 10.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, Data , Nov 7, 2000z to Nov 7, 2130z; RTTY, PSK; Bands: 80; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 10.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest , Nov 8, 0100z to Nov 8, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: Nov 9.

ARS Spartan Sprint , Nov 8, 0200z to Nov 8, 0400z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + (state/province/country) + Power; Logs due: Nov 10.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 8, 0300z to Nov 8, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 10.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Nov 8, 1700z to Nov 8, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Nov 15.

QRP Fox Hunt , Nov 9, 0200z to Nov 9, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Nov 10.

Phone Weekly Test , Nov 9, 0230z to Nov 9, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: Nov 11.

A1Club AWT , Nov 9, 1200z to Nov 9, 1300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: RST + Name; Logs due: Nov 14.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 9, 1300z to Nov 9, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 12.

Mini-Test 40 , Nov 9, 1700z to Nov 9, 1759z; CW; Bands: 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 11.

Mini-Test 80 , Nov 9, 1800z to Nov 9, 1859z; CW; Bands: 80; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 11.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 9, 1900z to Nov 9, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 12.

VHF+ CONTESTS

VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest , Nov 2, 1700z to Nov 2, 2100z; FT8; Bands: 144 MHz; 4-character grid square; Logs due: Nov 7.

VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest , Nov 9, 1700z to Nov 9, 2100z; FT8; Bands: 432 MHz; 4-character grid square; Logs due: Nov 14.

Log Due Dates

October 27, 2022 – November 9, 2022

October 27

October 28

October 29

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 2

November 3

November 4

November 5

November 6

November 7

November 8

November 9

ARRL Information

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Acknowledgements

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

Aloha es 73 de Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Officer

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

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