The ARRL Contest Update

Here is the latest Amateur Radio Contest News compiled by HQ ARRL.

Views expressed in this Amateur/Ham Radio News update are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 23 November 2022, 1424 UTC.

Content republished with permission of The ARRL.  Copyright ARRL.

Source:  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ogbl#inbox/FMfcgzGrbHprkxzPRQCjcfNPRVCwjBjw

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November 23, 2022

Editor: Paul Bourque, N1SFE

 

 

In this Issue:
Upcoming Contests – Things to Do

The CQ WW CW Contest is the focus of the November 26 – 27 weekend. Hundreds of operators will be traveling in the days before and after this contest to get to far-away places to hand out rare multipliers. A contact can count for both a CQ zone and a country multiplier. Wonder if Antarctica will be on? The CQ Amateur Radio website says, “Stations KC4AAA and KC4USN are at the South Pole and will count for any one of the listed zones.”

If you have 160-meter capability, December 3 – 4 is a good time to use it, during the ARRL 160-Meter Contest. This is a CW-only contest. “W/VE stations may contact any other station. DX stations may only contact W/VE stations. Stations located in overseas and non-contiguous US territories count only as ARRL Sections and may be contacted by DX stations.” Multipliers for US/VE stations are DX entities, plus US/RAC Sections. The ARRL 160-Meter Contest rules spell out all of the details.

 

Contest Summary

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

November 24 – December 7, 2022

November 24

November 25

November 26

November 28

November 29

November 30

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 5

December 6

December 7

News, Press Releases, and Special Interest

Ellen White, W1YL, ex W1YYM, passed away on November 5. Her life’s accomplishments were numerous. She spent 25 years on the ARRL Headquarters staff, she played an instrumental role in the creation of a number of contesting clubs, and was a foundational member of the Florida Contest Group. The 2015 May/June issue of NCJ featured “A Conversation with Ellen White, W1YL,” which illustrates the influence that she has had on contesting. Chris Plumblee, W4WF, posted a detailed message describing some of the events in Ellen’s contesting life, including the formation of the precursor to the Yankee Clipper Contest Club.

 

Ellen White, W1YL (ex W1YYM) buried under the received logs in the era of paper logs for ARRL Sweepstakes.

 

Here’s an excerpt from The ARRL Letter, February 17, 2022: “New rules go into effect in June [2022] for all ARRL HF contests. Starting with the ARRL International Digital Contest, the use of online and other non-amateur radio platforms including — but not limited to — social media, live video streaming, and internet chat rooms will be permitted in all categories that allow assistance (Unlimited). In all Unlimited and Multioperator categories, the prohibitions against self-spotting and asking another station to spot you will also be removed.” (Dick Swanson, K7BTW)

The World Wide Radio Operators Foundation (WWROF) announced the creation of two new scholarships of $2,500 each, for students who “demonstrate active on-the-air operation, including entering contests or achieving awards such as DXCC or WAS.” These will be administered through the ARRL Foundation, and eligibility is not subject to student nationality, place of residence, location of the institution, or intended field of study. The application deadline is January 4, 2023, 1700 UTC. For more information see the ARRL Foundation scholarships website.

There are a few reports of at least one version of N1MM Logger+ not being able to generate an ARRL Sweepstakes log file appropriate for uploading to the website. The issue appears as a missing space between the sent exchange and the worked call sign. According to Tom Wagner, N1MM, the issue can be remedied by editing the sent exchange in the contest setup (see the link above for details). The deadline for ARRL November SSB Sweepstakes log submissions is November 28.

Raspberry Pi computers are used in an ever-increasing number of ham-oriented applications, especially related to station automation. Their availability during the pandemic has been problematic. Websites have sprung up to match buyers and sellers, two examples of which are rpilocator and NowInStock. Another option could be to use the same (or similar) hardware, but packaged for alternate purposes. OnLogic has a rugged CM4-based model that “uses industrial, fully standardized components with longer lifecycles and better thermal management.” This might be a choice for some applications where price isn’t the primary driver.

Oh, those kids! You know, the adolescents and young adults that practice unsafe listening practices? They may be facing hearing loss in their aging future, according to a recently published study. Study participants aged 12 to 34 had unsafe habits that included use of personal listening devices and attending loud entertainment venues. Listening to 160 meters during summertime conditions was not included.

Word to the Wise

This one was suggested by Ward Silver, N0AX: Dumbfungled — An old Scottish word that means physically or mentally worn out. “May be appropriate after a contest.”

Sights and Sounds

Tim Duffy, K3LR, and DX Engineering, a supplier and supporter of DXpeditions around the world, provided a directional noise finder to locate power line noise sources to the utility in Palau. Gary Shirk, T88SS, facilitated the interaction. [Photo: Rob Fanfant, N7QT]

 

Steve Babcock, VE6WZ, constructed some very small signal sources that he can lift under his Mavic Mini drone. He uses these to field test the performance of some of his 160-meter receive antennas. His YouTube video shows how he built them and how they’re used.

Results and Records

Kirk Pickering, K4RO, notes that the 2022 July/August NAQP results are available on the NCJ website:

The 2023 January/February series kicks off with the NAQP CW on January 14.

The results for the 2022 ARRL Field Day are on the Field Day results page. They’re also in the 2022 December issue of QST.

Bill Clark, K6WSC, Chairman of the Arizona QSO Party, announced the results of the 2022 event. Participants can print their own certificates, and those who made contacts with the K7A bonus station can print a special certificate. The 2023 event will be held October 14 (1500Z) to October 15 (0500Z).

Operating Tip

Sometimes Spots Are…Not

We’ve all grown used to technology mostly working, so when it doesn’t, it can sometimes be surprising. Drew Vonada-Smith, K3PA, noticed that there were a number of nonsensical call signs being spotted by the Reverse Beacon Network in the RTTY sub-bands. His conclusion: “When you see unlikely calls spotted in RTTY sub-bands, and the calls have lots of dots in them, it’s a busted spot due to RTTY.” (K3PA via RBN-ops mailing list).

Technical Topics and Discussion

Don Kirk, WD8DSB, found a new RFI source on 160 meters and tracked it to a location 1.1 miles from his house. The culprit? A variable speed drive running a large blower to inflate a balloon at a museum. You can read the story in this post to the RFI mailing list, and view a short YouTube video about the signal. Don uses a PC-based SDR and handheld directional antennas to locate sources in the field.

While trying to bring a high voltage power supply back from multiple years of disuse, I was looking for a variable transformer. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that brand new ones are available, and some even come with LCD Displays.

For those trying to use N1MM Logger+ and other Microsoft Windows software under the Parallels environment on a M1 MacBook, things may have recently gotten a little easier. Ron Bolton, WU4G, reported to the N1MM Logger+ group that www.eterlogic.com has a virtual serial port emulator (VSPE) available in beta that works with this configuration.

 

Elektor magazine featured an article on switching inductive loads during zero-current periods of the ac cycle. By electronically switching at the time of zero current, instead of using mechanical contacts, arcing can be avoided. This concept is useful when switching power transformers, for example. If you want to experiment with circuits like this, make sure you do so safely, by carefully using an isolation transformer.

 

The LM78XX series of linear voltage regulators has been around for decades. Chances are some equipment you have uses these. Electronics in general have gotten smaller since those were developed, and entire dc-dc converters can now fit in the same footprint as the older analog parts. Because they’re miniature switched-mode power supplies, they’re much more efficient, but measures must be taken to control for EMI with filtering capacitors and inductors. CUI Inc. makes an example of these with their VX78-500 series.

Antuino is a “compact radio lab for antennas and radio circuits” brought to you by the same people behind the BITX transceivers. It can perform many of the functions of an antenna analyzer, but with two ports, and can measure the response of devices or circuits under test at various frequencies to 150 MHz. It’s based on an Arduino CPU, and the software is open-source.

Conversation

Caution! Human Contesting!

If you’ve been in any phone contest, you’ve likely heard a station provide their exchange starting with “please copy,” “copy,” “my exchange for you,” or other words that aren’t strictly part of the exchange. Because it’s not a necessary part of the exchange, some operators on the receiving end of a PC (please copy) exchange vehemently want to stamp it out, eliminate it, remove it, unhear it. Some even claim they’ll not work anyone using PC exchanges.

I have a confession to make – I don’t particularly enjoy the verbal empty calories of PC exchanges either.

But after having lent my ears to a full weekend of ARRL November Phone Sweepstakes, I am not here to bury the exchange, but to praise it. I would estimate that more than 80% of the exchanges I received had some variation of the PC message. I would rather have those contacts in the log than not at all.

While running, I was glad to help some new operators through the exchange when they called. They were brave enough to try a contest with a difficult exchange — something that’s daunting even for some QCWA-qualifying amateurs. Could there be a stronger signal of contester tendencies? If these newbies had a pleasant experience, maybe they’ll be in the contest again next year. While searching and pouncing, I found a number of M category stations, where the aurally young operator was being coached by someone in the background. Occasionally, I heard the PC phrase being used. It’s on the control operator coach to provide the right guidance, but also consider that they had somehow convinced that person to be in the seat giving out bits of information to strangers. I think I can overlook a few PC words, and hearing young operators was heartwarming.

It’s amateur radio, not professional radiosport. We’re supposed to be having fun contesting, and different operators have different goals. Some want high rates, some just want to get a clean sweep, and some want to hand out a few contacts from a rare Section. If more operators also means more PC language, I’ll take it.

In my view, a win is to make a lot of contacts, to improve your contesting skills, to distill the exchanges down to just the necessary syllables over time, and to have fun doing it year after year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

That’s all for this time. Remember to send stuffing recipies, alternative uses for leftover turkey, 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

November 24 – December 7, 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) , Nov 24, 0300z to Nov 24, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 26.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 24, 0700z to Nov 24, 0800z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 26.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Nov 24, 1700z to Nov 24, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Dec 1.

RSGB 80m Autumn Series, CW , Nov 24, 2000z to Nov 24, 2130z; CW; Bands: 80; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Nov 27.

NCCC RTTY Sprint , Nov 25, 0145z to Nov 25, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Nov 27.

QRP Fox Hunt , Nov 25, 0200z to Nov 25, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Nov 26.

NCCC Sprint , Nov 25, 0230z to Nov 25, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Nov 27.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Nov 25, 2000z to Nov 25, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 27.

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW , Nov 26, 0000z to Nov 27, 2359z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + CQ Zone No.; Logs due: Dec 2.

Ham Spirit Contest, SSB , Nov 26, 0600z to Nov 27, 0559z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + ITU Zone No. + 2-character grid field; Logs due: Dec 4.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Nov 28, 0000z to Nov 28, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Nov 30.

QCX Challenge , Nov 28, 1300z to Nov 28, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: Dec 4.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 28, 1300z to Nov 28, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Dec 1.

OK1WC Memorial (MWC) , Nov 28, 1630z to Nov 28, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 2.

QCX Challenge , Nov 28, 1900z to Nov 28, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: Dec 4.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 28, 1900z to Nov 28, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 30.

RSGB FT4 Contest , Nov 28, 2000z to Nov 28, 2130z; FT4; Bands: 80, 40, 20; 4-character grid square + signal report; Logs due: Nov 29.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest , Nov 29, 0100z to Nov 29, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: Nov 30.

QCX Challenge , Nov 29, 0300z to Nov 29, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + Name + (state/province/country) + Rig; Logs due: Dec 4.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Nov 29, 0300z to Nov 29, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Nov 30.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Nov 29, 1700z to Nov 29, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Dec 6.

QRP Fox Hunt , Nov 30, 0200z to Nov 30, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Dec 1.

Phone Weekly Test , Nov 30, 0230z to Nov 30, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: Dec 2.

A1Club AWT , Nov 30, 1200z to Nov 30, 1300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: RST + Name; Logs due: Dec 5.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 30, 1300z to Nov 30, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 3.

Mini-Test 40 , Nov 30, 1700z to Nov 30, 1759z; CW; Bands: 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 2.

Mini-Test 80 , Nov 30, 1800z to Nov 30, 1859z; CW; Bands: 80; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 2.

CWops Test (CWT) , Nov 30, 1900z to Nov 30, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 3.

UKEICC 80m Contest , Nov 30, 2000z to Nov 30, 2100z; CW; Bands: 80; 6-Character grid square; Logs due: Nov 30.

QRP ARCI Topband Sprint , Dec 1, 0000z to Dec 1, 0300z; CW; Bands: 160; ARCI: RST + (state/province/country) + ARCI No., non-ARCI: RST + (state/province/country) + power out; Logs due: Dec 18.

Walk for the Bacon QRP Contest , Dec 1, 0000z to Dec 2, 0300z; CW; Bands: 40; Maximum 13 wpm, RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (Member No./power); Logs due: Dec 8.

CWops Test (CWT) , Dec 1, 0300z to Dec 1, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 3.

CWops Test (CWT) , Dec 1, 0700z to Dec 1, 0800z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 3.

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

NRAU 10m Activity Contest , Dec 1, 1800z to Dec 1, 2200z; CW, SSB, FM, Digital; Bands: 10; RS(T) + 6-character grid square; Logs due: Dec 15.

SKCC Sprint Europe , Dec 1, 2000z to Dec 1, 2200z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6; RST + (state/province/country) + Name + (SKCC No./”NONE”); Logs due: Dec 8.

NCCC RTTY Sprint , Dec 2, 0145z to Dec 2, 0215z; RTTY; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Dec 4.

QRP Fox Hunt , Dec 2, 0200z to Dec 2, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Dec 3.

NCCC Sprint , Dec 2, 0230z to Dec 2, 0300z; CW; Bands: (see rules); Serial No. + Name + QTH; Logs due: Dec 4.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Dec 2, 2000z to Dec 2, 2100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 4.

ARRL 160-Meter Contest , Dec 2, 2200z to Dec 4, 1600z; CW; Bands: 160; W/VE: RST + ARRL/RAC Section, DX: RST; Logs due: Dec 11.

UFT Meeting , Dec 3, 0500z to Dec 4, 1000z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: RST + Member No., non-Member: RST + “NM”; Logs due: Dec 15.

Wake-Up! QRP Sprint , Dec 3, 0600z to Dec 3, 0800z; CW; Bands: 40, 20; RST + Serial No. + suffix of previous QSO (“QRP” for 1st QSO); Logs due: Dec 10.

PRO CW Contest , Dec 3, 1200z to Dec 4, 1159z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; CW Club Member: RST + Serial No. + “/M”, non-Members: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 11.

INORC Contest , Dec 3, 1400z to Dec 4, 1359z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Naval: RST + Club + Member No., Independent: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 19.

FT Roundup , Dec 3, 1800z to Dec 4, 2359z; FT8/FT4; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; W (except KH6/KL7): RST + state, VE: RST + province/territory, non-W/VE: RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 11.

K1USN Slow Speed Test , Dec 5, 0000z to Dec 5, 0100z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Maximum 20 wpm, Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 7.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Dec 5, 1300z to Dec 5, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Dec 8.

OK1WC Memorial (MWC) , Dec 5, 1630z to Dec 5, 1729z; CW; Bands: 80, 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 9.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Dec 5, 1900z to Dec 5, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Dec 8.

Worldwide Sideband Activity Contest , Dec 6, 0100z to Dec 6, 0159z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, 6; RS + age group (OM, YL, Youth YL or Youth); Logs due: Dec 7.

ARS Spartan Sprint , Dec 6, 0200z to Dec 6, 0400z; CW; Bands: 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; RST + (state/province/country) + Power; Logs due: Dec 8.

ICWC Medium Speed Test , Dec 6, 0300z to Dec 6, 0400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Name + QSO No.; Logs due: Dec 8.

RTTYOPS Weeksprint , Dec 6, 1700z to Dec 6, 1900z; RTTY; Bands: 80, 40, 20; [other station’s call] + [your call] + [serial no.] + [your name]; Logs due: Dec 13.

QRP Fox Hunt , Dec 7, 0200z to Dec 7, 0330z; CW; Bands: 20; RST + (state/province/country) + name + power output; Logs due: Dec 8.

Phone Weekly Test , Dec 7, 0230z to Dec 7, 0300z; SSB; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15; NA: Name + (state/province/country), non-NA: Name; Logs due: Dec 9.

A1Club AWT , Dec 7, 1200z to Dec 7, 1300z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: RST + Name; Logs due: Dec 12.

CWops Test (CWT) , Dec 7, 1300z to Dec 7, 1400z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 10.

Mini-Test 40 , Dec 7, 1700z to Dec 7, 1759z; CW; Bands: 40; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 9.

Mini-Test 80 , Dec 7, 1800z to Dec 7, 1859z; CW; Bands: 80; RST + Serial No.; Logs due: Dec 9.

CWops Test (CWT) , Dec 7, 1900z to Dec 7, 2000z; CW; Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10; Member: Name + Member No./”CWA”, non-Member: Name + (state/province/country); Logs due: Dec 10.

VHF+ CONTESTS

VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest , Dec 7, 1700z to Dec 7, 2100z; FT8; Bands: 144 MHz; 4-character grid square; Logs due: Dec 12.

Log Due Dates

November 24 – December 7, 2022

November 24

November 25

November 26

November 27

November 28

November 29

November 30

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 4

December 5

December 6

December 7

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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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