Beginners Guide to Ham Radio Contesting – Amateur Radio Contests

WARNING – COMPUTER GENERATED SUBTITLES A very good day my name's Callum from DX Commander and I was asked by I think it was William again whisky eight and Lima Victor whiskey three Lima William I forget you know William Pietschmann there yeah and he said you know be great we had a sort of a little tutorial about um you know contesting how to get into contesting so well I suppose as well as a couple of things you need to know because it's very simple first of all this in exchange in other words you switch on your radio on Saturday morning and you hear these chaps going seek you contest and then they pick someone up and they get in five nine and we'll deal with civil it will deal with single reports at the end of this and then you've got an exchange which could be a shoe size zone a country more often than not it's a serial number but not necessarily guaranteed so for instance said CQ worldwide at the end of October every year you give you his own and everybody thinks everybody's on fourteen from the UK and there but they're not they just so everybody gets five 914 whether they like it or not okay so I'll tell you what I did years ago apart from going to a friend's house actually was Lee g0 MTN just to see how it all worked is that I went I used a contest service and residue from last night at the band round I just been sending all the wave files to someone – who's gonna do some post-production because we recorded it all in here see anyway that's for another day although I used to do is just search for contest service ok and s key s KS key sk 3 b g SCH se anyway contest service it finds it and a scroll up and down and i find the contest so let's imagine we're about the 7th 8th of april now that was last weekend actually I would just click the button for April I would scroll down to find the weekend what it's on and I'm hearing a lot of people from Poland for instance I think oh this must be this contest here the sugar Papa DX contest I can hear a lot of SS be going on and he a lot CW as well so then I look at the official rules and that fires up here and this poor guy hacks she's probably built made her a millstone for his for his around his neck because he has to keep all this up to date and this hasn't changed in nearly 13 years this website so but anyway so I go to the official rules and it who's the organizer some polish amateur radio units which is fine the date and the time so from 3:00 in the afternoon UTC to 3:00 in the afternoon on Sunday oh good I can do top band or I can do 10 meters that's fine it's phone and CW or and we can do mixed mode as well so you can do a bit CW in a bit of and I just go on I said right what am I expecting for an exchange so the Polish stations are gonna give me a report consisting of a signal report either five and nine five not five five nine and and then they're gonna give me a la voy board e ship which is like a province or state or a County which is B C D F G and so on we're a foreign station if we're contacting Poland in this case we send a signal report plus a number starting one there we are we get a point for every Polish stations are we get three points for every police station and station you're at one point contact so debates do not count okay so for foreign stations we need to contact Poland end of story according to the rules here so we get a multiplier every time we we speak to a voivodeship yeah it's up to you to read the rules that's in essence what good news is all you need to do is call CQ contests or it actually tell you to probably what to call sometimes he acts she says oh please call CQ Poland or wherever else oh here we are CQ test foreign stations called CQ sugar Papa it's just it's saying you don't have to call CQ contr call CQ sugar papa you'll call him polar man so there we are so far so good there's various categories you can enter by the way anybody can enter any contest really now you stop you getting on a radio okay sir nothing you just just go in till it's all right nobody's going to stop you contacting them okay I don't know of a contest where you're not allowed on the radio right you've got as much right as anybody else give me your license so you just join in the melee if you like but if you're interested and you score more like a hundred you qsos you might think oh you know what what was I in orb oh it's all on 40 meters this happened so I could enter single band low power hundred watts now he is there's probably only one other station your country part from you that entered that one and they just polite to send a log off you could win it I used to win all these little things 13 years ago I stopped entering oblate but end of this year intend to get back to my contesting so but how do you track it down now initially I would I would use something like this so I put the time down 11:42 date control : by way is short cut for a date frequency I might put a mod 40 meters I can hear caps got sugar pepper 1 ABC so that's fine I'm gonna send him 5 or 9 he was he and I received 5 and 9 then I've got my exchange sense I'll send him double o1 and he sends me zulu whatever and then of course the next one if I'm still on 40 meters old I might put the different time down here and I put I might put that but I'll fill in this another time still on 40 meters I'm not going to change that I hate sugar pepper 2x well I said you see and I know that's gonna firemen I tell yo I'll leave that and fill that in later now I'm gonna give him too because I've just given him one and I get a delta this time so that's fine so I've got two multipliers here look I've got Zulu and Delta boo let's see if I could pick them all up and so on so forth the next day you come on your radio so you've filled it all out you're coming on and it's 1256 this time it's the 13th there'll be the 14th of the 4th if you're in the us

of course they'll be backwards when sit there we are I'm still on for Jimmy just by his sugar paper one ABC oh and I call him and he says duplicate you're ready in my log yeah God is right yeah I suppose you yesterday ah so so one letdown of using a spreadsheet you're logging is that you can end up contacting someone that many times let me just cover to block it's a minute if somebody tells you a duplicate and you're not in their log they're wrong just because they think you're in their log when they very competitive at station they send their log off the adjudicator and you send your log off the adjudicator will go well that's funny you've marked them down so I've got Calum he's got I've got Calum Schlag and you're nowhere to be seen mate but sugar pepper one ABC you're claiming to have Calum in your log but he's not spoken to you so in other words it's best just because somebody's got him in the lock and the other person doesn't the point hanging an account so always work the duplicates when you hear someone going duplicate duplicate think you know what mate just it was a break let's both work each other again now maybe someone all the previous operator made the type big mistake let's just both hook in and put it in the log because I don't know ever contest and maybe you can tell me where for a couple of Jupiter's here and now you're gonna get disqualification because you will not get disqualification right I'll put that spreadsheet somewhere if you're interested in oh I'll put it in the league spots must to get on my website or something so now what I'm going to do is I'm going to fire up hammer ad deluxe because if you haven't got a full-blown contest logger let's have a look how you can do this with HRD right this is my logbook for ham radio – ducks there is a little bit of contest functionality built into HRD certainly HR t5 I don't know about six maybe if you know HRD six you can comment below but very simply if you hit the Add button you've got a show fields and you can have a received exchange and assent exchange and they add just here these little bits and that means you here sugar pepper one ABC I'm just hitting the tab button here I I can give him square bracket double O one close spread the square bracket and he'll give me his province Zed for Zulu hit return he's in you'll notice for the next call it's already incremented it by one for double o to look so a bit of a handy tip for you there so at least and you don't get out of sync with your with your contest numbers so that's pretty handy now the only thing it hasn't got built in is duplicate tracking right I'm editing out I'm coming out of HRD and I'm just going to quickly fire up and n1 mm+ logger whatever it's called so and 1mm various logger plus nice and quick my machine ago but get rid of that it thinks some on the window telnet right I'm just gonna have a bit of fun here does it remember who I am oh yes I'm logged in that's fine show DX as the cluster coming through all my bear maps if I click him it's just changed the frequency on my radio and right let's just change to forty meters it because this is the third time I've made this fourth time I begged his film I've left some stuff on the band map here way to completely ignore so let's just remove these contacts here delete delete right so file new login database you pick the contest you want there's a lot of them you know it could be the Russian SSB tsk Russian DX is there of PSK witty Russian Russian DX there it is are gonna be a single op hi any bandeau on I power SSB you just click what you're gonna beam you're gonna give a a serial number for the Russian DX I am so no that's absolutely correct and you can see you've got all these some you know I could click in and see how some of come greens some come red and this isn't in the description or tutorial of n1 mmm I have done one before but it's good fun isn't it so if we were on the Polish contest though file and we can go back we can open our log there's the sugar pepper I've made this film a few times open this one here and hit escape or whatever go somewhere else sugar pepper 9 M K G it's automatic gonna know what province is I might be dead for all I know and you just hit return if you come across him again sugar Papa 9 m kg it's gonna go look mate is so duplicate do you really want to speak to him however if we change bands to 14 and we just spin the dial I'm not transmitting anyway so doesn't really matter and I hear sugar pepper 9 m K G it's gonna go oh he's a multiplier and he's from Poland that's goods I'll turn him green look and I already know what his province is cuz you had any 140 meters a minute ago so I'll put that in there so there's a lot of functionality in contest lovers which arty spreadsheets aren't in ham-radio deluxe that it's much more tailored to the contester anybody is allowed to work in a contest nobody's gonna stop you remember and and similarly n 1mm also has a VHF we used to have I'll just have a look at that scroll to the bottom the HF DX I think was called ah here we are there's lots of there's a VHF serial number contests so that will give you and I might have to make this a bit bigger so get it out out w is it to wipe that yet so I hear Lee up the road g0 MT and he's gonna give me five and what he's gonna be five and seven right I'm giving him five and six my receive killer number is two cuz Leo's beats me and he's in IO 92 Bravo I can't remember what his locator is and it'd be very scary if I did that hit return and that's a VHF contest so what's the difference the VHF contest means he's got a locator square do you not know what your locator square is your Maidenhead locator how about this then may I found one if we are find you're cute eh so if I happen to live around about I can recognize the Aqua Keith client and there's gate lane I live exactly somewhere about let's say I live there right click it'll come up so it's IO 92 charlie India in fact oh look it's shown me that Square is IO anywhere in there is IO 92 charlie India now with or silver Street is Bravo Japan I say Bravo Juliet so that's so with all I remember that you used to give that out a lot there so there we are that QTH locator dot free F R would give you a a you Maidenhead locator square to give out or not give out accurate serial the reports VHF has a cultural tendency to give out accurate reports cuz VHF very often 90% of it is line-of-sight and you are what we're all very interested in exactly how am I received now if he's got a lot of preamps and a lot of aerials you know you could be thirty over four yet doesn't have any preamps and he's got a simple you know the vertical something you could be five and two I find the whole concept of accurate reporting very difficult we haven't got a preamp or never got my preamp off now you know in an HF contest five or nine is quite appropriate because a charges are 90 percent of the contacts are gonna be five and nine plus the contacts which are very difficult ear is only because there's qrm okay so you can go qrm your five at night bits q RM q RM and I've had occasion where there's been a massive Russian station or sewing right next to me with a twenty thousand watt amplifier and there am Wittering away trying to go you know and I'll wait for the science ago right need the serial numbered now now now and or whatever it is so yes he's five and nine most people are five you know even a week stations are five and seven five and eight with the preamp on and all the toys do you mean so let's not get an ich is in a twist about accurate signal reporting for HF contests I can see the point of an actual accurate signal point for VHF I actually can't on HF five and nine you're not gonna stop it not gonna change it yeah just go with the flow man a lot of people really get turn all right nobody contest us I don't understand that I mean 5 & 9 5 & 9 watts yep got all callsign what's your callsign 9 you say at the time is because you are bloody Russian or something it's in station right next year so if that is whetted your appetite about how to get into contesting fine get the software running have a little dabble have three or four contacts get comfortable then next weekend maybe have a go there's always something on for everybody point seven all this gear if we can't play with it and at least it nice thing is with there being a contest er for that half an hour on your doing it is that people want to speak to you all right they actually want you because you're a point for them you know there's too many stations out there calling cq and and you know I've done it CQ CQ Mike zero Mike Charlie x-ray nobody wants to speak to me well that's because they've had they've had to UK half an hour ago what's the point in having them again anyway at least for the contest er they will want you because you're another point my name is Cal I'm from dear it's come on I would jolly good weekend all the best now