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Submitting RTTY contest logs

Eddie Schneider (G0AZT) on September 8, 2001
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Submitting Contest Logs and Files for 2001 and Onward.

There are generally four options for submitting logs for the major RTTY contests. Please follow closely these log submission rules for the specific contest. The options, in order of preference, are as follows:

1. Electronically, using the Cabrillo format. 2. Electronically, using the relevant files produced by your logging software, e.g. .all and .sum. 3. By mail, using only a correctly formatted and packaged 3.5 inch diskette with the information specified in alternatives 1 or 2 above. Note, larger diskettes will not be accepted. 4. By mail, on paper, either hand written or computer generated. However, if the log contains more than 100 entries in a CQWW contest, this option is not available; only options 1,2 or 3 may be used.

Electronically Submitted Files

The Cabrillo * format is here to stay. From November 2000, the ARRL accepts ONLY this format for electronically submitted logs. Both RTTY CQWW-DX and CQWW-WPX now require this format for any log produced by your logging software and containing more than 100 QSOs. BARTG Sprint, BARTG HF, SARTG, SCC and EAWW will also be requesting this format.

As more and more contest organizers realize the simplicity of a Cabrillo formatted log, they will no doubt follow suit in the not too distant future. If your favorite contest logging software does not support the Cabrillo format yet, get in contact with the author. An alternative would be to purchase a converter utility and/or log checking software from WT4I #

One of the main features of a correctly formatted Cabrillo log is that ALL the contest-specific data required is written to just ONE .log file.

There is no need to send a summary, dupe or multiplier sheet and generally, separate band files are no longer required either. Besides simplifying the entire process of log submission for the entrant, Internet bandwidth is reduced and assuming that the checkers have appropriate log checking software, their lives are made a whole lot easier.

Here is an example of how much time can be spent by a contest manager obtaining the correct files for just one contest. For WPX2000, I received 533 logs via e-mail. I generated over 1300 contest related e-messages in a five-week period. Deducting the 533 confirmation messages plus approximately 100 other e-mails, passing logs to the other two log checkers, leaves 360-odd e-mails asking entrants for missing files, incomplete summary sheets, unreadable .bin, .wl, .xls files etc. It is NOT the log checker's responsibility to convert these files into a readable format! The onus is on the entrant to know how to produce the required files using his preferred logging software. In other words, if in doubt, read the manual :-)

Contest managers, usually unpaid, are trying to reduce the delay in posting the results, so you can appreciate that spending time and effort having to ask for missing data could be well spent actually checking the logs and finalizing the results in a timely manner. Log submission deadlines are also being reduced in an effort to expedite the results.

Sophisticated log checking software # is now available to any contest manager interested in making his life a lot easier. This same software is also available to contesters who would like to thoroughly check their logs before submitting them.

If you operate in a single band class but make contacts on other bands to relieve boredom or help out friends, please submit CHECK logs for those bands. If you don't submit a check log for those other bands, the other station(s) you worked on your non- competitive band, will lose credit for those QSOs.

So lets get down to the nuts and bolts of preparing and submitting an electronic log to managers who accept and/or require the Cabrillo format.

1. When converting your log to Cabrillo make sure that you complete FULLY and ACCURATELY the Cabrillo Header with the required information for the specific contest. a. Call sign used. In the case of multi ops, all call signs of operators and names of persons involved in the contest, even the tea lady:-). For those of you using special calls, add your personal call sign in the appropriate field. b. Class of operation, e.g. Single op, all band, high or low power where appropriate. CAUTION. Be very careful when selecting your category. If your Cabrillo log indicates SOABH expect to see your results in THAT category when the final results are published, even if you actually operated as SOABL, SB or SOA. Any unnecessary summary sheet with a different chosen category from that recorded in the Cabrillo header will be ignored. If the contest does not have 'special' categories like Over 50, TB wires etc., leave those entries blank. c. Claimed score. d. Your name and FULL postal address. Adding an e-mail address in the 'Soapbox' field would be helpful in case of queries. e: The name of the contest that the log refers to. This may seem obvious but we've had contestants send SSB or CW logs for CQWW RTTY! f. For non US/VE entrants, select "DX" for the ARRL Section. g. US/VE entrants select the appropriate state or province. For ARRL sponsored contests, select your US section or VE province/territory abbreviation.

Once you are satisfied that all the relevant information is accurate and has been included in the Cabrillo Header, now comes the part that many entrants have a hard time with, naming their files correctly in order to submit them via the Internet.

Contest managers are not at all interested in what you actually named your files on your hard drive. Names like CQWWRTTY2000.x, WPXSOABL.x and so on, have little meaning and only cause confusion and possible errors if the manager has to rename them. So, number one priority is to rename all the files you intend to send, with the CALL SIGN you used during the contest. For example, XX0XXX.log, XX0XXX.sum

The second priority is to zip or 'pack' the files. By doing this, your original file format has less chance of being corrupted in transit.

Thirdly, make the subject line in your e-mail as meaningful as possible. If lots of files received by the manager are called CQWW2001, there is a good possibility that one or more logs will be accidentally over-written. Been there, done that :-) So please use your call sign in the subject header. Including the entry class would also be appreciated, e.g. XX0XXXsoabl, XX0XXXsoa etc.

Finally, do not forget to include your zipped file as an attachment to the electronic submission!

A note to home brew software writers and ASCII text editor users.

If you decide to write your own Cabrillo converter utility or wish to edit your log, PLEASE consider and adhere to the required format, (See * below). The log checking software has been written specifically to read a correctly formatted Cabrillo file. Additional dots, dashes, and/or spaces inserted at random only mess up the specified format and create additional and unnecessary work for the log checkers who will inevitably have to re-Cabrillorize your submission. ------------------

Now on to non-Cabrillo'd files for electronic submission: 1. Obtain the log submission rules for a specific contest entry from 2. Most contest software writers have ensured that their particular file formats meet with the approval of the various contest organizers. Do NOT change the format or layout of the original files. 3. Submit ONLY plain ASCII text files that can easily be read by a simple text editor. That means, NO .bin, .xls, .pdf or other dot whatever files.

In a nut shell for Cabrillo'd logs:

1. Fully complete the Cabrillo Header. Include e-mail address in Soapbox. 2. Rename the file with your call sign.log. 3. Zip it as call 4. Put your call sign and class of entry in the Subject header of the e-mail. 5. Attach the zipped file. 6. Send the bloody thing but only to the CURRENT e-mail specified in the contest rules. 7. Wait for a robotic or personal confirmation. 8. Sit back, relax and wait for the final results. 9. If your score has been greatly reduced, either invest in log checking software or copy the exchanges more carefully and THOROUGHLY review your log BEFORE submitting it. 10. Keep these notes as a handy reference.

For non Cabrillorised logs:

1. Fully complete the summary sheet (name, e-mail and FULL postal address). 2. Rename the required files as: your call sign.all, .sum. 3. Put your call sign and class of entry in the Subject header of the e-mail. 4. Send ONLY your .all and .sum files preferably zipped. Do NOT include them within the text of the e-mail. 5 through 10. Same as above.

Diskette submissions.

1. Send Only 3.5 inch floppies, very few modern computers have 5 1/4 drives! 2. Rename all required files as: your call sign.x . 3. Enclose a complete and signed summary sheet. 4. Label the outside of the diskette with your call sign, contest name and entry class. 5. Pack the floppy in a disk mailer or padded envelope. 6. Buy Airmail postage rate stamps and add an Airmail sticker if the package has to travel outside your own continent. Packages with surface or reduced rates will probably arrive after the results have been published! 7. Do NOT Register the package. Not only does this slow down the post office handling process because everyone handling it, has to sign the Registration book, it is also inconvenient for the manager to have to be available to sign for it. 8 through 10, see above.

Paper submissions.

1. If your log is computer generated and contains more than 100 entries, go to the previous paragraph. We are in the computer age folks! 2. Hand written logs must be legible. No inky spider's feet please. 3. Besides logging the contest exchange, band, time etc. all multipliers, points per contact and score claimed, MUST be included in the log. For CQWW, one entrant submitted a paper log with 811 contacts with no points/Q and other missing data. Once again, it is not the contest manager's responsibility to score your entry. If essential data is missing, don't be surprised if your log lands up in the Check Log category. 4. Pack your paperwork securely. 5. Send it to the correct postal address as outlined in the CURRENT rules. 6 through 10, you guessed, see above. 11. If you want a copy of the results, make sure you enclose an address label and enough return postage. 1 IRC/$ for non US/VE mail is not enough. 12.For next year, save trees and seriously consider sending a diskette or an electronic log.

73 Eddie, G0AZT.



Member Comments: Add A Comment
Submitting RTTY contest logs Reply
by s5m on September 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Well done, Sir Eddie! I recommended this as an obligatory general reading for S5 young hams.

UE de Mario, S56A, N1YU
Submitting RTTY contest logs Reply
by VU2PTT on September 26, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Great write-up. a must read for all contesters.

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