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Contesting Online Forums : Tips : contesting Forums Help

1-6 of 6 messages

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contesting Reply
by n8hdj on May 10, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
i would like to start contesting but dont know where to start?
RE: contesting Reply
by K8GU on May 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Listen for a contest in progress and start making contacts. It's that easy.

This is a pretty open-ended question. I'm going to provide a complete overview that hopefully you and others will find useful. Most people get started in contesting through a multioperator event like Field Day or an operation from a large station or through on-the-air activity. (See the current survey on this site.)

For a beginner from his or her home station, the object in the contest should be to make contacts, not necessarily make scores. You probably don't want to spend the whole weekend on the project the first time, so just allocate your operating time such that you can maximize contacts. In DX contests from the eastern US, that's usually in the morning for a few hours after sunrise and probably on 15 meters at this point in the solar cycle. In domestic contests like state QSO parties, Field Day, and November Sweepstakes, stations in the east and midwest typically focus on 40 and 80 meters in the night and evening.

Contests exchanges are usually pretty straightforward. Most consist of a signal report (largely meaningless...59(9)) and some other piece of information usually related to QTH, like CQ or ITU zone, or state/section. Many contests have adopted a serial number that starts with 001 that is sent as a part of the exchange. Check the exchange for a contest in the rules, published in QST and usually on the web, too.

Each contact is worth a certain number of points. Some are just QSO points, but the first time you work a station in a new geographical area or with some other characteristic defined by the rules, you get a special point called a multiplier. At the end of the contest, you (or your computer) total the QSO points and the multipliers and multiply them together to get your final score.

Computer logging has made contesting much easier. If you've poked around this site at all, you've noticed NA, TRLog, CT, and WriteLog, among others. Most are available in a trial edition that you can use to get started to see if you like contesting. Try several, though, because at least one of them has a steep learning-curve. The contest sofware will track which stations are multipliers and which ones have already been worked. If you're PC-inclined, computer-logging is the way to go, although you can still do it on paper with a pencil.

Rate (QSOs per hour) is king for most serious contest operators, so try to avoid asking other ops for detailed information on the air. However, most contesters are willing to slow down and give you the contact and/or give a short explanation of the exchange. This is why it is really helpful to be in the multioperator situation when you're learning.

Wow, this is pretty long-winded, but indeed a brief introduction to this facet of the hobby. The best thing to do is find other operators in your local radio club who operate in contests or find a contest club. You're probably right on the edge of the coverage of the Mad River Radio Club ( which is my contest club. My local club (Findlay Radio Club, W8FT) here in Ohio has a low-key program called "Contest University" for new contesters. Poke around and see what you can drum-up in your local area. Read articles and spend plenty of time on the air listening to and operating in contests. A good operator spends lots of time just listening. CU on the bands...73 de K8GU, Ethan.
RE: contesting Reply
by N2MG on May 12, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
If you need info on a contest (rules, exchanges, etc.), there are several good online Contest Calendars that have links to most of the contest sponsors' websites. Look at the calendars on the and websites as well as those two sites' Links databases for other calendars.

73 Mike N2MG
RE: contesting Reply
by 9K2RR on May 31, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Dear sir ,

hope when you read this message you and your family are in good health.

sir , iread about where you want to start a contest , if you want my advice don`t start with big contest , start with small one it will encorage you with the result you will get . But if you stat with big contest you will be disapointed with the result .

how ever this is my opinion and i hope it will help you in contest.

with all my regards

RE: contesting Reply
by K6IF on June 13, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
There are a couple of great contests for newcomers coming up. The first is ARRL Field Day. Your local club will probably put together a Field Day operation, or in Grand Rapids you can contact the W8DC crew (see ) who seem to do a bang up job. Field Day is a great way to get a taste on contesting in a low key way with other hams.

In August, there is the North American QSO Party. The good news about NAQP is that there is plenty of activity on all bands, but it is limited to 100 watts. That means that a smallish home station can still have lots of fun. NAQP CW and SSB are different weekends, you can get more info at .

Finally, there is a list of active contest clubs at . If one of them is near you - go to the next meeting!

Good luck, I hope to see you on during NAQP SSB!
RE: contesting Reply
by k4rfk on June 19, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
No need to buy a program right out of the gate. Try one of the free programs that can be downloaded of the net. N1MMLogger and Lux-Log are two that come to mind. You can find the URL's in the product review section on this site listed under the software heading.
You might be willing to try contesting with one of these to keep your score and then you have a log you can send in to the contest sponsor and see your call in print.
Good Luck

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