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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
[email protected]

by Trey Garlough, N5KO & Jim Reisert, AD1C

07 February 2000

Contained in this FAQ:

  1. General Information about the FAQ and [email protected]
  2. Subscribing and Unsubscribing
  3. Operating Practices
  4. Mailing List Archives
  5. E-mail addresses of Contesters
  6. Related Mailing Lists
  7. Internet Resources for Contesters
  8. Finding out more about the Internet

1) General Information about the FAQ, CQ-Contest

1.01) About this FAQ

This FAQ will be posted every so often to the CQ-Contest mailing list.

If there's something you'd like added to this FAQ, please send mail to N5KO ([email protected]), and he will update it.

1.02) About [email protected]

[email protected] is an electronic mail reflector dedicated to hams interested in all types of amateur radio contesting. This is a good place for contest-related announcements, discussions and rumors. This forum is more like the NCJ than QST; [email protected] and are good places to look for a more rounded discussion of the hobby.

Although there is overlap between contesters and DXers, CQ-Contest is not a DX-oriented group.  There are other electronic mailing lists (reflectors) dedicated to the discussion of DXing. For details on how to subscribe to this and other mailing lists, consult the section entitled Related Mailing Lists.

CQ-Contest is NOT the place to announce your score after a contest. [email protected] is an electronic mailing list (reflector) for reporting scores. See the Related Mailing Lists section below for details on how to subscribe.

Each message you send to [email protected] will be sent out to all the other subscribers, kind of like a 2-meter repeater that has a coverage radius of 12,000 miles or so. Think of sending mail to the list as the equivalent of an ANNOUNCE/FULL message on PacketCluster. Use regular E-mail to send a message to a specific individual.

1.03) Editorial Guidelines

The rules are very simple. Postings to [email protected] should be non-commerical and related to radio contesting. Anything outside of those boundries should not be seen here unless specifically approved by N5KO ([email protected]). If Trey thinks the update has merit, he will likely approve it.

1.04) Appropriate topics for discussion

  • Contest Announcements: Must be true contests, not "operating events" or "special events".
  • Contester's shack (inside) hardware/software: Must be relevant to CONTESTING, not just a discussion of bells and whistles that have little or no application to contesting.
  • Contester's outside shack (antennas/towers/coax/relays): Again, must be RELEVANT to contesting.
  • Contester's strategy: Before, during, after. How you planned/executed your activities.
  • Contester's skill: What you do that makes you good (or bad).
  • Contester's stories: Must be directly about contesting.
  • Contest ethics
  • Contest rules
  • Contest operators: who was where, who is good, who is an SK, etc.

1.05) Inappropriate topics for discussion

[email protected] is mailing list dedidcated to contesters talking about contesting. Termendous lattitude is given to INTERESTING topics ranging far afield, but there are some types of messages that are strictly inappropriate. For instance:

  • Meta-discussion about the CQ-Contest mailing list. These should be conducted in private with N5KO ([email protected])
  • The summary sheet from your latest contest effort. That should go to [email protected]
  • What is the QSL route for xxx?
  • What is the E-mail address for xxx?
  • Is the xxx mailing list up/down?
  • Is the xxx DXpedition on the air yet?
  • Product annoucements.
  • Solicitations for nominations for "Young Ham of the Year".
  • Advertising (unless approved in advance by N5KO [email protected])

2) Subscribing and unsubscribing

2.01) General information about subscribing and unsubscribing

Subscription management is handled automatically by a program that answers mail sent to [email protected]. This address also answers administrative requests, like stopping mail, or showing a list of subscribers. Subject lines are ignored.

PLEASE do NOT send these requests to the list mailing address!

2.02) Subscribing to the list

To join the group, send a message to [email protected] and write the word SUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.

2.03) Unsubscribing from the list

To leave the group, send a message to [email protected] and write the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.

2.04) Getting the list in Digest form

The CQ-Contest messages are also distributed in digest form. This means that all messages posted to CQ-Contest on a given day will be bundled together and resent as a single message, nominally at 11:45 p.m. EST. This is useful for people with Internet providers that place a limit on the number of messages you can have in your mailbox at once. This is the case for many of the JA subscribers.

To subscribe to the digest, send a message to [email protected] and write the word SUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.

To unsubscribe from the digest, send a message to [email protected] and write the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.

If you are subscribed to the digest, you will still be able to post messages to CQ-Contest. You do not need to be subscribed to CQ-Contest.

2.05) Temporarily stopping and restarting mail

To stop mail (for example if you're going on vacation), send a message to [email protected] that says:


To start mail again, send a message to [email protected] that says:


3) Operating Practices

Electronic mail is different from packet radio, in that many subscribers receive their E-mail through commercial services such as CompuServe and MCImail. In essence, many people are paying for each byte of every message sent to CQ-Contest. In order to minimize spurious messages, please follow the operating hints detailed below:

  • Put your name, callsign and E-mail address on every message you send. We don't all know everyone by just a callsign, nickname or Internet address. Furthermore, not everyone's E-mail software lets you see all the headers of the message, so it's sometimes difficult to reply to an individual posting without knowing the sender's address.
  • Use a subject line that indicates the true subject of your message.
  • Wait a while before answering someone's question. Six other people have probably answered it already. Most answers should go directly to the person who posed the question, rather than to the list.
  • Unlike PacketCluster, many people pay $$$ when they receive messages. Some people pay per message, some per byte. Therefore, please take this into consideration when writing a response. Would you pay $0.50 to read the message that you just wrote?
  • Eschew flamage. If someone sends a flame to the list and you can't bite your tongue, send your flaming reply directly back to the flaming individual, not back to the list. No one wants to pay $1.00 to read these messages (the original flame + your reply). Treat flamers the way you would 2-meter repeater jammers - ignore them.
  • Make sure there is something of value in each message you send to the list. Avoid messages that are a complete reprint of someone else's message, with nothing but "I agree" or "Me too" added to the bottom -- not much value there.
  • Some people pay by the byte, so when following up to someone else's message, be sure to include only the essential pieces or thread of the note. Don't include those 20 extra header lines that your mail gateway tacked onto the original message.
  • If you are going to make a personal reply, make sure to remove CQ-Contest from the header of your outgoing mail message. Otherwise, everyone else on the list is going to see your personal message.

4) Mailing List Archives

Every message to the list is archived. You can view the archives on the WWW at:

You can also fetch messages from the CQ-Contest archive by sending a message to [email protected] that says:

	GET cq-contest.yymm

where yymm is the year and month of the archive desired. For additional information, you can send a message to [email protected] that says HELP.

5) E-mail addresses of Contesters

5.01) General information about E-mail addresses

There are number of ways to find the E-mail address for a particular contester. Please do NOT send a message to CQ-Contest that says "Does anyone have the E-mail address for ______?"

5.02) W4AN Contesters Email Database

Bill Fisher, W4AN ([email protected]), maintains a database of contesters on his web page, You can  add your own address. Special thanks to George Fremin III, K5TR (ex-WB5VZL) for previously maintaining this list.

5.03) CQ-Contest REVIEW

You can get a list of CQ-Contest subscribers by sending a message to [email protected] that says WHO.

5.04) Callbook

The Callbook has thousands of hams address and email addresses.

5.05) World Wide Web Directory Services

There are several services on the WWW for looking up E-mail address for a given name. Here are a few of them:


Thanks to Steve Zettel KJ7CH for the information!

5.06) The old-fashioned way!

If you've exhausted every other resource, try calling the person you seek on the telephone and asking for their E-mail address directly. Or send a letter to their Callbook address (and include an SASE if you desire a quick response).

6) Related Mailing Lists

6.01) Contest results group -- [email protected]

This mailing list is a forum dedicated to post-contest score reports, as is done on 3830 KHz after contests. Summaries of the scores reported to this mailing list are posted on CQ-Contest on a regular basis after contests. To subscribe to this mailing list, send a message to [email protected] that says SUBSCRIBE.

6.02) Kids contest group -- [email protected]

This mailing list is used to post the results of the SquINT contests which are announced on CQ-CONTEST. These contests encourage kids to participate in a fun filled event and gain exposure to amateur radio and contesting. Contact [email protected] to sign up and receive a copy of the rules.

6.03) CT users group -- [email protected]

This mailing list is a forum dedicated to the CT Logging Program, by K1EA. To subscribe to this mailing list, send a message to [email protected] that says SUBSCRIBE.

6.04) NA users group -- [email protected]

This mailing list is a forum dedicated to the NA Logging Program, by K8CC. To subscribe to this mailing list, send a message to [email protected] that says SUBSCRIBE.

6.05) SD users group -- [email protected]

This mailing list is a forum dedicated to the SD Logging Program, by EI5DI. To subscribe to this mailing list, send a message to [email protected] that says SUBSCRIBE SD-USER.

6.06) TRLOG users group -- [email protected]

This mailing list is a forum dedicated to the TRLOG Logging Program, by N6TR. To subscribe to this mailing list, send a message to [email protected] that says SUBSCRIBE.

6.07) WriteLog users group - [email protected]

This mailing list is a forum dedicated to the WriteLog Logging Program by W5XD.  To subscribe to this mailing list, send a message to [email protected] that says SUBSCRIBE.

7) Internet Resources for Contesters

7.02) World Wide Web

Contesting On-line
ARRL Contest Branch
CQ Contest Magazine
National Contest Journal (NCJ)
KA9FOX Web Page
LA9HW Web Page
OH2KI Web Page
CT by K1EA Software

NA by K8CC Software

TR by N6TR
WriteLog for Windows

8) Finding out more about the Internet

Pick up a copy of the book The Internet Companion by Tracy LaQuey, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0-201-62224-6. If your local technical book store doesn't carry it, you can order from Computer Literacy, 2590 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95131. Their phone number is +1 408 435-0744.

This FAQ was written by Trey Garlough, N5KO <[email protected]> and converted to HTML by Jim Reisert, AD1C <[email protected]>. Many thanks to Jim and to everyone else who has contributed to this FAQ.