Category Archives: Contests

2014 WAE CW Contest

I was able to pop into the WAE CW contest over the weekend for a few hours each day. This contest allows a US station to only make contact with an European station to exchange a serial number. A twist in this contest is it also allows exchanging QTCs which is where we’d send a list of 10 contacts made – their time, call and serial number received from the other station. Each QTC equates to a “contact” from a points perspective so if you work 100 stations and make 100 actual QSOs, you can double the number of points by also sending 10 batches of 10 QSOs to 10 different stations you work. I’m not comfortable enough with CW to do QTCs so I declined. For CW, we’d send the info so it wouldn’t be that difficult so maybe next year I’ll consider sending CW QTCs. I have no issue with QTCs during the RTTY version of the contest where we can send and receive those with EU stations.

Friday night about 1 hour after the contest started I got on and made 24 contacts all on 20m in just over 30 mins. I had family in from out of town so I spent time with them vs being on the radio. I checked 15m but there were no stations heard.

Saturday morning I started out on 20m but there was little activity and I moved to 15m where I made most of the contacts until early afternoon when 15m seemed to fade and all activity was on 20m. Somewhere on Sat I got pulled along to a pet store to check out new kittens to adopt so there was some furry things in the house as our previously adopted cat of 14 yrs had recently passed away. I wrapped up my radio time for the day around 3:30pm ET (1930z) and headed off with the entire family to a pre-season NY Giants football game. My daughters both leave for college starting this week so it was nice all of us got out together. Finished up on Saturday with 104 Q’s with EU stations logged in N1MM.

Sunday morning I got on and made some contacts again on 15m before moving to 20m. My local radio club family picnic was today so I drove over to the park where it was being held. We had about 50 people there when I took a quick headcount. It looked like there was enough food for 200 people so no one was going to leave hungry. After a couple hours I headed back home to make a few more contacts and help around the house as my girls are getting ready to leave. I was surprised at the end end to see I was able to make an additional 101 contacts on Sunday for a total of 205 Qs with EU stations.

There were a few times during the contest that I followed or might have been followed by K2DSW, an operator in Iowa. With our calls being so similar it was interesting to hear the delay, or not, between various operators when I sent my call just after they logged a contact with K2DSW. Some times I’d hear a pause and sometimes the EU operator wouldn’t miss a beat. I contacted K2DSW after the contest and we had a great exchange which I’ll follow-up on in another post soon.

Below is the summary from N1MM and it shows that 20m was a better band for me over the weekend for the times I was able to be on the air.  If I had sent QTCs, I would have doubled the number of points though the multipliers would have been the same so my score essentially would have doubled.

 Band   Q/QTC  QSOs   Mult
   14    QSO   142      68
   21    QSO    63      40
Total    All   205     108

Score : 22,140

I heard a bunch of non-EU stations on CW while I was in the contest, but since we can only work EU stations, there was no reason to call them. I heard at least two different stations in Turkey that were loud as well as familiar calls for some familiar and always loud stations int the middle east.


2014 NAQP CW & TARA Grid

I’ll start with the TARA Grid contest since that was quick. I ended up making just 15 contacts against 14 grids. It didn’t seem like there was much activity or I wasn’t on or listening where everyone was. Maybe what didn’t help was the NAQP CW contest started up during the 24 hours of this one? Anyway, at least I got in a couple contacts.

Saturday was the NAQP CW contest and that had much more activity. I didn’t do well on 15m and nothing on 10m but 20m was fine making contacts across the country from the south to the west coast. I was on and off throughout the day but off for 2 hours during peak 40m/80m activity when I went into NYC to pick up one of my daughters from work. I got back on for a bit after I got home around 11:45pm ET (0345z) to log some 80m contacts. Looks like I worked 39 states in those 213 Qs.

Here’s my score as reported by N1MM and submitted to the contest, 3830, LoTW, eQSL, Club Log, QRZ, etc.

 Band    QSOs    Sec   Mult2
  3.5      26     15     0
    7      67     31     0
   14     105     30     1
   21      15     10     0
Total     213     86     1

Score : 18,531

The Mult2 above was a nice strong ZF station in the Cayman Islands.

During the contest I popped away twice to work two different Bolivia (CP) stations that I was alerted to being on the air. One CPstation was on SSB and the other on RTTY. Since I have been on HF I’ve only logged two CP stations before and then I go and log two in modes I didn’t have in the span of under 2 hours.




2014 IOTA Contest – Good ones logged with Map!

Starting Saturday morning East Coast time in the US was the 24 hour IOTA contest where anyone can work anyone else, but it’s really best to work stations that have an IOTA associated with them as they are worth 15 pts vs 2 pts.  You can have an IOTA number if you’re on an island which might not seem as exotic as it might sound. Yes, there are islands such as Reunion Island or the South Cook Islands that come to mind, but Long Island counts as an island too.

The contest started out slow for me with few signals and those I heard were weak. I logged some Qs and then all of a sudden I could tell the noise was back that I experienced last week. I immediately got up and asked my neighbor if he just turned something on and he said he just opened the garage and put the lights on. I asked him to shut off the lights and the noise was gone – turn on the lights and the noise was back. They installed some high output T5 fluorescent lights in their new garage and they are noisy. With both on I get about a S5-S7 when I turn the antenna to them. With one disconnected as a test, the noise was 1/2 so it’s not one particular light that was the problem. We’ll have to figure out what to do but at least the source was identified.

I spent the day going back and forth to the radio working stations here and there. It remained pretty slow to mid afternoon when the signals got stronger and I could hear and contact more stations. It continued strong through the evening so I spent time at the radio. I worked SSB (phone) for most of the contest until I saw a station spotted on CW that I wanted to work so I did some CW too, putting me in the Low Power Single Operator Assisted Mixed Mode category. The spot I saw was for Dodecanese on 20m and I was able to work him.  I saw E51AND in South Cook Islands spotted on 20m at 10pm local time and it took me 2 straight hours to get him logged right at midnight local time. He had a huge pileup  but it started to thin out a bit as it got later in the evening.

After logging the E5-S station I took a quick listen and logged 2 ZLs and a VK station on 20m CW followed by FR4NT on Reunion Island who was coming in very strong on 20m SSB.  I was pretty tired so I exported my log from N1MM, loaded it into DXKeeper and sent it off to the contest robot, Clublog, eQSL and LoTW.  I already have the SV5 Dodecanese contact confirmed on LoTW.

It looks like I worked 46 different DXCCs including Dodecanese, South Cook Island, Reunion Island, Crete, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand & Australia.

Here’s a map of the contacts made in the IOTA contest using ADIF2Map (click to enlarge):


Here’s my N1MM score summary:

 Band  Mode  QSOs    Pts  IOTA
    7  CW       5     49     3
    7  LSB      2     30     2
   14  CW      23    241    13
   14  USB     86    807    29
   21  USB      6     77     4
Total  Both   122   1204    51

Score : 61,404


73 & Good DX,


2014 NAQP RTTY & DMC RTTY & CQ WW VHF Contests

This weekend I participated in 3 different contests with most of the effort in the NAQP RTTY.

Before the NAQP fired up the DMC RTTY contest started. It starts before the NAQP, runs during the NAQP, and continues after the NAQP ends. I worked just 36 stations on 15m & 20m. Conditions didn’t seem good for me, but it killed some time.

Here’s a map of the contacts (click to enlarge):
Here’s the N1MM score summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  DXCC   Area   Cont
   14      20     20    10      0     0
   21      16     16     9      3     4
Total      36     36    19      3     4
Score : 3,168

At 2pm local time, the NAQP fired up. It was confusing at the start since there were stations working the DMC RTTY contest that was going on and stations now working the NAQP contest that just started. It didn’t take long but it seemed to me that most of the DMC stations took a break for a while or moved to other bands less used by the NA stations. I turned the hexbeam to the west since I’m mostly working stations to the west of NJ and I heard S5 noise on 15m and 20m. I switched to the G5RV and I heard the same noise. If I point the beam to the south, the noise goes completely away. I dealt with it throughout most of the contest but it definitely impacted my ability to hear stations. A local ham was working stations I couldn’t even hear or see in the waterfall. You can tell from the low count in the 15m totals how challenging it was.

10m was quiet for both noise and unfortunately RTTY signals. I switched to 10m a few times but there wasn’t any activity. Late in the afternoon I switched to 40m and there were a few stations active. After working them I parked myself on an open frequency, called CQ and worked a bunch of stations. I switched back to the higher bands and the noise had disappeared so I worked some stations I probably couldn’t hear with the noise. As the sun started to get low in the sky I was back on 40m where there was a lot of activity both in S&P and CQing.

As things were rolling along on nicely on 40m when my wife told me it was time to head out to a friend’s party. A couple hours later we got home and I got back on 40m and 80m to make some contacts before calling it a night and heading to bed. I missed logged 7 states with most of those in the immediate area since I wasn’t on 80m until the very end.

Here’s the summary of contacts by band for the NAQP contest:

 Band    QSOs    Pts   Sec
  3.5      26     26    16
    7     119    119    41
   14     118    118    38
   21      24     24    13
   28       3      3     3
Total     290    290   111
Score : 32,190

On Sunday I decided to clean up things for outstanding QSL cards I needed to send, most in reply to those that sent them to me asking for a QSL in return. While I was doing that I had the radio on, flipped to 6m, and heard one of my club members a town away calling CQ. I realized it was the CQ WW VHF contest so I fired up N1MM, worked him and then on and off worked a station here or there. The stations ended up being local such as NJ, NY or CT and then FL with a lone LA (Louisiana) station.

I worked 12 stations in 9 different grids. I did end up getting everything done I needed with QSL cards. I’ll write about that next.

All scores sent in and also uploaded to LoTW, eQSL and ClubLog.


2014 DLDX RTTY Contest

I have some catching up to do as I’ve fallen behind in my short write ups. On July 4th weekend was the DLDX RTTY contest which runs for 24 hours. There were activities going on but I got some time on the air and was able to work 176 Qs.  As you can see from the breakout, most activity was on 15m & 20m which is when I was able to be at the radio.

You get more points for DX (outside the US) contacts but US contacts still get points and are multipliers.

Here’s a map of the contacts made (click to enlarge):


Here’s the score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  DXCC   Area
  3.5       5     30     2     4
    7      18    150     6     7
   14      66    935    28     8
   21      84   1150    32    10
   28       3     25     2     2
Total     176   2290    70    31

Score : 231,290


2014 CQ WPX CW Dabbling

I haven’t been on the air much lately as evidenced by my lack of posts here. A lot of family obligations and work has curtailed my on air activities. This weekend, after flying in from Arizona after a week long business trip, we had a club hamfest Saturday which got me up very early. Weather wasn’t great but the turnout was and it was good to see folks I haven’t seen in a while.

Sunday after doing some errands I corrected the hex beam and powered everything up for a little CW contesting. I started on 10m but it was pretty quiet with only a few contacts. In many cases I needed to resend my serial number, likely because it was so low as I was just starting out, and the other ops wanted to confirm they got the complete exchange. I switched to 15m which was much more active and was able to tune up the band and work many stations. Once I got above 10 Qs the requests for resending my serial number stopped. I was many working EU stations though a US or South America station would get in the log from time to time.

I spent a short time on 20m before switching back to 15m and pointing the NA4RR hexbeam westward. Though I have a few Qs with China, it is still exciting to get them in the log, so I was glad to work BY5CD. I finished up not shortly after that contact with China.

I ended up with 135 calls logged, most on 15m add you can see below in the summary from N1MM:

  Band QSOs WPX
    14   31  19
    21   97  92
    28    6   6
 Total  134 117

Score : 43,524

Here is a map of contacts produced with ADIF2MAP (click to enlarge):


I was glad to see all my equipment was working fine after an extended period of inactivity. We have the VHF contest and Field Day weekends with the club coming up in June so, weather permitting, I should be active with the club those weekends. I have more travel for work coming up the next couple weeks so I don’t expect to get on the air much before the VHF contest.


2014 NAQP SSB Contest

Yesterday (Saturday) was a short phone contest with the goal to work as many North America stations as possible. It started early afternoon and runs until after midnight but you can just work a total of 10 hours. Each state/province is a multiplier on each band. The exchange remains consistent throughout the contest – Name and State. What a persistent exchange means is once you work a station, they already know your exchange if they grab your call on another band. Not having to negotiate an exchange on the noisier bands normally moves things along quicker on subsequent contacts with the same station.

Got started right at the beginning of the contest pointed west on 10m and worked some stations but there wasn’t a huge amount of activity on 10m. I switched to 15m and then 20m back and forth throughout the afternoon checking 10m for anything new that popped up. After dark, 40m was very active and stations were coming in strong. With operating many RTTY and CW contests, you don’t get to speak with the operator at the other end so it’s nice to actually hear the voice of someone you might work in 10+ contests over the course of a year. Everyone is pleasant and takes a moment out for a more personal touch vs the non-phone contests. I really enjoy hearing “hey buddy”, “nice to hear you”, “there’s a familiar call”, etc.

Around 7:30pm ET (0030 GMT) I needed to stop as friends were coming over for the evening. I might have logged 1 or 2 stations on 80m before shutting things down. After they left about 4 hours later I got back on and worked some stations on 80m before calling it a night. I imported the contacts from N1MM into DXLabs and then uploaded them to LoTW, eQSL and sent into the ARRL. Looks like I missed logging  6 states (SD, RI, HI, AK, ID, WY) & 7 Canadian sections.

Checking out some of the posted scores for the contest, folks were logging QSOs like gangbusters!

Here’s my score summary from N1MM:

 Band    QSOs   Sec  Mt2
  3.5      35    22    1
    7      50    23    1
   14      87    31    3
   21      45    18    3
   28      23    10    3
Total     240   104   11

Score : 27,600


2014 RTTY Roundup

I’m about 1 week late in posting this, but it’s a been a busy week at work and I have time now to get a quick update online.

The RTTY RoundUp is a great start to the year in an anyone-can-work-anyone RTTY contest. I got started just a little late after picking up one of my daughters from NYC. Conditions were ok but not a huge amount of DX so I turned the antenna back across the US and worked a lot of NA stations. I started out on 10m and worked my way down to 15m and 20m. 15m was very good working US stations as well as DX stations without having to point to EU.  After dark I moved to 40m and it was very active being able to work much of the US without issue and even some easy DX. Later I went to 80m and there was a also lot of activity. Working 80m gave me a much of state multipliers in the surrounding states I hadn’t yet worked.  I called it a night with 400 Qs in the log .

After waking up Sunday morning, I got back on and worked a good number of new NA stations on 40m before hitting the higher bands. Conditions seemed good on Sunday morning and I was pointing at Europe working stations on 10, 15 & 20m with ease.  By the end of the morning I needed to call it quits. I had 100 Qs on all bands except 10m.

The log showed 564 stations worked with 52 of the 63 states/provinces accounted for. In the US I didn’t log Rhode Island, DC, Arkansas, Mississippi and Utah. The other 6 that were missed were Canadian Provinces. Looks like across the bands there were 41 unique DXCCs logged. 375 unique stations were worked.

N1MM Summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Sec  DXCC
  3.5     109    109    1    0
    7     142    142   10    4
   14     110    110   12    8
   21     132    132   22   13
   28      71     71    7   13
Total     564    564   52   38

Score : 50,760


DARC Radio Amateurs World Atlas – A good DXCC/prefix reference

I had limited time in the month of December to operate and just dabbled in a couple of contests when I had some time. In the 10M RTTY contest I made 109 contacts and during the ARRL 10m contest I worked 89 SSB contacts.

One of the gifts I requested this year was the DARC produced Radio Amateurs World Atlas. I saw this 23 page reference in it’s previous version and really wanted my own copy. It just happens that the latest edition was just released so if you are interested, you want the August 2013 printing that has a purple cover with a multi-color world image on it.  The older version is a yellow cover with black text . My copy, for $13, was purchased from Universal Radio at

Inside, the Radio Amateurs World Atlas contains full color maps of the world showing Continental boundaries, DX Zone boundaries and Prefix boundaries. As an example of prefix boundaries, for Japan, it shows what area represents JA0, JA1, …, JA9 prefix calls. For anyone, myself included, that doesn’t have every DXCC’s “zones” memorized and likes to look at maps, this reference is a good one. Maybe there are similar maps online, but I haven’t run into them.

Here’s an image of one of the pages of the map (click to see larger view):

Radio Amateur World Atlas

Happy New Year everyone!


2013 CQ WW CW with Map – 10m Fun

I wasn’t planning on operating much this past weekend on the CQ WW CW contest. I didn’t get on Fri evening and first got on Sat morning for a bit before running some errands. The bands, specifically 10m was good, and there was a lot of activity. I was able to quickly work many DXCC entities in a short amount of time.

Saturday afternoon I got back on and things were still hot so I worked 10m trying to get new DXCC entities I hadn’t worked or new ones on 10m. I was running assisted so I could see what was showing up without having to tune and then listen for each call. There were some pretty good pileups going for many of the rarer stations but if you could get there quickly before the crowd showed up, you had a shot. Otherwise, you needed to use your brain and time things right. As a last resort, tune to a different station and come back later or tomorrow. Most stations were operating the entire weekend and if conditions remained the same, they should be around on Sunday too.

As Saturday wore on, I started to really accumulate entities on 10m. As the day/evening wore on, I also worked 15m and 20m. As it got darked I worked some stations on 40m and 80m. I was just looking for entities I hadn’t worked yet vs logging too many for the same entities. On Saturday evening I was hoping to see/hear Alaska on 80m as that is the last state I need for 5BWAS but I didn’t see them spotted. On Sunday morning I saw some spots for KL7’s but it was well past I was asleep.

Sunday came and I was only able to work until about 1pm ET (1800z) in between getting ready to go out for the day. 10m was still open so I continued to pick and choose new entities. As the time passed, it seemed like it might be possible to log 100 entities for just 10m and I was able to just sneak that in with 102 entities logged on 10m.

Some of the notable stations logged:

3D2R – RotumaIsland (15m) – New band 3DA0ET – Swaziland (10m & 20m) – New band
4U1ITU – ITU HQ (10m & 15m) – New bands 5H3EE – Tanzania (15m)
5R8IC – Madagascar (10m) – New band 9J3A – Zambia (10m)
9L1A – Sierra Leone (15m) 9X0NH – Rwanda (15m) – New DXCC
D3AA – Angola (15m) – New band DX1J – Philippines (20m)
NH2DX – Guam (15m) OY1CT – FaroeIsland (10m) – New band
TC0A – Turkey (10m) UP2L – Kazakhstan (40m) – New band
XT2FCJ – Burkina (10m, 15m & 20m) – New DXCC Z81R/Z81X – South Sudan (10m & 15m) – New DXCC
ZM4T – New Zealand (10m & 15m) 

It looks like I ended up logging 3 new DXCC entities, none of which took much effort during the contest. I worked 114 different entities during the contest and 102 on just 10m. 34 zones out of 40 total zones were worked across all the bands.

Here’s the score summary from N1MM:


Here’s a map of the contacts made using ADIF2MAP (click for a larger image):



Great fun over a few hours on a weekend. Logs uploaded to LoTW, eQSL, ClubLog and to the contest robot.