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Enough? What do YOU want to talk about?

Subject: Enough? What do YOU want to talk about?
From: bcoleman@hayes.com (bcoleman@hayes.com)
Date: Fri Jul 29 14:48:19 1994
But does complaining about the content really help? Since contest season is
ahead of us, and propagation stinks, it makes sense that people are posting
messages instead of playing radio. They need a distraction. So, rather than
complaining about what they say, why not talk about something that
interests you?

In other words, what do YOU want to talk about? Post a message about that,
and people will naturally follow.


In that vein, I have a comment on the idea of using networking at a M/M or
M/S site for connecting several contest stations.

I always thought Macs would be perfect for this, since they network so
easily. There's enough bandwidth in LocalTalk to carry the log and schedule
information. LocalTalk is built-in to every Mac, the wiring is cheap
and it is simple to set up. The only thing missing is the distributed

One advantage of a network is that even if a transmission gets into the
networking cable and blasts packets, the network protocol will retry and get
the data through. Any well-sheilded network cabling should work, and even
UTP networks are relatively shelf-sheilding. 

So, I guess I'm surprised this has never really been done. Maybe that's because
nearly all ham-related software is on the PC, which is much more difficult 
and expensive to network. 

Any comments on why Macs aren't more prevalent in contesting? (Don't need a
SoundBlaster, each Mac has built-in sound....)

   Bill, AA4LR, bcoleman@hayes.com (for those with dumb mailers)

>From Peter Hardie <hardie@herald.usask.ca>  Fri Jul 29 19:13:39 1994
From: Peter Hardie <hardie@herald.usask.ca> (Peter Hardie)
Subject: Use of opto isolator for CW keying
Message-ID: <Pine.3.88.9407291127.B16462-0100000@herald.usask.ca>

On Thu, 28 Jul 1994, Dave Palmer wrote:
> I had been driving the TenTec
> keying line directly from a printer port data bit, but this didn't work
> with the Icom 735. (In fact, the Icom damaged the printer port bit.

If you connect an 8V supply (the ICOM keying line) directly to a printer 
port bit (which is usually 5V) you'll have to expect a few problems.

> It looked like a circuit with an opto isolator was in order.

That gives you an isolated ground (which, as you mentioned later in your
post can have its uses), but in the case of the ICOM that wasn't the
problem. You can easily hook a printer port bit up to a +ve key line by
using a 2n2222 transistor. Connect the printer bit to the base through a
10k resistor, connect the keying line to the collector and both
grounds (printer and rig) to the emitter. 

73 de Pete

>From John Skora" <skora@pdb.pdb.bnl.gov  Fri Jul 29 19:15:07 1994
From: John Skora" <skora@pdb.pdb.bnl.gov (John Skora)
Subject: Grid squares
Message-ID: <9407291415.ZM21932@pdb.pdb.bnl.gov>

Don't know if this is in a FAQ or not, but is a grid square
calculated from a formula based on longitude and latitude,
and if so, is the formula available?

(I'm new to the list - is there an archive of old traffic?)

Tnx + 73  -jgs

John Skora   KC2JT   PDB Computing Systems   skora@bnl.gov   516-282-5750

>From David C. Patton" <mudcp3@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu  Fri Jul 29 19:37:50 1994
From: David C. Patton" <mudcp3@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu (David C. Patton)
Subject: A *New Contest* using GRID SQUARES
Message-ID: <199407291837.AA24345@ecom3.ecn.bgu.edu>

This Grid Square thread has prompted me to finally attempt to
persuade others to accept the idea of a new contest.

I agree with every comment regarding the use of Grids in the
exchange (especially Bob, KR2J's comments).  

Now don't get upset about what I propose--these are my thoughts, and
I have thought of this issue for years.  I realize every contest has
its own merit (s), but I (and I know of several other people) truly
and sincerely think we can make a better contest that takes advantage
of a few other contests.  But one major contest must be retired.
This contest should have a final running, the records published in
stone, a farewell ceremony, and then be replaced with a contest that
is universal, everybody works everybody, is a DX-oriented contest,
and uses the old contest's good propagation window.

This obsolete contest (in my opinion of course) is the ARRL DX
contest.  This contest has gone through some major changes in the
last 15 years including a reduction in operating time from 96 to 48
hours, QSO quotas, low band and high band categories, world-wide
format, etc.  All these drastic changes tell me the contest has
problems.  The existing records are not nearly as meaningful as those
for CQWW.  And the records are only 15 years old anyway.  I feel the
ARRL DX contest is not really a DX contest.  I feel this contest is
boring, doesn't generate interest internationally, leaves little
imagination for DX-peditioners and casual operators alike, and are
entirely too long for a "world works the US and Canada contest."  

I feel that there is little need/desire in today's world society for
a radio contest that doesn't truly involve the international
community.  I have operated this contest from Guam, in poor
conditions, and it was difficult and boring to just work the US.
Some guys say that it is desirable to work the US only--they know the
openings, they don't have to operate all weekend, etc etc.  Seems
pretty boring to me.  Plus, I don't think it is fair to monopolize
the bands all weekend, causing some QRM to foreign stations who want
to contact each other, when DX is only allowed to work the US and

Others say it is cool to go to the Caribbean and run several thousand
US/VE and it doesn't take anything for antennas or power.  This may
be true, but I think it is little of a challenge, and only "cool" for
the two dozen or so people who operate from the Caribbean each year.
The other 10 thousand ops have a boring event.

I propose the following:

(1)     Replace and retire the ARRL DX Contests.  Begin a new contest
in 1996.  The new contest could be titled something like "The ARRL
World Radio Contest."

(2)     The ARRL is an ideal organization to publicize the event,
produce Grid maps, and generally spread the word of this event.

(3)     The exchange would be signal report and Grid Square to
four-character identifier (i.e. EM49).

(4)     Points:  1 point for QSO in same country.
                 1.5 points for QSO with same continent.
                 3 points for QSO with different continent.

        This point scoring system recognizes the DX-contest nature of
the event, yet allows everyone to work everyone for points.
Advantages:  poor conditions still allows maximum fun, small stations
are still fun to use, DX-peditions are still viable, and
point/geographic advantages are minimal.

(5)     Multipliers:  Grid Squares counted once per contest,
regardless of band.  This will force stns to use most of the bands.

(6)     Frequencies:  80 through 10 meters.  Leave 160 alone for
ragchewers; there is no need to go there to look for mults or points,
and it will be easier for expeditions to not worry about antennas for
this band.

(7)     Categories:  Single-op all band.  Low and high power.
                     Assisted.  QRP.

                     Multi single--one signal, ten minute rule.
                     Multi operator, two transmitter.  Ten minutes.

                     Rover.  Portable, mobile, or maritime/marine.

(8)     Time frame:  One weekend on SSB, one weekend on CW.
                     Single-ops operate 36 out of 48 hours.
                     Multi-ops may operate full 48 hours.

(9)     Additional thoughts:
                Because many stations will not know their grid square
contest stations will necessarily need to patiently assist the
unknowing, and hopefully locate the grid for these stations, and tell
them what it is.  This act requires Grid locators on hand at as many
stations as possible.  If a grid cannot be determined quickly, there
should be an alternate exchange that can be used so the QSO is still
worthe points, but not a multiplier until perhaps after the contest
when the contest sponsor assigns the correct Grid to those contacts,
and adjust the score appropriately.  This alternate exchange may
simply be the ITU zone.

        For award recognition there should be no "winner" awards.
Instead there should be achievement awards, i.e., certificates (or
other) for reaching 300,000 points, 500,000 points, 1 million points,
etc.  I feel that individuals, contest clubs, HQ societies,
Manufacturers, and the ARRL could finance the awards.  We should
resist requiring entrants to pay for awards.  An excellent attraction
for the contest would be to enter the contest, send in your
log/entry, and receive a nice award within a year.  Stations would
compete against each other, but be recognized for their achievements.
 The score listings would be as they are now.  

        I can visualize this contest becoming the highlight of the
year's operating events--possibly equal to or better than CQWW.
People without home stations could go anywhere, set-up easily, be
rare, and have fun.  Think of all the boats and ships that could
activate water grids!!!  The weather may be a little poor in
February, but the March contest is often terrific for weather.

        This contest would require a huge PR/Marketing effort.  The
ARRL must be behind it.  If more people other than myself are
interested we must pursue it.  But I sincerely think there is no room
for a new contest.  One contest must be retired.  And I feel there is
no better candidate for retirement than the ARRL DX Contest.  This
new contest needs those weekends and the related propagation.

Change is good.  Change is necessary.  Lets all be open-minded and
get in on the ground floor as charter members of something

And yes, I volunteer my time and some of my money to make this

Finally, please don't argue the particular merits good or bad of the
ARRL DX Contest.  Maybe we could discuss how to make change happen,
and why, why not, or how this could happen.  I know there are good
parts to the ARRL DX Contest.  But I feel we could do so much better.
 I hope I am not alone.  I have operated that contest for 17 years.
And each year I ask myself why.


Dave Patton, WX3N   mudcp3@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu

>From Jay Kesterson K0GU x6826 <jayk@bits.fc.hp.com>  Fri Jul 29 19:46:09 1994
From: Jay Kesterson K0GU x6826 <jayk@bits.fc.hp.com> (Jay Kesterson K0GU x6826)
Subject: Control box for two radio SO??
Message-ID: <9407291846.AA20505@bits.fc.hp.com>

I plan to finally build a control box for using two radios single op. Was
thinking of something very simple like:
 1. A three position switch for receive audio that would give (A) run rig
    in both ears  (B) one rig in each ear  (C) second rig in both ears
 2. A two position switch for xmit to switch the mic/footswitch/keyer plus
    maybe a momentary pushbutton switch that switches the mic/etc to
    the second rig.

 ?. On the second rig are you using a auto tune amp, manual tune amp or
    no amp at all???

Is this OK or have I overlooked something? What are you using and why? I
saved Tree's post from sometime back and thats about the only input I have
so far. Please reply direct to me and I will post a summary.

73, Jay K0GU                 jayk@fc.hp.com

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