Proposed New Contest Exchange

n0dh at n0dh at
Thu Apr 4 22:43:58 EST 1996

"Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at> wrote:

>I propose that for some contests, the present sent "signal report", be
>replaced with something which is more meaningful, not just more QRM. I
>suggest that we use the HEX sum of the ASCII codes of our call signs rather
>than the current 59(9) signal report. This could be in addition to your
>State or other info presently in use.


1) I agree we need more meanigful exchanges for most contests.

2) The HEX idea is I fear in reality no better than than 59(9) because
it can be "calculated" by an easy subroutine which would quickly be
imbedded in most of the more popular contest logging programs. The
software would no doubt calculate the HEX input for you and enter it in
the log freeing the operator from having to worry about getting it right
since the software would or could be self coreecting.

3) The exchange needs to be something that is unique for each operator,
is totaly random in nature, changes from contest to contest. or even
changes from band to band OR...even more diabilically is TOTALY random
in nature and must be different for each QSO (he he he he a sick mind
is a terrible thing to waste).


>From Dave Lawley <101332.232 at>  Thu Apr  4 23:01:17 1996
From: Dave Lawley <101332.232 at> (Dave Lawley)
Date: 04 Apr 96 18:01:17 EST
Subject: Dayton
Message-ID: <960404230117_101332.232_GHW71-1 at CompuServe.COM>


Can anyone help with a room for me and Clive GM3POI
at Stouffer's on Friday and Saturday nights please?

Dave G4BUO
101332.232 at

>From Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at  Thu Apr  4 23:26:36 1996
From: Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at (Bruce (AA8U))
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 18:26:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Unique checksum
Message-ID: <199604042326.SAA19711 at>

At 04:32 PM 4/4/96 -0500, you wrote:
>There are lots of things we could exchange that can't be predicted.
>The important thing is to make there be at least SOME copying skill
>needed to score, and it would be nice if it added to the interest value
>of the QSO for those just "giving out some points".  I've been told by 
>some casual contesters that the SS exchange is more fun, rather than less,
>to them, and they are the ones whose numbers need to grow.
>And it would be nice if the exchange didn't make the whole contest sound like
>a waste of time to children and spouses.
>Tom WA1GUV 
Hi Tom,
I agree. Dealing with the "waste of time" issue might be the toughest. HI HI

SS is the best domestic contest and I don't feel any changes are warranted.
Any of the others where the same old boring and meaningless 59(9) is used,
are prime targets for a much needed upgrade. 

You have a very good point about the casual contesters. Whatever is used
must be easy AND meaningful. Maybe some special exchange for them would do
the trick. Something that only part time entrants would add to their
exchange.....for example, "PT MI" instead of 59 MI.....just to illustrate
the point. 

I also believe that there should be more emphasis placed on the part time
entry by giving them a special class to enter. A 12hr. class for instance.
Just take the existing classes and modify each to allow a 12 hr. class. I
would be willing to wager the number of participants would increase greatly!
I would even enter some contests part time that I would otherwise skip! 

Certificates are not that expensive to produce. If my log was found worthy
of a certificate I would gladly send a couple bucks to cover the cost of
printing and mailing it (but only if it arrived in a reasonable amount of
time..HI) I would like to see an additional page of scores in the mag's if
it would help bring more casuals to the contests. Maybe the NCJ and
CQ-Contest would be the place to do this since they are aimed at the contest

I have heard that SS participation increased by a bunch when the pins and
clean sweep mugs were offered. That should be a good indication of what
order of improvement is possible with a little creative tinkering.

I suspect the software writers have much to much influence on the trends in
contesting. Maybe a few rules changes would cause them to do a scramble to
keep the logging software current. Some of the changes I have thought of
would cause CT and NA major re-writes. I can understand why they might
object, but I don't think this is in itself justification to perpetuate the
status quo. 

This is only my opinion, I could be wrong........... 

Bruce (AA8Ugly)

>From Steve Lufcy <km0l at>  Thu Apr  4 23:46:11 1996
From: Steve Lufcy <km0l at> (Steve Lufcy)
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 17:46:11 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Third Party Traffic: AC1O Speaks Out
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.960404174347.12974A-100000 at>

My opinion also- I always thought a Third Party was good/better/best, 
regardless of traffic.
73 to all parties, de KM0L Steve

On Thu, 4 Apr 1996, Walter Deemer wrote:

> May 18th.  Dayton.  Stouffer's.  It's late at night.  (VERY late at night.)
> The FRC soiree is going full tilt.  Across the hall, so is the NCCC bash.  
> Suddenly, down the hall, the Sultans' door is flung open.  "We just got two
> more kegs", yells Scott, "and they're on CQ!"  A wild stampede down the
> hallway follows.
> Now THAT, gentlemen, is third party traffic.
> 73, Walt, AC1O   (on his third "delete" key of the month so far)    

>From Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at  Thu Apr  4 23:55:34 1996
From: Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at (Bruce (AA8U))
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 18:55:34 -0500 (EST)
Subject: AA8U Station Location
Message-ID: <199604042355.SAA23303 at>

At 06:15 PM 4/4/96 EST, you wrote:
>Hello again Bruce,
>Thanks for taking the time to respond to my inquiry, and no problem
>posting/cc for others to learn from!  
>Couple queries regarding verticals in the square - you using bottom feed
>with radials for each leg, or is the 160 vertical radials playing double
>here?  Guess best to just tie any and everything togather as far as the rf
>gounding goes, but with the feed 6-7 feet above ground, is this a problem? 

Each of the ground plane verticals which comprise the 4 sq have elevated
feed points and dedicated tuned radials. They are fed with current baluns
purposely to decouple the 80M verticals and radials from the insulated base
160 the 160 vertical dosen't see them as up-turned radials. I
think this purpose has been achieved. Whether it is necessary, I can't say
for sure. I just feel better with this implementation. Besides I haven't
seen anyone else do it and haven't read any tech info regarding this one way
or another. At the time it seemed the logical thing to do. I suggest you ask
K3LR....he is likely your best resource. (I see he is going to be doing a
regular antenna article in CQ CONTEST!)

As for what the large ground screen that serves the 160 insulated base
vertical does for or against the 4sq on 80, I don't know for sure. Possibly,
it provides a better ground for the 4sq array as a whole to work against
rather than depending on the relatively poor conducting earth.....have to
ask someone that knows better than me. Hi

>I may have confused the issues, as I've noted two schools floating around

There almost as many schools of thought on antennas as there are licensed
hams that homebrew!

>regarding the 'hanging 4-square'; 4 bottom-fed quarter wave verticals of
>wire each with own radials(like yours), and the other group chanting
>vertical dipoles folded back towards tower base (being dipoles not needing
>radials).  Oh, yea, a third group of suggestions has been about using four
>quarter wave groundplanes suspended about the tower and using 3 or 4
>elevated radials.  I keep reading, asking and learning, but seems lots of
>variations on this topic!

I've found over the years, (30+) there are lots of ways to radiate a signal.
Most every one involves compromises of some sort. Each method you mentioned
above have their own merits and limitations depending on where you try to
install them. Given my situation and goals, what I did seems to make sense. 

>The phase shift boxes I've read of have some wide variations of their own.
>From the K5RR/Fernwick style of the mid 70's, the W1CF and updated Comtek
>marketing style, etc.  I've collected a fairly thick file full of articles
>that each swear their merits outway the others.  Any inputs in this area
>from your experiences?

I have a similar library of info...... Of all I have seen, the ON4UN info
seems to be the best technically and is easy to implement. I chose the 75
Ohm version for mine because I wanted to maintain 66' per side seperation
and have the feedlines long enough to reach the elevated feed points without
swaying in the breeze. I use catv hardline cut with a tracking
generator/spectrum analyzer to get them spot-on.(current balun will alter
the electrical length, something to keep in mind)
>Last question - where's Rives Junction, MI?  Close to K8CC's?  I may be in
>mid-Michigan this summer, and thought if within hollering distance to my

K8CC is about 45 miles east of here.....

>travels, I'd love to drive by the antenna farms!  Having read your summary
>on quads, it's appearent you've played with lots of wire!  

Hey, I'm flattered! Don't often get that. HI

>Thanks again for the previous update, and I look forward to your reply when
>time permits you to send.

If you are going to be in the area, send me some email and we will give you
the fifty cent tour!


>From Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at  Fri Apr  5 00:19:45 1996
From: Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at (Bruce (AA8U))
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 19:19:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Proposed New Contest Exchange
Message-ID: <199604050019.TAA25988 at>

At 07:04 PM 4/4/96 -0500, you wrote:
>What good is an exchange that any contest software designer can 
>automatically insert after the call sign is typed in? Sort of 
>defeats the purpose of copying the exchange and would be as 
>meaningless as the automatic 59 inserted by CT,et al.
>Shouldn't it be something that only the sender knows and could 
>change for each contest so as to not become old hat? Ken KP4XS

Hi Ken,
You are correct. We need to avoid replacing one automatic qrm element with
another. If you think about it, my call has only one unique hex code. That
same code could indicate several possible call signs thereby insuring to
some extent that software could not be 100% effective in determining the
specific call sign.

I think we are in search of the same thing here. It is only a matter of
finding something that will satisfy the most needs.

Thanks for your input to this discussion.


>From Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at  Fri Apr  5 00:26:35 1996
From: Bruce (AA8U)" <aa8u at (Bruce (AA8U))
Date: Thu, 4 Apr 1996 19:26:35 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Proposed New Contest Exchange
Message-ID: <199604050026.TAA26669 at>

>Hi Bruce,
>Not that it matters, but it looks as though you would get a unique 
>combination for your call; I wouldn't be so lucky. I'd share the same 
>sum with WS9Z, WZ9S, W9ZS. So it goes.  :-)
>73, Zack W9SZ
Hi Zack,
Yes this is true to some extent, but as I have said before, this is a bug
that can be a feature! It will make software decoding much less reliable.
While there is only one hex code for my call, that same hex code could
indicate several calls as you note. I think this is a subtle advantage. See
what I mean?

Thanks for you input.


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