Contest Exchanges

Zack Widup w9sz at
Sat Apr 6 00:05:49 EST 1996

>Why do DXpeditions give us signal reports (usually 59/9)? Don't 
>some awards, maybe even DXCC (I don't know) require a signal report?
>Since the vast majority of participants in the CQWW do not submit
>their logs, we can assume working DX is a big part of the event.
>Perhaps meaningless signal reports have meaning, perhaps they
>are obsolete as part of DXing as well as contesting.  

I believe the traditional QSO must consist of exchange of callsign and 
one other piece of information. It does not have to be a signal report.  
DXCC rules state that the confirmation submitted must include callsigns 
of both stations, the country, mode, date, time and frequency band. The 
rules don't mention a signal report as required. In VHF contests we use 
grid squares and don't usually even send a signal report.

I do think the "599" handed out by DXpeditions tends toward being just a 
formality, most people are honest enough though to really make sure both 
sides copied the other's report, even if it's the expected "599". 

Maybe the first 3 letters of our middle names? Most callbooks only give 
one initial, so it would be harder to look up.

Zack W9SZ

>From Akinori Seko <ja4eko at>  Sat Apr  6 07:15:01 1996
From: Akinori Seko <ja4eko at> (Akinori Seko)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 16:15:01 +0900
Subject: No subject
Message-ID: <01BB23D4.4CDB4CE0 at>


>From Hans Brakob <71111.260 at>  Sat Apr  6 07:38:40 1996
From: Hans Brakob <71111.260 at> (Hans Brakob)
Date: 06 Apr 96 02:38:40 EST
Subject: QDC
Message-ID: <960406073839_71111.260_EHM49-1 at CompuServe.COM>

KP4XS writes:

>Can you see it now from the other end???

I have seen it from the other end. I learned to contest at 
KG6AAY where JA runs lasted 48 hours (on every band).

We learned that IDing on every contact actually made the pileups
easier, not harder to work, and that our rates averaged a LOT
higher over the course of a contest.

There are three types of stations calling you in a pileup:

  #1) The guy who already knows who you are.
  #2) The guy who drops his call into every pileup, many of
      which become "QSO B4". 
  #3) The guy who says "what's your damn call", then moves up
      band when you give it because he has already worked you.

If you give your call on every contact, your pileup contains only
those in category #1.

73, de Hans, K0HB

>From ni6t at (Garry Shapiro)  Sat Apr  6 08:45:20 1996
From: ni6t at (Garry Shapiro) (Garry Shapiro)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 00:45:20 -0800
Subject: Tetrode QRO
Message-ID: <199604060845.AAA22857 at>

You wrote: 

>Amplifiers using grid driven tetrodes cost more to build, are harder 
>build, and are more critical to tune and operate than a GG triode PA. 

>Why add complicated screen and bias systems with protection circuits, 
>make the amp more sensitive to tuning,  just to save a few bucks in 

OK, I have not spent my life designing tube power amps, but I do have a 
few observations that you perhaps will be kind enough to address.

It occurs to me that, back in the fifties and sixties when GG became 
dominant, tube exciters usually meant no input tanks in the amps, 
because the exciter plate circuit had one. And tube exciters typically 
had scads of output---too much at times. Even when broadband solid 
state transceivers came in and it was realized that the inertia 
provided by an input tank in the cathode circuit was desirable, there 
were only five HF bands to consider, and the added complexity of 
switching five low-Q tanks in synchrony with the output tank was 

Now we have nine HF bands, and that input tank has become a cumbersome 
entity. To my mind, it is far more so--in this era of solid state--than 
are grid and screen supplies. Yes, a tetrode requires screen and grid 
supplies and protection. Neither is that esoteric. Zener strings are 
still often good enough for screen supplies---they handle negative 
screen current. Triodes in the 1000 to 1500 watt dissipation class are 
not operated without grid protection and fan interlocks either, unless 
one is foolish. Tetrodes do need quality screen bypassing--but sockets 
often have annular caps built in.

I like the idea of using less drive power, and I like the simplicity of 
an input circuit that is essentially just a 50 ohm resistor. I like the 
idea of no filament choke. I also like the idea of running Class AB1. 
No input tanks means no mechanical linkages from the band switch or 
input relays, and allows me to concentrate on a more effective plate 
tank, such as a pi-L.

In my present station, my amplifiers--an old L4B and an even older Swan 
MkII converted to 160-only--use 3-500Z's. These are great tubes, to be 
sure. But the ones in my Drake are Amperex graphites, and--for reasons 
the factory steadfastly refused to share with me--they have lower power 
gain than claimed. The 100W+ available from my TS930S just is not 
enough for these bottles (I cannot fully drive them) and--when running 
heavy RTTY--the 930 has actually shut itself down. The idea of the 930S 
loafing along at 30W or so, not stressing its infamous driver and 
output stages--appeals to me.

Those Russian tetrodes also run at lower voltages--as low as 2400V fo 
full output--although I plan to run my 4CX1600B at 3200V. 

The power supply is already built and in use (with the Swan) and most 
of the RF deck parts have been gathered.Come summer, I expect to be 
cutting and drilling sheet metal.

Your statement that you would rather pay hundreds more for a tube to 
avoid other factors intrigues me---most homebuilders don't share that 
philosophy. Personally, I find the cost of an 8877 to be a big 
negative. My gut feeling is that the probability of damaging a tube 
like that is far greater than the probability of the Svetlana tube 
works going down.

You also stated that tetrode amps are harder to adjust and tune. Now we 
wander into a section of the woods I have not tramped, and here I would 
like to hear from you. Just what are the tradeoffs here?

It seems to me that both approaches have intrinsic merit, and that 
individual preferences are important here, as they are in choosing an 
automobile or a home. Let's skip the sole-source argument for the 
moment--not that it is irrelevant, but that it is not a technical 

And if the construction of an economical and conservatively-designed 
CONTEST amp is not an appropriate subject for this Reflector, we can 
take it private.

Garry, NI6T

>From w7ni at (Stan Griffiths)  Sat Apr  6 10:06:28 1996
From: w7ni at (Stan Griffiths) (Stan Griffiths)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 02:06:28 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Third Parties...very brief!
Message-ID: <199604061006.CAA26644 at>

>>>>Stan Griffiths said:
>> Ok, now that I have your attention, try this scenerio for fun:
>I have come to look at it this way...If the party doing the talking could
be replaced by a DVK, then that is essentially what they are.  I don't
recall complaints regarding the use of DVKs to make contacts with non-third
party agreement nations/territories.  When the DVK starts thinking and
speaking on its own that may pose a problem.  Makes sense to me.
>73 de N1PBT...ron (rrossi at <><

Well, the party doing the talking CAN'T be replaced by a DVK, can they?
That person generally is tuning the radio, deciding which way and how much
to tune it, deciding when to transmit, pressing keys on a keyboard to log
contacts, etc.  Only the "talking" aspect of their activities can be
replaced by a DVK.

Since a DVK is not conisidered an operator, and a single op station can use
one without putting himself in a multi op category, it would follow that if
another person doing part of the activities is "nothing more than a DVK",
that station should still be considered single op . . . regardless of how
many people are doing the talking and acting only as DVKs.

I can't buy your argument . . . but it did provide food for thought.  I am
interested in any other thoughts you have on this interesting subject.

Stan 27ni at

>From w7ni at (Stan Griffiths)  Sat Apr  6 10:06:52 1996
From: w7ni at (Stan Griffiths) (Stan Griffiths)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 02:06:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Announcing HamVention Contest
Message-ID: <199604061006.CAA26687 at>

>Entry Fee: $10 per person, YL's no fee
>Prizes: Winning team $100,000
>        Top 25 stations $5,000
>        All participants will receive a fruitcake baked by ON4UN        
>        Entry fee's mail to W7NI.

You failed to mention that the Prize money DOES NOT come out of collected
entry fees . . .  W7NI just keeps it for financing his new 4CX10,000 amp for
use by unlicensed third parties in the Extra portion of the band only.

Other than that small detail, dr. Bafoofnik, I'm with you all the way!!

Stan w7ni at

>From w7ni at (Stan Griffiths)  Sat Apr  6 10:32:21 1996
From: w7ni at (Stan Griffiths) (Stan Griffiths)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 02:32:21 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Contest Exchanges
Message-ID: <199604061032.CAA00123 at>

> we Change all the Contest Exchanges !!
>                and now all the OLD RECORDS and ALL TIME HIGH
>                                           SCORES
>                                               are
>                   MEANINGLESS       USELESS
>anybody ever think about that part of CONTESTING ??
>John K9UWA
>k9uwa at

I decided 20 years ago the records were pretty meaningless and useless then
and today we have even MORE inovative ways to cheat such as packet for
single ops that are supposed to be unassisted . . .

"It IS broke, and you CAN'T fix it!!"

Stan  w7ni at

>From py5eg at (atilano de oms sobrinho)  Sat Apr  6 13:21:48 1996
From: py5eg at (atilano de oms sobrinho) (atilano de oms sobrinho)
Date: Sat, 06 Apr 1996 10:21:48 -0300
Message-ID: <199604061623.NAA29251 at>

Hello Contesters:
            Was a pleasure to be again as Multi Single in the WPX SSB CONTEST.
            First of all , our best and deep thanks to all of you that gave us 
the chance to put your call in our log.
            The Araucaria DX Group team, at this time was:

            PY5GA - Our inspiration and older contester  Olavo Sherrer.
            PY5EG - Also quite old hi!!                  Atilano Oms
            N5FA  - Not too young any more               Jim Hoffmann
            PY5CC - Getting old too                      Peter Sprengel
            PY0FF - Is already a grand father!!!         Andre Sampaio
            PY5GU - This is really young, and the first
                    contester formed by the ESCOLA PARA
                    NAENSE DE RADIOAMADORES, now in
                    action !!!!                          Augusto Cortes
            PU5OMS- Only paid attention in the Contest,
                    but has a good future because is
                    PY5EG'son. 17 years old.hi????       Augusto Oms.
            ++++++  PY0FF's family Fantastic help!!!

            We arrived in Fernando de Noronha Island thursday 28/3 and with a
lot of work and tasks to be done.
            We work all the day long with the force 12 40 meters  3 elements.
            As every contester knows, at the contest day , our friend "Murphy",is
there. The rotator failed and the antenna was not workin properlly. So we put
the antena down, and split ourselves in two teams; one to retune the force 12
and the other to rebuild!!! the rotator.
            At the same day Thursday, we work on the beveareges  for 80 and 160.
            In the day next friday, we retune the 80 mt. loop for ssb, and also
work on a vertical for 80 that we will never use!!!!.
            We made a tour to some beach in the island on  the afternoon, rest
a bit and then,!!!!!!ready for the contest!!!!.
            N5FA, jim started on 20 meters and after 38 minutes 178 contatcts
power failure!!! Murphy again!!!. After 20 minutes we restarted again.
            PY5EG on 40 meters and N5FA took the responsability to work all
night long with a fairly good propagation and performance.
            At noon saturday PY5CC took the running station and always with some
of the others acting on the multiplier station.
            We ended the first day with, for us a surprising score of 3560 contacts
and 860 multipliers.
            On the second day the propagation droops down in all bands.
            Normally PY5CC and PY5EG took care of Europe and N5FA USA.
            PY0FF, PY5GU, PY5GA have been involved with the multiplier hunting.

            The most importants aspects:

            1 - Best band  21 Mhz 3273 Q's
            2 - Good performance on 40 meters 1409 Q's
            3 - We definitivelly need a better antena for 80.Next time a 3 elements force 12.
            4 - We are too far from everybody for a good performance on 160.
            5 - For the next CQWW we need a extremelly effective antena for
160 to be a litle bit competitive. Hi??
            6 - HC8A is definitivelly the most important competitor for M/S
on the WPX.
            7 - Power failure is a problem (twice in this WPX 1 hour wasted)
            8 - The friend relationship of our team is our strongest weapon.
            9 - The HC8A performance keeps us motivated to continue to work
hard on the band even without propagation.
           10 - PY0FF family support is a extremelly important asset.

                Our  Score:

          BAND     QSOs   PTS     PREFIXES
          160        0     0          0
           80      111     650        15

           40     1409    8342       274          
           20     1324    3900       362

           15     3273    9667       412

           10       16      24         4
TOTALS   6133     6133   22583      1067 


                            LINEAR  876   ALPHA
                            ANTENAS: 7 ELEMENTS 10 MT. 15 METERS HIGH
                                     5 ELEMENTS 15 MT. 20 METERS HIGH
                                     5 ELEMENTS 20 MT  24 METERS HIGH
                                     3 ELEMENTS 40 MT. 30 METERS HIGH F.12
                                     LOOP AND INV.V 80 METERS
                                     INVERT.V. FOR 160 METERS.
                            ANTENAS: TH6, 2 ELEM  40, AND 4 EL. TRIBAND.

                            ATILANO DE OMS    
                            P.O.BOX 37
                            CURITIBA-PR. CEP 80001-970
           We still need to make a double check in our log, so the final claimed
score could be a litle bit different.
           All the very best
                 Oms (PY5EG)                    

>From Trey Garlough <TREY at>  Sat Apr  6 13:23:53 1996
From: Trey Garlough <TREY at> (Trey Garlough)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 05:23:53 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Contest Exchange
Message-ID: <828797033.354234.TREY at>

> How 'bout just requiring "real" signal reports.  In other words, any station
> transmitting nothing but 59s or 599s would be DQ'd.  The receiving station's
> log would have to match whatever was sent.  We'd all get and give some
> useful information that way, especially over the course of a contest.  

Interesting to see that this thread has come up again.  

Regarding the issue of "meaningless exchanges" I offer the following:

o Different contests do thing differently.  Vive la difference.

This "the best type of exchange is _______ and all contests should do
it that way" really bothers me, as always.  By that reasoning, since
the CQWW is the most popular contest, we should run it eight times a
year instead of two: in Nov and Dec as always, and in lieu of ARRL,
Sweepstakes, and WPX as well.  Those other contests will simply cease
to exist.  

o Simple exchanges make things easier on everyone.
o The easier things are on everyone, the more QSOs everyone makes.
o The more QSOs everyone makes, the more fun everyone has.

>From the DX perspective, the difference between CQWW (599 + zone
number which seldom needs to be copied) and WPX (599 + something
different each time) is dramatic in terms of rate at the high
end.  I can't explain why this is.  Maybe it's because people
need to be more sharp because they have to pay more attention to
what they are both transmitting and receiving.  Anyhow, this is
my observation from the DX side.

If complicating the exchange means that I work 500 less guys,
and 500 less guys work HC8, are we having more or less fun?

o If I get your call correctly in my log and you get my call 
  correctly in your log, why is this meaningless?

To make a contact with you, I need to copy your call (and you
mine).  That means we have already copied the most meaningful
information of all.

As for sending "real" reports, I'm not sure this information is so
interesting anyhow.  80% of the people I work on the high bands any
given weekend from HC8 are 519 (or is 509 the minimum?)  Doesn't seem
very informative to me.  I would probably be disqualified for sending
the same signal report to too many stations.

o The CQWW exchange more meaningful than you may realize.

And finally, here is my argument as to why the CQWW has the best
exchange: it's the most informative!  Unbelievable, eh?  Why?  Because
every time you hear a person give the exchange, you know where he is
located.  What a great deal!  This means whenever you hear a guy and
don't have his call, you know which way to point your antenna so you
can hear him better.  And since there is no other information included
in the exchange, that means I don't have to wait as long to figure out
where the DX is located.  This makes the contest more fun (for me).

o A digression.

I think the contest that has taken the most abuse through the years
about it's exchange in the ARRL DX Contest.  If people still have
their minds set to change the exchange in this contest, I would
suggest a meaningless signal report (599 would be good) plus ITU zone.
Leave things the same for the stateside guys, 599 + state.  Why?
Because from an operational perspective the ITU zone is much more
informative than power level, although that information is kinda fun
too (vive la difference, remember?).

--Trey, WN4KKN/6

>From kendal19 at (Kenneth Dul)  Sat Apr  6 08:28:00 1996
From: kendal19 at (Kenneth Dul) (Kenneth Dul)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 96 08:28 WET
Subject: antenna heights
Message-ID: <m0u5Y2N-000MIyC at Mufasa.AGN.NET>

Question for the antenna gurus out there:

I'm wondering if there would be a difference, especially on 20, between
having a TH-7/KT-34XA at 65 feet vs. 80 feet. I'm in Michigan, fairly
flat land. Choice of towers is what is driving this question.

Also, at 70 feet would I see any difference between a rotable dipole
and a 2 element shorty forty like the Cushcraft 402CD on 40 meters?

This is all for DX'ing purposes. I'm not a BIG GUN contester, but a
little pistol. And mainly interested in keeping the country total at the
top and working new band countries as they come along on cw.

Any preferences for either a TH-7 or KT-34XA?? :-)  (yup, I know a loaded ?)

tnx es 73's
Ken K8ZR

>From Trey Garlough <TREY at>  Sat Apr  6 13:41:13 1996
From: Trey Garlough <TREY at> (Trey Garlough)
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 1996 05:41:13 -0800 (PST)
Subject: QDC
Message-ID: <828798073.350234.TREY at>

> I have seen it from the other end. I learned to contest at 
> KG6AAY where JA runs lasted 48 hours (on every band).
> We learned that IDing on every contact actually made the pileups
> easier, not harder to work, and that our rates averaged a LOT
> higher over the course of a contest.
> There are three types of stations calling you in a pileup:
>   #1) The guy who already knows who you are.
>   #2) The guy who drops his call into every pileup, many of
>       which become "QSO B4". 
>   #3) The guy who says "what's your damn call", then moves up
>       band when you give it because he has already worked you.
> If you give your call on every contact, your pileup contains only
> those in category #1

I agree with everything stated in this message, but I think it 
overlooks an important point.  Let me add the following to this list:

There are two types of stations listening but not calling:

    #4) People who are waiting to figure out who you are before
        they start calling.

    #5) Spectators.

By not signing your call, you are gating people from making the 
transition from #4 to #1, which is why some folks find it to be
an effective pileup management technique.  I'm not endorsing this
technique, but adding an observation about how pileups behave.

As Hans points out, there are various ways to tweak things to 
improve your QSO throughput when dealing with a pileup.  It's 
kinda like a micro version of Sim City -- you need to keep things
in balance to keep your city running smoothly, otherwise things
get out of whack.  

And just like in Sim City, some things are simply out of your control
and you can't do much about them, like when HG73DX fires up on your 80
meter run frequency when you are trying to work Europe from the
Pacific.  I guess this would be the Sim City equivalent to when
Godzilla wanders through your city and destroys it.

--Trey, WN4KKN/6

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