Contest Keyer Memory Question

W8JITom at W8JITom at
Mon Apr 8 18:17:34 EDT 1996

It's been a while since I operated any contests, and when I did I only
operated 160 CW tests. So I have some questions.

I want to buy a new keyer. What's the best contest type keyer and why? What's
the best "cheap" keyer? 

How many digits are in s/n exchanges, and can a long dash still be used or
has that faded from common use?

Is the automatically increasing s/n ever in the middle of manual characters
during contests? Do any keyers have a way to decrease the s/n or isn't that
feature  necessary?


>From aa4lr at (Bill Coleman AA4LR)  Mon Apr  8 22:39:29 1996
From: aa4lr at (Bill Coleman AA4LR) (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 17:39:29 -0400
Subject: TS930 ON/OFF switch
Message-ID: <v01540b08ad8f3688c94d@[]>

>Yesterday, I switched on the 930 (my main contest
>rig) and the blame thing wouldn't stay on. It seems the on/off switch broke.
>It goes in when pushed and the rig comes to life, but when I take my finger
>off it, the rig goes off.

A little duck tape might work....

Or, you could get out the soldering iron and jumper a wire over the switch....


Bill Coleman, AA4LR      Mail: aa4lr at
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

>From Rob Snieder PA3ERC <norf at>  Tue Apr  9 03:48:50 1996
From: Rob Snieder PA3ERC <norf at> (Rob Snieder PA3ERC)
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 1996 22:48:50 -0400
Subject: WPX SSB Results PA6WPX
Message-ID: <3169D012.7521 at>


      Call: PA6WPX                   Country:  Netherlands
      Mode: SSB                      Category: Multi Multi


 160      554     1222   2.2      130  FT990/400W Vertical/Inverted-V/3 beverages
  80      872     1824   2.1      195  FT990/400W Vertical/Dipole/3 beverages
  40     1133     3226   2.8      200  TS940/400W 2 elem beam/Dipole
  20     1528     3594   2.4      404  FT990/400W 4 elem beam/vertical
  15      255      543   2.1       86  TS850/400W 6 elem beam/4 elem beam
  10       45       20   0.4        7  FT990/400W 7 elem beam/vertical

Totals   4387    10429   2.4     1022  =   10,658,438


Unfortunately the propagations where very poor on 10 and 15 meters. On 40
the first night we didn't work 1 US station! The second night 40 was open
to all directions. The new 160 meter vertical was working outstanding.
Despite the poor conditions we had lots of fun. Lets hope that the high
bands will get better next year. See you in the WPX CW !

Full color QSL via PA3CAL, also check the web-site of PI4COM and see how
our new 160 vertical looks like.

Rob Snieder PA3ERC 

member of Contestgroup Oude Maas PI4COM/PA6WPX

Homepage PI4COM:
                 Now with lots of picture of the station !

Internet e-mail : norf at
Packet Radio    : PA3ERC at PI8MBQ
PacketCluster   : PA3ERC > PI8DXC

>From aa4lr at (Bill Coleman AA4LR)  Mon Apr  8 23:01:48 1996
From: aa4lr at (Bill Coleman AA4LR) (Bill Coleman AA4LR)
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 18:01:48 -0400
Subject: Proposed New Contest Exchange
Message-ID: <v01540b0aad8f3ca03891@[]>

>Bill Coleman, AA4LR, said:
>> Instead of just sending the checksum of your call, we could send the
>> checksum of the entire exchange. This would permit real-time validation
>> of the entire exchange, not just the callsign.
>Something about this doesn't sit right with me. I believe it has to be
>up to the operator to decide that the exchanged information is correct.

Well, for CW and SSB contests, this is true. In RTTY contests, the operator
is somewhat removed from that process, since the TU does all the actual

My only point is that providing a check value could be an aide in
confirming that the human operator did, indeed, copy the exchange

>Removing this element of a contest gets too close to robots working
>robots for my taste.

To me, replacing the completely meaningless 599 report with a validating
check seems a step forward (and away) from robotic operation. What could be
more robotic than to give everyone 599?

Bill Coleman, AA4LR      Mail: aa4lr at
Quote: "Not in a thousand years will man ever fly!"
            -- Wilbur Wright, 1901

>From Maxime Caron <mcaron at>  Mon Apr  8 23:03:52 1996
From: Maxime Caron <mcaron at> (Maxime Caron)
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 18:03:52 -0400
Subject: Int. HF GridLoc Contest.
Message-ID: <9604082203.AA11789 at>

"VE2UCD" Quebec Contest Group will be tacking part of the International HF
Gridloc Contest next week-end (13-14).

I realised that a lot of people never heard of that contest, so here are the
rules taken on the internet.  You can find them in the QST of this month=

                International HF Grid Location Contest (GridLoc)


I. Announcing

       Second annual International HF Grid Location (GridLoc) contest.

II. Objective

       For Amateur Radio operators around the world to contact other=

       in as many Maidenhead grid squares as possible during the contest


III. Contest Period

       Saturday  12.00   -   Sunday  1200 UTC.

       (Second full weekend of April).  All entrants may operate a

       total of 18 of the contest's 24 hours.  Off periods must be

       no less than 30 minutes.

IV. Operator Classes

       There is only one power class (less than 150 watts).

      1. Single Operator, phone only, CW only and mixed

         mode.  One person performs all operating and logging

         functions.  Use of spotting nets, DX Alert Packet Systems,

         telephone, etc., is not permitted.

      2. Multi-Operator, Two Transmitter.  Mixed mode.

         Only 1 signal per band permitted.  Once a transmitter has

         made a contact on a given band it may not change to

         another band for at least 10 minutes.  All transmitters and

         receivers must be located within a 500 meter diameter

         circle or within the property limits of the station licensee's

         address, whichever is lesser.  The antennas must be

         physically connected by wires to the transmitter.

      3. Rover.  Mixed mode.  One or two operators of a single

         station moving between two or more grid squares during

         the contest, and making contest contacts, using the same

         equipment and antennas at each site.  A rover station should

         sign "rover" after their callsign for voice and "/R" for CW.

V. Modes

         Contacts may be made using CW or SSB.

VI. Bands

         All HF bands (160-10 M) excluding the WARC bands

         (30, 17, 12 M).

VII. Valid Contacts

         A given station may be contacted only once per band

         mode from a given grid square.  Rover stations may be

         worked once per band mode in each grid square they visit.

VIII. Exchange

         All stations must transmit a proper Maidenhead grid

         square (i.e. EM10) and an operator name.  If the

         Maidenhead grid square is unknown stations may be

         counted for QSO credit only.

IX. QSO Points

         Count 1 QSO point for each valid contact made during

         the contest.

X. Multiplier Points

         Count 1 multiplier point for each Maidenhead grid

         square worked per band, not per band mode.  Stations not

         supplying valid Maidenhead grid squares do not count for

         multiplier credit.

XI. Final Score

         Total QSO points times the total multipliers equals the

         total claimed score for all entrants except rovers.  Rover

         stations must add the total number of QSO points from

         each grid,  add the total multipliers from each grid and

         multiply these to produce the final score.

XII. Score Submission

         Log submissions should be sent within 30 days of the

         end of the contest to:

                  Internet: geoiii at

                         Mail:  GridLoc

                                P.O. Box 180703

                                Austin, TX 78718-0703


         GridLoc is an Open Log contest and all log submissions

         become the property of the GridLoc organizers.

XIII. Awards

         To be decided.

 - - -

Q. Are there any rules changes this year?

A. Yes.  This year stations may be worked once per band

mode instead of just once per band.  This rule change

aligns GridLoc with other multi-mode contests (like the

IARU HF Championships).  For example,  mixed mode

stations may work each other on 20M phone and then again

on 20M CW.  Both QSO's count for 1 point but any

multiplier credit applies only once.

Q.  Why use Grid Squares as multipliers?

A. More common than countries and zones,  Grid Squares

provide a large number of multipliers which can be worked

on each band.  This makes the flavor of this contest

different from any other since WPX multipliers can not be

worked on each band.

Q.  How do I determine my Grid Square?

A. There are a number of ways to determine this.  Ask

other amateurs in your area (especially VHF operators)

what the grid square is.  If no is knows either consult the

ARRL grid square map (which will be useful only if your

community is clearly within a grid's boundary) or type in

the BASIC computer program available from the ARRL

Operating manual.  It will determine your grid square

based on longitude and latitude.

Q.  Why is the contest 24 hours long?

A.  To give everyone around the world equal opportunity

to operate at peak propagation hours.

Q.  Why does it start at 1200UTC (7AM CST)?

A.  This start time gives everyone around the world ample

time to get home from work on Friday and prepare for the

contest the next day.  The contest ends before Monday all

over the world.

Q.  Why limit stations to 150 watts of power?

A.  One hundred fifty watts is more than enough to work

stations around the world.  Higher power would raise QRM

levels on the bands and result in complicating the GridLoc

rules with the additional categories.

Q.  What are the suggested frequencies?

A.  There are no suggested frequencies.  However it is

expected that most activity will be centered around the

lower edge of the general sub-bands and the Novice/Tech

portions of the 10 meter phone band.

Q.  Are there any DX awards for HF Grid contacts?

A.  Yes.  The Japanese Amateur Radio League offers the

Worked All Grid award to Amateurs who work stations in

100 or more Grids.  Endorsements are available for

multiples of 100 additional grids.  For more information

write to:

    The Japan Amateur Radio League, Inc.

    Award Desk

    14-2, Sugamo 1-Chome, Toshima-ku,

    Tokyo 170, Japan

Q.  Why are packet spotting systems not allowed?

A.  Packet is not allowed for single operators only.  An

entry using a packet spotting network would be part of the

multi-two category with "net" as one of the operators.

Q.  What is an "Open Log Contest"?

A.  An Open Log Contest is a contest in which operating

logs submitted for entry to the contest organizers are made

available to the public.  It is the intention of the GridLoc

organizers to make all of the submitted logs available

electronically.  This allows everyone to study the

techniques of the top operators and to analyze logs using

common software tools.

Q.  Do any logging programs support GridLoc?

A.  N6TR's logging program TRLog supports the GridLoc

contest starting with version 5.19.  W5XD's logging

software WriteLog (for Windows) now includes a GridLoc

multiplier module.

Q.  Will there be any awards?

A.  Yes.  The organizers will produce awards based on the

amount of activity for the contest.  At this time it is certain

that continental winners in each operating category will

receive certificates as will the top ten scorers in each

division worldwide.  Certificates for the top college clubs

are also planned.

Q.  Where will the results be published?

A.  There are several possibilities being investigated.  The

organizers hope to have the results published so as to reach

the most Amateurs as possible.

* Maxime Caron				*    =20
* Internet: mcaron at		*	DISCOVERING The Net From
* Compuserve: 76162,3430		*	Qu=E9bec City in Canada.
* Ham Operator: <VA2MRX>		*
* Quebec Contest Group "VE2CUD"		*
*	*
* ***************************************

>From David O. Hachadorian" <74752.115 at  Mon Apr  8 23:31:26 1996
From: David O. Hachadorian" <74752.115 at (David O. Hachadorian)
Date: 08 Apr 96 18:31:26 EDT
Subject: measuring coax cable loss
Message-ID: <960408223125_74752.115_EHL237-1 at CompuServe.COM>

On 8 April, K1KP wrote:
>Dave, K6LL, posted a note about measuring cable losses with the
>antenna connected, using the SWR method.

>I'm not sure this method is accurate enough for a contest station.

>It is based on the assumption that the antenna looks like a short
>or open at some frequency. While this may be a Damn Good Assumption (DGQ)
>it may not be an Assumption Good Enough For Contesting (AGEFC).

>Consider Dave's example of SWR 7:1, which translates to 1.25 dB loss.

>If we send 100 watts down the line, this translates to 25 watts lost
>somewhere. Even if the antenna is high SWR at this frequency, It still
>seems likely to me that it could radiate 25 watts.

>On the other hand, if we're talking long runs of crappy (RG-58) cable,
>this loss is reasonable for the cable. But if we're talking 50 feet of
>hardline, this loss is unnacceptible. As Dave points out, you need
>to consider the expected losses of non-deteriorated feedline. In a contest
>station, the expected losses of non-deteriorated feedline is so low that
>the antenna's radiation, however low, may be the dominating loss.

Neither the AEA or Autec analyzers are capable of measuring extremely low
line losses. The AEA only goes down to .9 dB (swr=10), and the Autec goes to
.6dB (swr=15). Within this range, the antenna's presence should be negligible,
since the impedance peaks of most nonresonant antennas are several thousand ohms
(swr > 40).

If the presence of an antenna _does_ degrade the measurement at all, it will be
in a direction to make the feedline loss appear higher than it really is. At
least you will not get a false sense of security! 

If your measurement demonstrates that the line is good, you will have the peace
of mind knowing that it is at least as good as the indicated measurement, and
possibly better.

If you have any concerns about whether this method is making
your feedline appear too lossy, climb the tower, disconnect the antenna, and do
the test again, or use some other method, before scrapping your 400' run
of 7/8" hardline.

For us mere mortals who are concerned only when losses get above .6 dB,
this test is so easy to do, and so comforting in it's results, that it's easy
to justify purchasing the analyzer for this one purpose. 

I have no connection with Autec, AEA, or anybody else, for that matter.

Dave, K6LL
74752.115 at

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