[CQ-Contest] 1997 KCDX CW Pileup - Feedback

Tom Hammond n0ss at sockets.net
Tue May 20 00:27:45 EDT 1997

The 1997 running of the KC DX Club's Cw Pileup Contest was a
big success.. bigger and (I hope) better that ever.  Look for
a message from K0VBU later on to give all the results.

Now that we all have had more than adequate time to recover from
Dayton (24 hours is enough, isn't it?), I'd like to pose several
questions to those who took participated in the 1997 KCDX Club's
CW Pileup Contest on Saturday night (May 17th).  

I am looking for CONSTRUCTIVE criticism only... flames will be
directed to C:\NUL... please help me to made future pileup tapes

Please answer the following questions honestly and with the
knowledge that your responses will go into future productions of
the pileup tape.

Please feel free to include comments following each question.
In fact, if you don't like a feature, tell me why, and give me
some suggestions as to how you might like to have it changed.
All CONSTRUCTIVE comments will be considered, not necessarily
implemented, but considered nonetheless.

Name of respondent:


Please keep in mind the following design criteria for this year's
pileup tape:

  1) I was trying to create a pileup which most closely duplicated 
        that which might be heard on a receiver with nothing more 
        than a 2.1-2.4 kHz (SSB) filter, in the of Summer '96, on
        80M CW.
  2) Signals were limited to between 300 and 900 Hz in frequency.
  3) Calls were sent at speeds ranging between 20 and 40 WPM
  4) Character element spacing was randomly set between 1.5:1 and
     5:1 to simulate the range of sending instruments from handkeys
     to bugs.
  5) Not all stations were state of the art, some had poor power 
     supplies, some drifted, some chirped... and some ops just flat 
     couldn't send...
  6) No more than two calls were sent at once (2-deep pileup)
  7) Audio levels were randomly varied by about 25-30 dB.

Regarding the SPEED to calls being sent, they were:

        [ ] Mostly too SLOW
        [ ] Mostly too FAST
        [ ] Sent over too NARROW a speed range (20-40 WPM)
        [ ] Sent over too WIDE a speed range
     Further comments:

Regarding the signal QUALITY of the RECORDING and the calls sent, 
they were: 

   Recording quality
        [ ] Better than previous years (ONLY if you have taken
              the pileup before)
        [ ] Poorer than previous years
        [ ] No clue

   Signal Quality 
        [ ] I liked the variation in signal types (e.g. chirp,
              drift, AC ripple, etc.)
        [ ] I did NOT like the variation in signal type
     Further comments:

Regarding the signal LEVEL of calls sent, they were:
(Mark all answers that apply)

        [ ] Too LOUD
        [ ] Too WEAK
        [ ] Too variable (too wide a variation in AF level)
        [ ] Didn't accurately represent the levels I usually
     Further comments:

Regarding the QRN in the background (foreground):
(Mark all answers that apply)

        [ ] Too MUCH
        [ ] About right
        [ ] Too little
        [ ] Realistic
        [ ] Too fake
        [ ] Add some DX SSB QRM to the QRN
        [ ] Add some RTTY QRM
        [ ] Add some pig farmer QRM
     Further comments:

Regarding the CONTENT of the pileup:
(Mark all answers that apply)

        [ ] TOO MANY calls which experienced contesters could
              identify with little or no effort
        [ ] Want MORE familiar calls sent
        [ ] Want NO familiar calls sent (use ligitimate calls,
              but don't use active ones)
        [ ] Want more than two calls sent at a time
        [ ] Send all calls ONCE
        [ ] Send all calls TWICE
        [ ] Keep me on my toes, send calls in a more 'real life'
        [ ] Don't include 'distractors' such as someone sending
              'CQ' (or 'TEST') on top of the guy I'm trying to copy
        [ ] Continue to include distractors
     Further comments:

Regarding the 'publishing' of the pileup following its running at
Dayton each year:  (Mark all answers that apply)

        [ ] No, DON'T PUBLISH it anywhere
        [ ] Publish it somehwere on the web (maybe the KCDX site,
              each 5-minute file is about 3.5MB, even when ZIPped)
        [ ] I feel that making the tape available to others would
              give them too much of an advantage in future contests
        [ ] I do NOT feel that having the pileup available would
              give a decided advantage.
     Further comments:

Regarding future runnings of the KCDX CW Pileup Contest at Dayton:

(Remember, when answering this series of questions, that this is
not a business for the KCDX Club, and it is run by members who
usually don't see the light of day until it's over at mightnight.
Additionally, it's being run with no external funding for equipment,
other than the prize donations).

(Mark all answers that apply)

        [ ] I'd like them to START EARLIER in the evening (they
              usually start at 8 p.m. on Saturday night)
        [ ] I'd like to see them END LATER in the evening (they
              usually end at 11:45 p.m.)
        [ ] I'd like to try it next time when I'm sober
        [ ] I'd like to have the pileup be SHORTER in length
              (currently about 5 minutes +/- 10 seconds)
        [ ] I'd like the pileup to be LONGER in length
        [ ] I'd like to have MORE VOLUME available at my headphones
              (headphone level IS adjustable, but may not have been
              adequate to begin with in some instances)
     Further comments:

Other comments:


REPLY TO:  n0ss at sockets.net    <= That's a ZERO, not an 'oh'


For those who might be interested, custom pileups are available and
can be tailored to your specifications.  A nominal fee is charged to
defray the time required to make the pileup... I certainly don't make
any money on this thing.

Copies of the software used to generate the pileups are available for
FREE, but before you request it, please understand that it was NOT
written for human comsumption... only for me, so it's not neat and
clean, and it's NOT PED or RUFZ... it allows you to generate two
(or three or four or...) separate recordings of calls, which are to
be RECORDED on tape, and then MIXED together, either digitally or 
manually(!) with a track of QRN to produce an output tape.  I can
supply the program and the broad documentation, YOU supply to desire
and effort.

73 and Thanks for trying the pileup!

Tom Hammond   N0SS

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