[CQ-Contest] March QST arrives

K4tmc at aol.com K4tmc at aol.com
Tue Feb 20 16:03:59 EST 2001

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Front cover photo of a vintage Hallicrafters HT-6 transmitter and part of a
SX-43 receiver, with a related feature article inside.

Contest related items:
How to Maximize Your Receiver’s Effective Selectivity, Part 2
Hints & Kinks - Audio RFI and the TS850, Protecting Coax Connectors
Product Review - Idiom Press Rotor-EZ with RS-232 controller kit
Results - 2000 IARU HF World Championship
Results - September 2000 VHF QSO Party
Results - ARRL 10 GHz and Up Cumulative
Short Takes - DX4WIN/32

Other interesting items:
Classic Kits, Unbuilt or Rebuilt (rebuilding classic radio kits)
A Simple TRF Receiver for Tracking RFI (construction project)
The Warbler, A Simple PSK31 Transceiver for 80 Meters (construction project)
The Great Paper Chase (collecting catalogs, ads, brochures, spec sheets)
Hallicrafters’ Chevy, Buick and Cadillac (cover story)
Product Review - Elecraft K-1 QRP CW Transceiver Kit
How’s DX column - Bouvet Island, North Korea, and Bhutan
The World Above 50 MHz column - Aurora Warnings
Washington Mailbox column - Unlicensed Operators on the HF Bands, What to Do?
Old Radio column - BC-625 Surplus 2-meter Transmitter

Hy-Gain HF beams are now back!  A full page ad features a picture of the
TH-11DX and a smaller picture of the TH-3JRS tri-bander, with descriptions of
all the models.
The Yaesu ad for the FT1000MP Mark-V has a small picture and description of
the new FTV-1000 50 MHz transverter.

And more…

Don't forget the CQ WW 160 Phone Contest this weekend.

73 & High Rates,
Henry Pollock - K4TMC
Raleigh, NC

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

>From Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com  Tue Feb 20 21:24:46 2001
From: Leigh S. Jones" <kr6x at kr6x.com (Leigh S. Jones)
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 13:24:46 -0800
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Re: [CQ-CONTEST] callsign in contests
Message-ID: <062701c09b83$8d593a30$ede3c23f at kr6x.org>

KC5AJX questioned whether a callsign upgrade would be worthwhile to improve
his competitive position in phone contests, and I and several others
emphatically agreed that it would.

W7TI wrote:

 > During a typical contest, you will probably send
 > your call between 1000-2000 times or more. Say one
 > letter 2000 times and that's how much time you
 > save. Not only that, but it's one less letter for
 > the other guy to get wrong.

Although W7TI and I both were attempting to persuade KC5AJX that it would be
worthwhile to obtain a shorter callsign, I believe that W7TI has
dramatically understated the number of times that a callsign is repeated in
a contest. Numerous operators achieve their optimum scores by primarily
calling CQ throughout the contest period, and answering fewer than 100 CQ's
themselves, and it could be argued that the vast majority of championship
contesting follows this pattern (certainly there are exceptions). When
advising operators on how many times they may send their callsigns in the
contest period, any good advice should prepare the operator for this class
of contesting.  I'm going to use the fine contest operator N5RZ, Gator,
operating the ARRL November Phone SS contest as an example:

A contact takes ~20 seconds to complete. This is a fairly good estimate,
based on first hour contact totals for a typical well-equipped station like
N5RZ. A very fast operator could actually improve on this estimate
substantially, given that a continuous stream of callers were available.
N5RZ, typically starts with a first hour of 180 contacts plus or minus a
few, and has many unanswered CQ's during that period or his contact rate
would be higher. If it were never necessary to call CQ throughout the
contest period, i.e., contacts are lined up to work you throughout the
entire contest period, one could quite easily maintain 3 QSO's per minute
through the contest period, and each QSO requires that the callsigns on each
end be sent twice, once in the exchange information, and once at the end of
the contact as part of the confirmation transmission. This represents the
low end estimate for the number of times the callsign will be sent per
contest. It is 360 times per hour, or 8640 per 24 hour period.

The reason that this is a low end estimate now follows: A stream of
unanswered CQs with pauses to listen for responses is a nearly continuous
repetition of the callsign. Championship contesters primarily send their
callsigns to call CQ. For instance:

"N Five Radio Zulu N Five Radio Zulu Sweepstakes" (transmitted in 4 seconds,
then listens three seconds)

Were N5RZ to find the motivation to call CQ continuously despite his CQ's
going unanswered all day Sunday, he'd send his callsign ~1030 times per hour
((60X60/7)*2), and nearly 25,000 times in a full 24 hour contest period. Of
course, he doesn't have this many unanswered CQ's. It's possible to estimate
the number of CQ's he sends in a contest quite accurately, however.

For each contact that he makes, N5RZ must take 20 seconds out of this
hurried pace of unanswered CQ's and send his callsign twice as a part of the
exchange. If, for instance, he makes 2200 contacts, that will be 44000
seconds (2200 * 20 seconds) taken away from his continuous stream of
unanswered CQ's. The length of time during the contest that he is calling CQ
becomes 86400 (=24 hours) minus 44000 equals 42400 seconds. He must
therefore sign his callsign 16,514 times during the whole contest period
-- 12114 while CQing and 4400 during contacts.

This estimate is actually more applicable to a smoother, less hurried flow
than is required to do phone contesting at the championship level of an
N5RZ, WM5G, etc.; championship contesters actually pump it up higher. One
could win the contest, however, from certain stations without pressing this
hard. Operating from, for instance, WP3R, the number of unanswered CQ's is
smaller than from N5RZ. The higher the rate of unanswered CQ's, the lower
the contact total. Operators with less than 2000 contacts usually get there
by calling fruitless CQ's more often -- sending their callsign more often as
a result.

Another factor figures into this. Be prepared to hear the other station
sending your callsign occasionally during the phone SS. It takes time to
send your callsign, whether it is you or he who sends it. This will more
than make up for the effects of fatigue that slow an operator's zest to
repeat his callsign by late Sunday.

So to KC5AJX, I'd paraphrase W7TI: "Say two letters 12114 times and that's
how much time you save."

Leigh Jones, KR6X kr6x at kr6x.com

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