[CQ-Contest] Live audio in CQWW

Randy Thompson K5ZD k5zd at charter.net
Mon Nov 21 16:42:41 EST 2005

When Dave, KM3T, was over getting familiar with the station prior to a 
single op effort in CQ WW Phone, we got to talking about his air 
traffic control audio streaming site and how cool it would be to do 
something similar for ham radio.  We couldn't think of anyone else who 
had streamed a contest live on the Internet.

Dave sent me some software and within 30 mins or so, I had the 
headphone audio playing out through the servers he uses for 

An announcement here on the contest reflector resulted in the 
following note that appeared in the ARRL Letter (thanks to N1RL):

* K5ZD to provide chance to eavesdrop firsthand on contest operation: 
In what appears to be a contesting first, streaming audio 
<http://www.k5zd.com/live> from the Western Massachusetts contest 
station of Randy Thompson, K5ZD, will be available on the Internet 
during the CQ World Wide Phone Contest. Dave Pascoe, KM3T, a contest 
veteran, will be at the helm of K5ZD for a serious single-operator, 
all-band effort. "This will be a full blown SO2R [single-operator, two 
radio] effort, and the stream will be in stereo, so you hear exactly 
what he is hearing," Thompson said. He advises listeners to look for 
audio streaming to start a few hours before the contest. E-mail 
comments to K5ZD <k5zd at contesting.com>.

Dave and I were interested to see what kind of interest there would be 
in such a thing.  The results exceeded our expectations.  I received a 
number of complimentary emails during the contest from people who were 
listening. One guy said he was using it to help mentor some beginning 
contesters, another said he was stuck at work and it let him enjoy the 
contest, and another said he was listening while eating breakfast. 
In all there were about 40 emails with comments.  A number of emails 
after the contest asked if we made a file and if it was going to be 
available (see below).

On a personal note, the audio streaming gave me a wonderful 
opportunity to share ham radio contesting with my 15 year old son. 
He has listened to me yelling into the microphone his whole life, but 
we have never had the chance to share what is going on inside the 
headphones.  Was fun to listen, tell him what country each callsign 
represented, and then do play-by-play as various things happened. 
For example, at one point I could see Dave was going to get squeezed 
off a frequency.  Was fun to point out to Andrew the signals above and 
below, who they were, and how they were both moving in (and how the 
rate was impacted).

Looking at the web logs after the contest, it appears there were 
between 20 and 40 people listening most of the hours of the contest. 
The high water mark was 59. There were nearly 2000 visitors to the 
site on Saturday of the contest!

Yes, we did archive the audio from the contest.  You can listen to the 
contest in 30 minute increments and view the log for each segment at 
http://www.k5zd.com/live/wwph05/audio_wwph05.html. There is also a 
link where you can download the entire contest as one file.  Dave has 
been listening to the contest through his Apple iPod!  You may want to 
find your QSO in the recording and see how you sounded here in New 

One local contester has already used some of the audio files as part 
of the contest presentation to his local club.

If you hear an interesting segment, let me know the times (in GMT) and 
I will try to pull it out into a "Greatest Hits" list so that it will 
be easier to find examples of particular operating events.


We plan to do it again for CQ WW CW!  I will be operating single op 
all band with SO2R in a reasonably serious effort. Visit 
www.k5zd.com/live during the contest and click on the "Listen to Live 
Audio Now" link to share the experience.

Note: During the phone contest several people complained of slow start 
up or connection problems when using Microsoft Windows Media Player. 
RealPlayer works great and starts very fast.

Look forward to your comments.  And see you in CQ WW CW.

Randy, K5ZD
Dave, KM3T

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