[CQ-Contest] CQWW Multi-Single Rule

Randy Thompson k5zd at charter.net
Wed Sep 14 08:36:55 EDT 2005

Please don't call this my interpretation of the rules.  I am just trying to
educate everyone on how the rule is being followed and checked.

I agree with everyone that the CQWW MS rule is unclear as written.  However,
there has been a historic interpretation of the rule that it allows two
transmitters.  This is part of what makes the category so popular and so
much fun, but 'unfair' to anyone who can't do a multi-transmitter effort.
Once you understand what the rules allow, then you make your own choice how
to operate.

The "official" interpretation of many rules were codified in the CQ WW DX
Contest CD ROM (1999).  It is unfortunate that many important rule
clarifications are delivered in this obscure way rather than in the official
rules, but that is how the CQWW Director has chosen to do it.

>From the CD-ROM glossary:

"Multi-Single(MS): Multiple operators using a single transmitter.
A category in most contests. The CQ WW MS rule is different and
allows 2 transmitters under certain circumstances (see the CQ WW

Here is the 18 part "clarification" of the multi-single rule from the THE

[The following text is cut and paste from the CD-ROM]

1. Single Transmitter, only one transmitter and one band
permitted during any 10 minute period defined as starting with the
first logged QSO on a band. Exception: One-and only one-other band
may be used during any 10 minute period if-and only if-the station
worked is a new multiplier. Logs found in violation of the
ten-minute rule will be automatically reclassified as multi-multi.

After the high and low power all band categories, the MULTI
SINGLE CATEGORY is the most popular of all categories. In the early
1960's, several MS stations were using an "octopus" (lock-out)
switching system. By using an octopus a station could be on as
many as 4 bands in one minute. It became impossible to verify that
the station was truly MULTI SINGLE or was occasionally MULTI MULTI.
So the 10 minute rule was started. This made MS really MS and not
MM sometimes. As it turns out, 10 minutes is just about the right
length of time before it becomes a nuisance!

The rules of the MS category are clear. Whether it is the run
station or the multiplier station each MUST remain on a band 10
minutes once a QSO is logged. Listening time before a QSO is made
is NOT counted as part of the ten minutes. The biggest problem with
MOST entrants is the violation of this rule. ANY VIOLATION =
reclassification to the MM category. The RUN station and MULTIPLIER
station are totally separate. Each MUST obey its own 10 minute

At times, there will not be high runs. However there still
must be a designated run station. The run station can work anyone.
The easiest way to avoid problems is to have some object such as a
clock, a clip board etc that is physically present at the
multiplier station. If you have this object, you ARE the multiplier
station. When the multiplier station changes bands or if there is
more than one listening station, the object is physically passed to
the new multiplier band. It seems that the biggest problem in
violating the 10 minute rule is rubber clocking by jumping the gun
with an anxious guy who has spotted a new multiplier. He can not
wait and works the guy without being the multiplier station. This
only forces you to lose the multiplier after the contest when you
check for 10 minute violations. It does no good to rubber clock
because the guys you work will submit logs and their times can be
checked by the CQWWCC.

Here are some frequently asked questions concerning the MULTI
SINGLE category.

1. How many stations can I have as a Multi single?
You can have as many as you want. However, only one run
station and one multiplier station are allowed to operate within
any particular 10 minute period.

2. When can I change bands?
Either the run or multiplier station can change bands only
after 10 full minutes have elapsed.

3. How do you measure the 10 minutes?
Ten minutes = 0000-0010 Can you work a QSO at 0010 on another
band with the run station? If the first QSO was made exactly at
0000 then the next band can work a QSO at 0010:01.

**In addition, your log's 10 minute compliance will judged by your
LOGGED QSO's. Any logged QSO on the RUN station starts the 10
minutes. Any logged QSO on the MULTIPLIER station starts the 10
minute period.

4. Can a different call sign be used at the Multi-single QTH or
anywhere else to help the multi-single?
No other call sign can be used to solicit any QSO's for the
contest multi-single.

5. The contest is finished. When checking our log we found that we
violated the 10 minute rule several times. What can we do?
Even with the best of planning mistakes are made. So if a
violation of the ten minute rule does occur just REMOVE those QSO
points in question or make a note on your paper log submission. Do
NOT throw the QSOs away since other entrants will affected. When we
see you have made an effort to submit a "clean " log then we are
happy and no problem will occur. Many is the time stations have
done this and lost multipliers etc. but they complied with the
rule. The biggest temptation leading to the 10 minute rule being
violated is by an enthusiastic multiplier station who can not wait.
If the operators before the contest are made to be aware of this
problem and they are good then no problems will occur. Cross out
the QSO's in violation. Do not try to change the times. Reduce your
score accordingly and make a note of what you did to be read by the
log checker. The important thing is that your submitted log is not
in violation. If it is AT ALL it will be classified Multi-multi.

6. What is the RUN station?
The RUN station is the one you say it is.

7. What can the RUN station work?
The RUN station can work anything.

8. How long must a station remain the RUN station?
At least 10 minutes.

9. Can the RUN station switch bands every ten minutes?

10. Can the Multiplier station use a separate call to call CQ on a
third band and move the station to the multiplier band?
No. This violates RULE III

11. Is the Multiplier station independent of the RUN station?
Yes, it is totally independent.

12. What is the Multiplier station?
The Mult station is the one you say it is. It is not the RUN

13. What can the Multiplier station log?
Only new multipliers. All other QSOs are ZERO points. If a
stray non-multiplier calls the multiplier station, you should still
log the QSO but count 0 points fot it.

14. Can the Multiplier station work non-multipliers?
Yes, but not for any credit at all.

15. What happens when a non-multiplier calls the Multiplier
You can not work the station for any credit at all. Tell the
station you are the multiplier station and your station will be
back later as the run station. If you want to work the station it
should be logged but with no point credit.

16. How long must the Multiplier station remain on a band?
At least 10 minutes.

17. Can the Multiplier station switch bands every ten minutes?

18. What happens when you run across a multiplier that you have
already worked with the multiplier station but it is needed on the
RUN band?
There are two parts to this story.
A. The mult station has already worked the station. If this is
the case, the station is a duplicate QSO. You can ask him to QSY.
B. You have already worked a GM but you run across a new GM
and GM is needed on the RUN band. In this case you can work the
station and ask him to QSY but not claim point credit. You SHOULD
log the QSO with 0 points or make a note for the summary page.
Whatever you do NOT throw the QSO away. The other guy needed you.

[End of quoted text]

So...  The annotated rules are also silent on how many transmitters can be
on the air simultaneously, but the clear statement that the two stations are
"independent" and the fact that log checking is purely based on meeting the
10 minute rules, then we have to assume multiple simultaneous transmitters
are allowed.

You can find more information about the CD-ROM at http://www.cqww.com/ (near
bottom of the page).  (Maybe if they weren't trying to sell CD-ROMs we could
find this stuff on the web site.)

Randy, K5ZD

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com 
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Pete Smith
> Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 11:30 AM
> To: Fred Dennin; Mike McCarthy, W1NR; cq-contest at contesting.com
> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] CQWW Multi-Single Rule
> Fred, *how* did you confirm this?  Is the CQWW Committee now 
> officially interpreting it this way?  Is it written down 
> anywhere accessible?  Not doubting you - in fact, I guess I'm 
> mainly lobbying for some sort of source for reference on 
> interpretation of rules - a sort of FAQ - that we can go to easily.
> 73, Pete N4ZR

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