[CQ-Contest] How do you get better? A few more ideas...

David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Sat Nov 1 15:06:40 EDT 2008

I've been DXing for 40 years, but I'm a relative newcomer to contesting 
so I created a simple Excel spreadsheet to help me analyze the logs of 
others to get some insight into strategy and potential openings.  I 
wrote it so that pretty much any number of Cabrillo logs from the CQWW 
contests can be inputted in combination and summarized in a table 
showing the number of contacts in every zone by time and band (it adds 
the two days together).  I suspect that most of the more knowledgeable 
contesters would not find much utility in it, but I used it for CQWW SSB 
last weekend using about a dozen aggregated 2007 logs from my general 
geographical area and it helped me.

I uploaded the spreadsheet to the Repository section of KY1V's new 
UltraDX web site and it is available from there for free download.  The 
simple instructions for using it are embedded within the spreadsheet.  
It's pretty basic, but I'd appreciate hearing about any errors or 
glaring deficiencies.

http://www.ultradx.com  (click on Community, then on Repository)

The summary table won't identify when and where the BEST openings were 
since it is strictly dependent upon what was worked, not what could have 
been worked.  It's also, of course, dependent upon the activity level 
from some of the rarer zones.  But if you load enough logs into it ( I 
arbitrarily capped it at 50,000 QSOs) it will mostly display what zones 
were possible to be worked by time and band with some indication for 
intensity.  If you're lucky enough to live near one of the large M/Ms, 
make sure you include their log ;)   In most cases you can mentally 
group zones from the table for beam heading purposes since the CQ zones 
tend to be contiguous geographically.

The ARRL doesn't (yet) make logs for its contests available, but I might 
try to generate a similar spreadsheet for the ARRL contests that first 
translates every QSO into a beam heading from your QTH before 
summarizing the number of contacts into a table .... i.e., the number of 
contacts for each beam heading by time and band.  I would think that 
might be usable for members of a local club who decided to share logs on 
their own.  The results might even be fairly valid after the February CW 
contest since the SSB version is only two weeks later.

Dave   AB7E

Robert L. Shohet wrote:
> 1) The CQWW Log database is an INCREDIBLE source
> of operating information/strategies and techniques based on
> ops actually working people in the contests!
> Go to:
> http://www.cqww.com/ssblogs.htm
> http://www/cqww/com/cwlogs.htm
> and click on the log that you want to see.
> Want to know what propagation paths are/were possible on a given weekend?
> Then read the M/M, M/2 and single band logs of serious competitors.
> Want to see what the competition was doing in your category?  Then look
> at their log.

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