[CQ-Contest] Dedicated contest audio recorder

Jeff Kinzli N6GQ jeff at N6GQ.com
Mon Jul 19 17:31:24 PDT 2010

Howdy contesters,

I've tried various methods to record contests over the past few years
with varying degrees of success. My experience so far is that
software-based recordings do not work well. You end up with memory
leaks, bugs that crash either the recording app, or the whole OS, or
related problems. I've tried all the obvious ones (wintest recording,
recording via various Windows apps, tried a Mac too with various
recording softwares, etc.).

I am thinking a dedicated hardware-based recorder would be the way to
go. I've been talking with a few folks that have used them in the past
with again, varying degrees of success.

I wonder if anyone on the list has had any good success with any
off-the-shelf digital voice recorders, digital music recorders, etc.
that can:

1. Go the full 48 hours without needing attention
2. small enough to carry in carry-on luggage
3. Don't break the bank
4. Don't require a PC (the logging computer is just for logging, nothing else)

The music type recorders would fit the bill except most I've seen are
focused on high sampling rates for quality and so this takes a lot of
storage, and this isn't needed for a SSB or CW contest. They are also
rather expensive, and most seem relatively untested past 1 or 2 hours
of recording time.

Even with the marginal results I've had with recordings so far, they
have been of immense value after the contest to improve operator
skills. I would encourage others to try it out and listen afterwards
to see how you can improve your skills. It's amazing what you hear (or
don't hear) the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time around :)


Jeff N6GQ

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