[VHFcontesting] KM4KMU FM Category + Some N1MM problems

Chet S chetsubaccount at snet.net
Wed Sep 12 10:15:17 EDT 2018

Nice job John!

I don't believe the contest sponsor cares what N1MM calculates for your score, the sponsor's software will calculate it based upon your submitted Cabrillo list of callsigns, times, and grids. The dilemma is if you enter a call/M and that person submits a log with just their call, that might be interpreted as an error. We all know how important it is to have the /R so credit for their new Q's and grids will be given. Or if you or they forget to hit the enter key before moving on to the next contact, that would be a not-in-log error. 

If your category is FM, then you should get zero points or a multiplier credit for contacts on SSB, but it is OK to have these side contacts in your log so they are there for your record, LOTW, etc.

After the official results are posted, you used to be able to go back and review the error check of your log to find out what discrepancies were found. You can appeal. One time a sponsor had my category incorrect, I e-mailed them, they checked my original submission, found their error, and corrected it. 

Another time, a local friend who was working a contest in a different category stopped by to "just give me a contact" but did not bother to enter me in his log (since I was not in his category), so I got penalized for a N-I-L with him. I would have had a golden log except for that, such is life. 

Chet, N8RA

-----Original Message-----
From: VHFcontesting <vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com> On Behalf Of John Young via VHFcontesting
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 10:47 PM
To: vhfcontesting at contesting.com
Subject: [VHFcontesting] KM4KMU FM Category + Some N1MM problems

John YoungKM4KMUFM Only CategoryOperated From Reddish Knob FM08, deep inside the National Radio Quiet Zone (with permission) at 4,400 ft. Conditions were fantastic.  I was inside of light clouds for most of the contest and it misted or rained most of the time but that also put me on top of a heavy rain laden cloud layer for most of the contest which provide great propagation.  A leaky surface based duct that I was on top of.  Much like January of 2016.   I reach out between 250 and 275 miles regularly.  The new SSB mast mounted pre amp for 446.000 was stellar.

Claimed score will be 14,749255 FM QSO's worth 343 points43 FM multipliers.I operated 28 of 33 hrs.Since the FM record is currently just over 8,000 points.  I think I might have done well.
I also did some SSB work, not much but a little to give away some points as I was super busy on FM.  Yes my rate was only 13/hr but on FM its good to rag chew a little to make people know you appreciate them being there and to make some noise.  I also learned a lot about a history, radio and some great folks that I was privileged to meet on the air.
On SSB I made 12 contacts in 7 grids, 3 of them unique to SSB (no FM contact those grids).
If I put all the QSO points and unique FM and SSB multipliers together my score was 16,330.

Here is the bad. Last September I simply posted my N1MM results and got docked A LOT of points after log checking. I never quite figured out what was wrong until now. Apparently N1MM calculates you score funky if your FM ONLY.  I always select FM ONLY as my category on N1MM.  If you get a grid on SSB before FM (for a given band) you get zero points and no credit for the grid or station on FM if you are FM only.  If you get the FM Q before the SSB the opposite it true.  N1MM calculated my total score (combined FM and SSB) as 16,284, not too far off from the 16,330 after correcting for the zero point contacts.  I have no idea how the FM score would be in he N1MM calculation since it lumps everything together as though I was LP SSB + FM station.  Not upset with the N1MM team.  Its a fantastic piece of software and I love it.  After what are there what, 10 maybe 15 people across the country that use N1MM for FM ONLY? Another problem I ran into last September: I also use to mark mobiles as /M and Rovers as /R.  Now I lump the mobiles in with the Rovers.  ARRL log checking software invalidated many of my mobile FM's last year.  When fixed stations who could not reach me on high bands and went mobile to hill tops to make 220 or 432 Q's on FM or went mobile to new grid squares ARRL either deleted the QTH contacts or the mobile contacts and this cost me a bunch of grids and points last year.  Again, not upset its just part of the terrain of your one of us FM only odd balls.
I am going to include all my FM and SSB contacts in my submission to make sure that KJBZYB/R, N3HBX, K1RZ, W3SO, K3ZO and WB7PMP get credit for contacting me on SSB but until I am sure I can trust N1MM to get my FM scores correct (it takes hours to get this untangled) I will NOT just submit a Cabrillo log blindly until I sort it and make sure I get credit for all the FM contacts.
I don't want to sound like a whiner.  It was a great contest.  All the bands were great.  I had fantastic propagation, though there seemed to be a big sheet of RF absorber wrapped around eastern PA near Philly that I could not penetrate. The FM turn out was fantastic.  I set up my rig at the Berryville Ham Fest and handed out over 100 flyers asking for FM QSO plus I emailed everyone I had ever made a contest QSO with and asked them to get on the air for the contest.  I think almost everyone did. FM Simplex is normally a desert.  Last weekend it was crowded.  I had lots of pile ups.  I may have even dropped a few Q's and grids because I didn't handle them right.
Big thanks to W7IY/R, KG4HOT/R, WB3CEH, WB3JEK, KE4VNC and especially W4JEC in coastal North Carolina who heard me from FM08 and gave me that FM15 grid at 275 miles.  FM simplex at 275 miles?  WOW.
VHF/UHF contesting is great.

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