Sunday, October 28, 2007

real time band condition analysis based on cluster spots...

Guys this is a very kewel app..............

click here

refresh your browser manually for up dates
each graphic represents a different band
the data is based on the live spots occurring on the Dx spyder network !

This is so darn neat !


Thursday, October 18, 2007

do you know what contest occurs the week-end of Halloween ?

October 27th is the CQ WW DX Phone contest

it presents an awesome way to quickly increase the country totals you have towards DXCC
and it is down right fun !


Friday, October 12, 2007

so what the heck is SO2R any ways

The idea is to look for other stations and answer then while your calling CQ on another band

again The MAD River Contest club SS Handbook does a great job explaining SO2R during Sweepstakes......................

So how do you operate SO2R in SS? The objective is to be able to CQ on one band while
searching on another. You want to be able to easily work people who answer your CQ, but you
also want to be able to find new stations, stop CQing to work them, then start CQing again.

Here is a typical SO2R scenario – its 18Z hour on the Sunday of SS CW. One radio is CQing on 40M
and getting an answer every two to three minutes. In the meantime, you’re scanning 10M on the
second radio with the beam northwest looking for KL7 and VY1 for your last two section multipliers.

Eureka! There’s KL7Y on 28038 with a good signal. When he finishes his QSO and send QRZ, you
stop your CQ on 40M and dump your call to KL7Y. If he answers someone else, you start CQing
again on 40M. However, if he answers you then copy his exchange, send your exchange, log the
QSO THEN start CQing on 40M again.

Rate is the name of the game, QSO Rate in ARRL SS

here is a vital excerpt from the MAD River Contest Club SS handbook.........

High power SS is almost 100% a rate contest. You need to call CQ constantly to finish well.
Maintaining a run frequency is an art unto itself, but here are a few tips:

• Adjust your CQ to your current audience. If signals are loud and the rate is good, you can
shorten up your CQs. If conditions are poor (perhaps on the low bands with QRN) or the rate is
slow, you may need to slow down and lengthen your CQ to draw attention to your signal.

• The best way to hold a frequency is to be making QSOs quickly.
While this might seem obvious,
there are things you can do to make this happen.
Keep your exchange short, and don’t repeat anything unless asked.
Again, tailor your technique to the audience you think is there.

• If a frequency dries up, but you don’t want to change bands,
try a different place in the band.
Vary your CQing spot in the band by trying down low, up high, or somewhere in the middle.
With one radio, if you’re S&Ping then you’re at best holding your own and at worst losing the
contest. With two radios you can CQ on one radio and S&P on the second.

With high power, if you are doing a good job of making yourself available to QSO, most of the
section multipliers will come to you. Don’t start to worry about multipliers until the second half of the contest.

Usually, you’ll end the first day with a section count in the mid-seventies, which leaves
only a few to worry about.

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel a little kick if a
difficult section calls in early or on an unexpected band. (In the 1996 CW SS, VY1JA called K8CC
on 3518 the first night!)

In reality, none of the sections are difficult to work as long as there is
reasonable activity from that section. These days there are permanent and rental contest stations in PR and VI, which typically makes them easy to work.

Often, there will be one or more Canadian sections (never including Ontario) which proves elusive, particularly on CW.
If you hear any of these, work ‘em now - you might not hear them later. 􀀀

A few Tips from the MAD River SS Handbook

Marsh KA5M pointed me to a couple of Blogs

One of which contains a note about the K4JNY station dismantling
this is Big news to us as they are the ones that had been bumping us from first place in our division and keeping us down in the region box !
Read more here

the important part is..............

" I'm gathering things I need from the piles of stuff from the K4JNY station teardown, "

The other Blog contains the Mad River Radio Club Sweepstakes Handbook
which I highly recommend every SS Op read

here is some important excerpts from the from of the manuscript.....
(the first example most of us LA folks know but read on....)

It is important to become familiar with the names, territories, and official abbreviations for the
various ARRL sections because there are opportunities for ambiguities and confusion, which lead
to errors in logging. For example:

• “Los Angeles County” is a section and most people associate Los Angeles with “LA”. However
“LA” is the abbreviation for the state of Louisiana; Los Angles County is “LAX”. Your logging
program will most likely accept “LA” as the section for a W6 since a callsign can appear from
just about any section these days. But keep in mind that when the ARRL scores your log, it
counts “LA” as Louisiana and if that’s wrong, you lose the QSO.

Other sections with similar
names are Orange County (ORG) and the state of Oregon (OR), San Diego County (SDG) and
the state of South Dakota (SD). Ambiguous state combinations abound: Arkansas (AR) and
Arizona (AZ), Alaska (AK) and Alabama (AL), and the quadruple-header of Michigan (MI),
Minnesota (MN), Missouri (MO) and Mississippi (MS).

• The California sections “Sacramento Valley” and “Santa Clara Valley” sound very similar, but
the abbreviation for the former is “SV” and the latter is “SCV”. Transpose the two and you lose
the QSO as well.

• It’s not uncommon for a Canadian station in one of the sections comprised of combined
provinces to give his province as the exchange rather than the section name. In SS most
logging programs will not accept a province abbreviation which is not a section. Most people
will substitute the section name; so if you hear a NB, NS or PEI substitute MAR and for YT, NWT or NU the abbreviation NT should be substituted.

• Hawaii, and all of the US possessions in the Pacific Ocean are grouped under the Pacific
section, abbreviation “PAC”. In the Caribbean Ocean, Puerto Rico is a section (abbreviation
“PR”) and the Virgin Islands are a section (abbreviation “VI”). Guantanamo Bay (KG4) is
included as part of VI.

Listed on the next page in this manuscript are the names and official abbreviations for
the eighty ARRL sections.
Become familiar with the names and abbreviations, and perhaps we can avoid
having a busted exchange deleted from our SS log.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

N1MM Contest software

as copied in part from the contesting software website.......
A bit of insight as to what the software for logging looks like
that we use during SS at KG5VK

Ok, now we are ready to log. By default, you should be in the General log - look at the log window caption. So you want to log a qso? Type in the callsign field from the Entry Window the call of the station you want to log. Let's say you type 'N1MM'. Notice that the Check window shows calls with N1 in it, later N1M and finally only N1MM. This will happen with any call or partial call 2 or more characters long. Use the mouse and click on N1MM in the Check window. Notice that N1MM will be filled in the Entry window callsign field, defaults will be set for fields who can have defaults (in this case the RST fields) and the cursor will be placed in the next field to be filled in -- the name field.

Using the Space Bar to Tab

Ok, that's cool, lets try it another way. Click on the Wipe button to clear the Entry Window fields. Your cursor will be positioned on the callsign field again. This time Type 'N1MM' and press **SPACE**. Notice that the RST fields are again filled automatically and you are positioned to the next field to be filled in. Enter 'Tom' and press SPACE. In this case, you will not tab to the next field, since space is a legitimate character in a name. This is atypical behavior. Most contest fields do not allow any spaces in them, so the space bar will jump from field to field. You'll like this, dammit! Really, I think you will like it - particularly in contests.

Using the Tab Key

So if SPACE tabs, what does Tab do? It tabs as well! But it doesn't tab like space. The Tab character (and Shift+Tab) behave like they do in most programs. They jump from field to field, without trying to be smart. So if you need to change the RST, you'll use the Tab key to get there.

Bandmaps, Spots and Other Cool Stuff

Ok now the really cool part. We need to get some spots onto the bandmaps. If you have set up a radio, you should have two bandmaps, and they should be displaying the frequencies of your A and B VFOs at the top. So how do we get spots on there? We need to connect to packet or telnet, of course. If you have an Internet connection, try telnet, if a packet connection, well I guess you'll try packet. To pick, click on the appropriate tab in the Packet Window. To connect to packet, just type a command in the one-line text box at the top, like "C K1TTT" and press enter. Just do your usual stuff. Then type sh/dx/100 (we want a lot of spots) if it's a weekend, otherwise just type sh/dx/30. (Why the difference? The logger won't show old spots - the default is 60 minutes.

Spots are Fun

Spots should start appearing. Don't be afraid, there is no leopard. (Get it, spots?) Enough dumb jokes. Anyway, that's what people always tell me. So, what can we do with the spots? Lots of stuff. First note that each spot (except US and VE spots and spots from your own country) has it's beam heading next to it. (Well it has the beam heading from my house, too bad if it isn't the beam heading from your house. If you really want to fix that, go to the station dialog in Config/Change Your Station Data - you'll need to enter your latitude and longitude. If you don't know your latitude and longitude, tough - this isn't geography class, kid.)

Are we ever going to get to the good stuff? Sigh. Ok. You have spots in your bandmaps. Try SINGLE clicking on one. Notice how the radio tunes to the frequency of the spot? Also notice that the call appears in the frame around the callsign textbox in the Entry Window. Now press that magic space bar again. The spot jumps into the call textbox! Let's try this another way. Click on the Wipe button (or press Ctrl+W). Now tune the radio to a frequency within 300 Hz of another spot. Notice that the call again appears in the frame, and again the space bar will enter the call into the call textbox.

Ok, try Wiping again (either way). Now double click on a spot. Notice that again, you jump to the frequency of the spot, but this time the call is entered in the callsign field and the default fields are filled in, and you are ready to copy the next empty field (in this case name).

Wipe just one more time. Let's try jumping around the spots without using the mouse. Your cursor should be in the callsign field. If it isn't put it there. Now press Ctrl+Up arrow or Ctrl+Down arrow. You should jump from spot to spot on the same band. Pick one of the spots where you can hear the station. Use the up and down arrow keys (no Ctrl this time) to tune the station in. Each press of the key will go jump 100 Hz on SSB and 20 Hz on CW (configurable). You're smiling, aren't you? There is a lot more. Go look here for more keyboard tricks: Key Assignments and Key Assignments Short List

Actually Logging Contacts

We need to shift attention to actually logging contacts. Enter a call in the call textbox, press space and then type a name, well any name except 'Arthur' in the name textbox. (I'm sorry, I really cannot be responsible if you type Arthur.) You typed Arthur, and nothing happened, didn't you? Now you're angry. Here's a quarter.... Ok. Back on task. You have enough to log a contact now. Press enter, and notice that the contact will appear in the Log Window.

Now the fun part. Enter the same callsign again and press space. Looky, looky! The usual stuff happens, but two more things happen as well. The first contact shows up in the lower part of the Log Window, and the name from the first contact appears in the name field. If you were logging a contest, like ARRL DX, the power would be filled in from the first contact. If the first contact was on the same band as this contact, then the word "DUPE" in BIG RED LETTERS would appear. I was going to put the word "Dope", but then I thought that no one would want to use the program. Really, you should probably work the dope, I mean dupe, since you might not be in his log. It's actually easier to just work him than explain "You're a dupe, dope!"

Ok, press enter and log the dupe. You don't agree with me about logging dupes? Then RIGHT-click on the Log Window entry for the dupe, and choose delete contact. No, I'm not going to tell you what to do with the dialog box that pops up. I trust you. I feel like we are already friends.

N1MM Contest software how to videos....

At KG5VK we are using N1MM contest software for Sweepstakes
the link below is a site that has a set of videos on use of this software

while some of the video is jerky is is a good over view of the features
esp chapters 3-4

click here


Friday, October 05, 2007

This week-end on the Radio

Sprint, TARA PSK Rumble Contest, Logbook of the World Phone Contest *,
International HELL-Contest, California QSO Party, EU Autumn SSB
Sprint, PRO CW Contest, UBA ON 6-Meter Contest and the RSGB 21/28
MHz Contest will certainly keep contesters busy this weekend. The
YLRL Anniversary SSB Party is scheduled for October 9 to 11. The
SKCC CW Sprint, 10-10 International 10-10 Day Sprint and NAQCC
Straight Key/Bug CW Sprint are all scheduled for October 10. The
ALE On-The-Air Week runs until October 15. Please see October QST,
page 90, and the ARRL and WA7BNM contest web sites for details.

* Hmmmmm is this a new one ?
Don't recall an ARRL LOgbook of the world HF contest

here is the details of ARRL Logbook of the world contest.................

Logbook of the World Contest, Phone: 0000Z-2359Z, Oct 6
Mode: SSB
Bands: 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10m
Classes: Single Op All Band (QRP/Low/High)
Single Op Single Band (QRP/Low/High)
Max power: HP: >200 watts
LP: 200 watts
QRP: 5 watts
Exchange: RS + (state/province/country)
QSO Points: 2 points per QSO with same country
5 points per QSO with different country, same continent
10 points per QSO with different continent
Multipliers: Each US state (excluding KH6/KL7) once per band
Each VE area once per band
Each DXCC country (including KH6/KL7) once per band
Score Calculation: Total score = total QSO points x total mults
Submit logs by:November 5, 2007
E-mail logs to: (none)
Post log summary at: (see rules)
Mail logs to: (none)
Find rules at:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

WOW Look at thge hard ware at his station......

I was in QSO with K7OKS/ve3
this morning and he mentioned a friends contest station that he often works from W7VJ
so I took a look

lots a hardware on two towers !


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sweepstakes getting ready..........

ARRL SS Rules High Lights

Work Stations ONCE regardless of band

Unlimited band changes for Multi-Op teams

Multi-Op SINGLE Transmitter

(only one transmit signal at any time)

24 hours total operation time out of the 30 hour period

(Off time in 30 minutes increments or more)

Time OFF strategy for KG5VK

Barring a Saturday afternoon/Evening Thunderstorm that QRT’s us we will QRT for 4 hours of sleep at 1 AM Sunday Morning

Returning to the air as sun rises at 5 AM

This leaves us Four 30 minute off periods that may be taken Saturday or Sunday

Band changes

Use the highest frequency band that is open

For Running the Q’s we need a high QSO rate to break past scores and maintain our first place in the Delta Division and move a notch or two higher in the regional listing box

We were fifth in the region and second in the division 2005,

last year (2006) we were fourth in the region and first place in the division as well as first in our state – all with out getting a Sweep yes we busted the call on one of the multipliers !

Bottom line here is we need to break the 1,500 QSO wall !

1500 divided by 24 hours = 62.5 Q’s per hour

Yes we remain competitive if we stay above 1100 Q’s


Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 165,268 1,046 79 M LA 72 24

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 80 449 418 99 0

2005 first year we made the region box !

Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 165,280 1,033 80 M LA 72 23

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 98 415 344 176 0

2004 No region Box and k4jny from Tennessee beat us out of 1st for Delta division

Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 187,704 1,188 79 M LA 72 24

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 10 387 513 278 0

2003 I was single Op High power this year !

Call Score QSOs Mult Class Section Check Hours

KG5VK 133,526 856 78 A LA 72 24

160 80 40 20 15 10

0 196 44 314 302 0

After 2005 I worked to ensure we would have better antenna choices for 80 (75meters) and I also added a second 40m beam at a much lower height

I also invested in Propagation software tools to help ensure we don’t over look a Ten meter band opening

KG5VK Sweepstakes Team members are encouraged to watch the cluster and the prop software computers when not operating and help us be on the right band and not miss a ten meter opening – I totally blew catching a great albeit short opening during 2005 on ten meters !