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The ARRL Contest Update for December 7, 2011 | Radioaficion Ham Radio

The ARRL Contest Update for December 7, 2011


The ARRL Contest Update

Published by the American Radio Relay League

December 7, 2011

Editor: Ward Silver, N0AX <email@anonym;


- It's Alive! - The ARRL 10 Meter Contest
- Key Contest for Rookies - ARRL Rookie Roundup
- Don Rohn, Tower Pioneer - Silent Key
- Can You Place The States?
- CQ WW Photos from PJ4T
- ARRL UHF Contest Extended Results
- Franklin Array Antenna - An Original
- Height and Takeoff Angle by K5WMG
- Is There Ringin' In Your Ears?


Check out those 10 meter conditions in the upcoming ARRL 10 Meter

Contest <>. As writeup author Scott K7ZO points
out in his "pre-writeup" on the contest's web page, good conditions
feed on themselves with increased activity so don't miss out! The
following weekend finds the second CW version of the ARRL Rookie
Roundup <> for newcomers to ham radio -
will there be a three-peat winer?



There are no bulletins in this issue.


My flying fingers miscombobulated the call sign of Midge K7AFO in the

Nov 23rd issue - apologies! I hope I am not banned from the kitchen and
her corn chowder...and Jim K1TN pointed out that CW, the mode, began in
the 1920's while it was just the Morse, the code, that was devised in
the early 1800's.

John W6BXQ reminds your editor that the 219-220 MHz allocation is

limited to digital data messaging so CW is not allowed everywhere on
the ham bands.


Complete information for all contests follows the Conversation section

December 10-11

  • - ARRL 10 Meter Contest
  • - 28 MHz SWL Contest
  • - UBA Winter Contest
  • - AWA Bruce Kelly QSO Party--CW
  • - NA High-Speed Meteor Scatter Contest--Digital
  • - SKCC Weekend Sprintathon--CW
  • - Great Colorado Snowshoe Run--CW
  • - NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint--CW (Dec 14)
  • - CWops Monthly Mini-CWT Test (Dec 14)
  • - Russian 160 Meter Contest (Dec 15)

December 17-18

  • - ARRL Rookie Roundup--CW
  • - Feld-Hell Happy Birthday Sprint
  • - OK DX RTTY Contest
  • - RAC Winter Contest
  • - Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party
  • - Croatian CW Contest
  • - Stew Perry Top Band Distance Challenge--CW
  • - Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint--CW
  • - Run For the Bacon--CW (Dec 19)


Don Rohn <>,
leader of Rohn Towers during its growth from a small TV-tower
manufacturer to an industry giant, died on Nov 21st at the age of 72.
Rohn towers are by far the most common in ham radio and set the
standard by which towers are judged. (Thanks, Bill K3WA)

Array Solutions <> has released some new
models in the AS-300 ICE Surge Arrestor product line. The design
applies a saturable inductor to help dissipate surge energy in the feed
line as described in the device manual. There is a multi-arrestor
version of the product for mounting on a single-point entry, as well.

The new Alpha 4040 auto-tuner by RF Concepts/Alpha Amplifier

<> is truly a heavy-duty product, rated at 4
kW maximum over the 1.8 - 30 MHz range. The tuner uses vacuum-variable
capacitors and a new multiple-contact edge-wound inductor in a Tee
configuration. The front panel features an LCD screen and can even
display impedances in a Smith Chart <>

Keep your prefix list up-to-date - to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of

the CBC/Radio Canada, Canadian amateurs may substitute the following
prefixes between December 1-31, 2011:

- VG for VA

- VX for VE
- XJ for VO
- XK for VY

For example, VX3AT is really VE3AT. (Thanks, AMSAT

<>, newsletter ANS-338)

The previous issue's Conversation regarding prompt log submissions was

in reference to those submitting logs electronically. There are plenty
of good reasons that logs might not be ready to send right after the
contest - for example, rovers and mobile stations usually keep paper
logs that must be transcribed or a station on an expedition might be
far from email. The point was - if in preparing your log you are
changing the information to what you think you "should" have copied,
that's going too far - nothing more.

Speaking of mobiles - if you operate your mobile station in the ARRL 10

Meter Contest <>, you must stay within one
state or province. If your travels take you beyond that boundary, you
must either change your operation to use a different call sign or
submit your log as a checklog.

More plaque sponsors have stepped forward for the upcoming Stew Perry

<> contest on 160 meters:

- Sponsor - Category

- K7FL - Top Score 100% Search & Pounce
- N7UA - Top Score High Power
- N2KW - Highest rate for 1 hour w/o bust
- K6ND - K6SE Memorial-Top Score World
- NA0Y - Top Score USA
- F8BPN - Top Score EU- Low Power
- EI4HQ - Perhaps you were Irish and didn't know it (Top # of calls
containing sequential "EI")
- N9ADG - Top Score Asia

(Thanks, Lew W7EW)

Here's a book that is definitely going on my to-read list: Wi-Fi and

the Bad Boys of Radio by Alex Hills. The Wired magazine review
<> definitely
piqued my interest as it mentions Mr Hill's progressions from ham radio
through college radio stations to field experience and finally to the
development of Wi-Fi technology that we almost take for granted today.
Until we can't get it...that's where the "Bad Boys of Radio" come in.
I'll leave those acquaintances for you to discover!

Three great articles await you in the December issue of the Potomac

Valley Radio Club Newsletter <>:
a report on the recent High Speed CW Championships by Ken KE3X, a
recounting of the CQ WW SSB from Thailand by Fred K3ZO, and a wire beam
design by Jim K4QPL. Good reading and photos, too!

The QRP ARCI web page <> is now updated to list
the entire roster of QRP ARCI 2012 contests through December of 2012.
(Thanks, QRP ARCI Contest Manager, Jim K9JWV)

Web Site of the Week - Hams love maps and contesters are the mappiest

of the lot - well, maybe next to DXers - so how well do you have the US
states placed in your memory? Try this drag-n-drop online test
<> for fun! (Thanks, Bob N6TV)


Listen - listen to the call sign the CQing station responds to and

don't be a lid - stand by if it's not very close to your call. Too many
stations just keep calling and calling, regardless of who the CQer
comes back to. If you're transmitting, you're not listening and can't
tell what the CQing station is doing. Give a couple of calls, then
listen - it's a lot easier to get through that way.


Diego LU8ADX recently participated as part of the PJ4T team in the 2011

CQ WW SSB Contest and has published an extensive photo album
of his experiences. Can you find the drempels?


ARRL Contest Branch Manager, Sean KX9X reports that the 2011 ARRL

August UHF Contest's extended writeup <> is
now online. Sweepstakes log submissions total 1404 for CW and right at
1800 for Phone - no wonder it was so hard to hold a frequency! In
addition, plaques and certificates for the 2011 ARRL RTTY Roundup are
also now in the mails - an early present for the lucky recipients!

An updated version of the ARRL 160 Meter CW Log Analyzer

<> is ready for your download, including the
"One click" Cabrillo import feature. For fun and a good luck at the
difference between the first and second halves of the contest, import
your log for the first half of the contest into the worksheet labeled
"Position 1" and the second into "Position 2". (Thanks, Bob K0RC)

The 2011 Canada Day contest results and writeup are now posted

online <> at the Radio
Amateurs of Canada (RAC) web site. The results will also be published
in the next The Canadian Amateur (TCA) magazine (Jan / Feb issue).
(Thanks, Bart VE5CPU)

From the Pacific Northwest comes word that the Salmon Run log season

has closed and the fish counted for a total of 290 logs. Results have
been posted
<> and
nets are being repaired for next year! (Thanks, Jim K7WA)

Kansas QSO Party results <> are now ready
with lots of soapbox and information. The 33 stations using 1x1 call
signs made 21,509 QSOs with 4,851 unique stations, an average of 652
contacts per operator. (Thanks, Cliff K0CA)

Results for the new August CW Open <>
have been published. The sponsors report that participation met their
expectations and the format of three separate operating periods was
interesting. The sponsors have changed the contest date to September in
2012 to avoid conflicts with other contests and will make other
adjustments to the format. (Thanks, Alan AD6E)

The Logs Received web page for the 10-Meter RTTY Contest

<> has been
updated with logs received up to about an hour ago. 426+ logs have been
submitted so far in the first 24 hours. Activity was good worldwide
with lots of spots though run rates weren't high. The solar flux rose
throughout the week and the contest started with an SFI of 160 and
moved up to 164 during the contest with low A and K index numbers: The
A dropped from 8 to 5 and the K from 2 to 0. There was a lot of
interesting spotlight propagation that moved around the world as the
ionosphere changed - a great warmup for the ARRL 10 Meter contest this
weekend and ARRL RTTY Roundup in about a month. The contest picked up
three new plaque sponsors and now has nine plaques sponsored. (Thanks,
Don AA5AU and Ed W0YK)

The recent SKYWARN day sponsored by the National Weather Service also

heated up the bands as reported by Deb N9SJ. From a portable vehicle
station, she and Steve WD9CIR made 979 contacts hitting 46 states, at
least 3 Canadian provinces and 3 DX stations not to mention 69 of the
105 NWS WFO's on the air.

Did you have a great experience in a recent ARRL contest? If so,

while it's still fresh in your memory, share it with us and the writeup
authors using the ARRL Soapbox web page <>.
Photos are especially welcome!

Doug KR2Q gives the Pileup web site <> by Valery, R5GA
his "SUPER GREAT" rating. The website compiles claimed scores from
sponsors and from 3830, presenting the information sorted in several
useful ways. There are also sections for related comments, published
videos, and side-by-side comparisons. Wow!

Another popular compilation, the 3830 CQ WW SSB Soapbox

<> comment compilation is online
as well! (Thanks, Dink N7WA)


If you answer a CQing station and they respond with an error in your

call, the most reliable way to be sure they have your call correct is
to send only your call sign again and not the exchange. Don't send the
exchange until the CQer responds with your correct call - then send
your exchange.


The Franklin array

of half-waves in phase is common in ham radio VHF/UHF omnidirectional
antennas but not many hams know that it was once popular, but
difficult, in the AM broadcast industry
<>, as well.
These required a serious amount of tower and property to put up and
guy. (Thanks, Paul W9AC)

A recent online edition of EE Times included a nice EMC-basics design

article <> on battery
charger designs from a standpoint of minimizing RFI. The article is a
good introduction to EN standards, as well.

Don't toss those PL-259 backshells left over from removing a connector

- put them to work! Cover and wrap the back end with tape or a plastic
cap and you will have a nice screw-on water-resistant cover for an
SO-239. It's not waterproof, but it sure helps!

The Case of the RF Disturbances

is the latest tale of resolving radio-related rebellion from Design
News magazine's Tales of Sherlock Ohms series. Get out the aluminum
foil, Kenneth!

In a discussion of using external fans to provide extra cooling for

amplifiers, it was pointed out that if the fan is in the exhaust (hot)
air stream, avoid fans with blades that age or warp in the heat or that
have oiled bearings.

One of the originals in the field, Radioshack

<> is now selling DIY Arduino-based kits
as part of "The Great Create" project for Do-It-Yourself projects. It
is encouraging that so much attention is being paid to building
electronics and other gadgetry - an excellent pathway to ham radio if
we can get the word out!

In the latest edition of QRP ARCI's QRP Quarterly I noticed a neat

method of homebrewing large air-wound coils
<> by Phil AD5X. It
uses flexible grommet strips as the support structure with the result
very similar to the B&W Miniductor product. Whether you prefer QRP or
QRO, every issue of QRP Quarterly is jam-packed with building ideas
applicable to nearly every shack and their contests are fun, too.

Kevin KI8IR notes that while, "it may be common practice with a lot of

hams to refer to the PL-258 as a 'barrel' adapter but in the RF
Test/Measurement world
<> an adapter
that is female on each end, such as the PL-258, is referred to as a
'bullet' and the male-male same-series adapters are referred to as a
barrel." We learn something new every day!

Technical Web Site of the Week - Mike K5WMG has written and published a

good paper <> illustrating the effects
of height-above-ground on vertical takeoff angle for beam antennas. It
shows why a good "first tower" height of 50 feet works well and why
higher performance antennas need that extra vertical "oomph".


Rather than get into semi-hemi-demi-quaverings of year-end auld lang

syne waves (next time, I promise) it seemed better to print a
repurposing of a tune I'm sure you'll recognize. You might also enjoy
the work of Peter K3ZM as he adapts "My Favorite Things
to the view of a contester - nice job!

Ringin' In Your Ears

Steelied from the Dan's "Reelin' in the Years" by Dr Beldar

Your chance to make the Top Ten

You can see it fading fast
So you grab a channel on a
Band you think is gonna last
You wouldn't know an Eimac
If you held it in your hand
The things you think are useful
I can't understand


Is there ringin' in your ears
Callin' away the time
Is the frequency now clear
Or are you stealin' mine?

You been tellin' me you're a winner

Since you were seventeen
In all the time I've known you
You still haven't won a thing
The weekend in Aruba
Didn't turn out like you planned
The things that pass for know-how
I can't understand

Is there ringin' in your ears

Callin' away the time
Is the frequency now clear
Or are you stealin' mine?

I've spent a lot of money

And I've worked a lot of guys
The trip we made to KH6
Is etched upon my mind
After all the things I've tried to teach
You search and pounce the band
The way you run a pileup
I can't understand

Is there ringin' in your ears

Callin' away the time
Is the frequency now clear
Or are you stealin' mine?

73, Ward N0AX


7 December through 20 December 2011

An expanded, downloadable version of QST's Contest Corral in PDF format

<> is available. Check the
sponsor's Web site for information on operating time restrictions and
other instructions.


ARRL 10 Meter Contest--Phone,CW, from Dec 10, 0000Z to Dec 11, 2400Z.

Bands (MHz): 28. Exchange: RS(T) and State/Prov or serial. Logs due:
Jan 11. Rules <>

ARRL Rookie Roundup--CW, from Dec 18, 1800Z to Dec 18, 2359Z. Bands

(MHz): 3.5-28, 50. Exchange: Both calls, name, check, S/P/XE or "DX".
Logs due: See web. Rules <>

28 MHz SWL Contest--Phone,CW, from Dec 10, 0000Z to Dec 11, 2400Z.

Bands (MHz): 28. Exchange: Log ARRL 10 Meter Contest QSOs. Logs due:
Jan 31. Rules <>

UBA Winter Contest--Phone,CW,Digital, from Dec 10, 1700Z - See website.

Bands (MHz): 1.8-7. Multiple operating periods. Exchange: RS(T) and UBA
section or serial. Logs due: 3 weeks. Rules

AWA Bruce Kelly QSO Party--CW, from Dec 10, 2300Z - See website. Bands

(MHz): 3.5,7. Multiple operating periods. Exchange: RST, Xmtr type,
power, name. Logs due: 30 days. Rules <>

SKCC Weekend Sprintathon--CW, from Dec 11, 0000Z to Dec 11, 2359Z.

Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Monthly on the second Sunday. Exchange: RST,
S/P/C, SKCC nr or power. Logs due: 5 days. Rules

Great Colorado Snowshoe Run--CW, from Dec 11, 2100Z to Dec 11, 2259Z.

Bands (MHz): 14. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, class, CQC number or power. Logs
due: 30 days. Rules <>

NAQCC Monthly QRP Sprint--CW, from Dec 14, 0130Z to Dec 14, 0330Z.

Bands (MHz): 3.5-14.Monthly on 2nd Tuesday or 3rd Wednesday local time
(alternating). Exchange: RST, S/P/C, and NAQCC mbr nr or power. Logs
due: 4 days. Rules <>

CWops Monthly Mini-CWT Test--CW, from Dec 14, 1300Z - see website.

Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Multiple operating periods, twice monthly on 2nd
and 4th Wed, 18 to 28 kHz above band edge. Exchange: Name and member
number or S/P/C. Logs due: 2 days. Rules

Russian 160 Meter Contest--Phone,CW, from Dec 15, 2100Z to Dec 15,

2300Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8. Exchange: RS(T), serial, square ID (see
website). Logs due: Jan 20. Rules <>

Feld-Hell Happy Birthday Sprint--Digital, from Dec 17, 0000Z to Dec 17,

2400Z. Bands (MHz): 3.5-28. Monthly on 3rd Saturday. Exchange: RST,
S/P/C, Feld-Hell member nr. Logs due: 7 days. Rules

OK DX RTTY Contest--Digital, from Dec 17, 0000Z to Dec 18, 2400Z. Bands

(MHz): 3.5-28. Exchange: RST and CQ Zone. Logs due: Jan 15. Rules

RAC Winter Contest--Phone,CW, from Dec 17, 0000Z to Dec 17, 2359Z.

Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144. Exchange: RS(T) and province or serial.
Logs due: Jan 31. Rules <>

Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party--Phone,CW,Digital, from Dec 17,

0001Z to Jan 2, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144. Exchange: Serial or
ARLHS number. Logs due: Jan 31. Rules <>

Croatian CW Contest--CW, from Dec 17, 1400Z to Dec 18, 1400Z. Bands

(MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST and serial. Logs due: 30 days. Rules

Stew Perry Top Band Distance Challenge--CW, from Dec 17, 1500Z to Dec

18, 1500Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8. Exchange: 4-char grid square. Logs due:
Jan 31. Rules <>

Holiday Spirits Homebrew Sprint--CW, from Dec 18, 2000Z to Dec 18,

2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28. Exchange: RST, S/P/C, ARCI number or Power.
Logs due: Jan 3. Rules <>

Run For the Bacon--CW, from Dec 19, 0200Z to Dec 19, 0400Z. Bands

(MHz): 1.8-28. Monthly on 3rd Sunday night (local). Exchange: RST,
S/P/C, Flying Pig nr or power. Rules <>


ARRL Rookie Roundup--CW, from Dec 18, 1800Z to Dec 18, 2359Z. Bands

(MHz): 3.5-28, 50. Exchange: Both calls, name, check, S/P/XE or "DX".
Logs due: See web. Rules <>

NA High-Speed Meteor Scatter Contest--Digital, from Dec 11, 0000Z to

Dec 15, 0200Z. Bands (MHz): 50-222. Exchange: Both calls, grid square,
acknowledgement. Logs due: Jan 15. Rules <>

RAC Winter Contest--Phone,CW, from Dec 17, 0000Z to Dec 17, 2359Z.

Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144. Exchange: RS(T) and province or serial.
Logs due: Jan 31. Rules <>

Lighthouse Christmas Lights QSO Party--Phone,CW,Digital, from Dec 17,

0001Z to Jan 2, 2359Z. Bands (MHz): 1.8-28, 50,144. Exchange: Serial or
ARLHS number. Logs due: Jan 31. Rules <>


7 December through 20 December 2011

- December 10 - Wake-Up! QRP Sprint

- December 14 - JIDX Phone Contest
- December 15 - 10-Meter RTTY Contest
- December 20 - EPC PSK63 QSO Party
- December 20 - LZ DX Contest <>
- December 20 - ARRL EME Contest <>


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ARRL Contest Update wishes to acknowledge information from WA7BNM's

Contest Calendar <> and SM3CER's
Contest Calendar <>.

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