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are our friendly "Cheers n Beers" gatherings in the public bar at the Rutland Hotel, 452 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2PY.

5th Wednesdays in a month
Check out our events and Member's Hub on Facebook, as we either go out for meals and socials, or we do portable evenings.

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Contesting for All

Contesting ..007

Contest Logging for budding Contesters

                                                              … by G3PHO

 

 

 

 

First of all all contest logs must have the following information arranged in columns which are headed in the following order: (an example entry follows) ”’

FREQUENCY(kHz):  MODE:   DATE:     TIME GMT: YOUR CALLSIGN:   REPORT & SERIAL SENT:    STATION WORKED :  REPORT & SERIAL RECEIVED

In contest logs PH is used for SSB, CW for morse QSOs, RY for RTTY and PS for PSK

FREQ    MODE     DATE       TIME   MY CALL     RS & SERIAL SENT    HIS/HER CALL   RS & SERIAL RECVD
3625    PH     2013-01-19   1456   G3PHO       59  097              M0GAV            59  034
3630    PH     2013-01-19   1457   G3PHO       59  098              M6IOU            59  075

You can write this log down on paper OR type it into a prepared Spreadsheet such as Excel OR, (MUCH BETTER!), use  logging software to make it easy for you.

If you want to make a paper log or spreadsheet log then it would be time saving to  set it out in the columns above and with the serial numbers to be sent listed from 001 to as many as you think you might send in the contest. There’s no need to list your own call sign each time in the paper log. During the contest you MUST NOT miss out any serial numbers and MUST not forget to write down the time and frequency  (here just a frequency band will suffice… e.g. 3600 for every QSO rather than the exact frequency.)Time is always in GMT.

The easiest way to do your log is to use contest logging software during the contest and produce the Cabrillo format log yourself. If you have a computer in your shack there’s NO EXCUSE for not having this software!  You can download FREE loggers fromwww.ei5di.com  When you go to his page scroll down to where it says: 

SD is free and unrestricted in the following contests. No need to register – just download and away you go!

This programme  will only run in Windows. It’s easy to learn and will do all the logging for you as well as produce the required cabrillo log. There is a free SDV PRGRAMME for VHF Contests as well!

Another good programme is the N1MM logger which can be downloaded from herehttp://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php

Read the home page and then choose Files from the navigation bar and there choose Full Install.

SD is ideal for use in RSGB Contests while N1MM is very good for the big international contests, although even then it will cover many of the RSGB contests as well.

You cannot expect to download these softwares and use them in a contest the next day!  Read the instruction manuals than come with them and try them out off air.

With both these programmes it’s vital you choose the correct contest when you use them!

Both programmes ask you to fill in details of your address, equipment, power and antennas before your start logging. Prepare this well in advance of the contest. This info has to be sent to the Contest Robot along with the log of stations worked.

To get used to the software do a “pretend” contest for yourself by tuning around a band and log each callsign into the space on the contest logger, pretending to send a report and serial number  and making up the received contest information (ie his or her report and number to you). Once the exchanged info is inserted into the spaces hit the Enter key on your computer and notice how the contact is now put into the contest log and the software is ready for the next entry.  Once the contest is finished, click on the navigation button that says Produce Cabrillo Log (or words to that effect) and Hey Presto you’ll find a Cabrillo log on screen, ready for a final addition of your comments about the contest (known as the “Soapbox”). Then press SAVE and the Cabrillo log will be saved according to whatever you wish to call it… eg G3PHO.log  or G3PHO.cbr  The .log or .cbr file extension is put on the log file by the software. I usually add the contest name after my call sign.. e.g.:    g3phoAFS2012.log so I don’t confuse it with other .log files.

The Cabrillo log has standard header information above the actual log of stations worked. The log finishes with END-OF-LOG at the bottom. Here’s an example of a completed cabrillo log from a fictitious amateur. Notice the header information. This is essential. It must contain your name, callsign, address, Post Code, claimed score, Radio Club, contest title, etc. It must have START-OF-LOG: 2.0 on the top line and END-OF-LOG at the end. There must be no spaces between the lines.

START-OF-LOG: 2.0
CONTEST: RSGB-AFS-SSB
CALLSIGN: G4XYZ
CLAIMED-SCORE: 70
OPERATORS: G4XYZ
CLUB: Neasden Radio Club 
NAME: A N Operator
ADDRESS: 12 Acacia Walk
ADDRESS: Neasden
ADDRESS: London
ADDRESS: NE4 6HL
EMAIL:   anyone@flash.net
SOAPBOX: Sorry but only able to operate for a few minutes
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1721 G4XYZ         59  001    G3NKC         59  203    
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1723 G4XYZ         59  002    G4TSH/P       59  210    
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1724 G4XYZ         59  003    G0MTN         59  182    
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1726 G4XYZ         59  004    G3UFY         59  205    
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1727 G4XYZ         59  005    G3XSV         59  015    
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1728 G4XYZ         59  006    G3XTT         59  239    
QSO:  3712 PH 2003-01-18 1729 G4XYZ         59  007    G4VXE         59  121    
END-OF-LOG:

The log file may also contain a line describing the software that produced it.

In the SOAPBOX please type in your antenna,( length and height), transceiver model, power output and comments on how you found the contest. The equipment info is mandatory for RSGB Contests, as is your address and postcode, The postcode is used to check that you are within the required distance of the club rooms (50 miles for the AFS contests and 35km for the 80m Club Contests)

Now, just look back at all the above and see how much detail is needed. The software recommended will do it all for you except the inputting of the callsign worked and the report/ serial sent! Once the cabrillo file has been made save it in a directory or folder labelled MY CONTEST LOGS.

Have a go at this software tomorrow! Be ready for the the RSGB 80m Club Contests which  run from February to July inclusive on the first Monday, the second Wedneday and the third Thursday of each month at  8pm-9.30pm. .

SEE YOU IN A CONTEST!

73 from Peter, G3PHO

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