Presentation on theme: "Collected Wisdom and Lessons Learned for the Little Pistol"— Presentation transcript:
1 Collected Wisdom and Lessons Learned for the Little Pistol General Notes – READ THISThis presentation is meant for contesters that want to improve their scores. It is not meant to be a basic introduction to contesting, and makes assumptions that the audience has basic contest knowledge.However, this version does contain a short tutorial/refresher on how contests work and are scored, as well as a few other basics to accommodate the occasional non-contester that might be subjected to the presentation. Those sections can be skipped by clicking the appropriate hyperlink button at the lower right of the slide. The home button on each slide links back to the agenda, which contains hyperlinks to the various sectionsI have other presentations mean to entice non-contesters into the fold, as well as teach the basics.This presentation created for me to give, so there is significant content not on “paper.” If the potential presenter has not heard my pitch, then my notes attempt to give a flavor of what I intended or try to add to each slide. Experienced presenters, and audiences for that matter, will tell you that reading slides to the audience is certain to put them to sleep.Finally, there is a significant amount of animation in the presentation. Don’t click too quickly – you may miss something! At the least, take a slow browse through the entire pitch to see what’s worth waiting for and what is not.Animation – some is timed and delayed, some works on clicks.The presentation needs to be played in Presentation Mode or as a PPS.73 and GL,Dan Z K2YWE (K3AU)Collected Wisdom and Lessons Learned for the Little PistolDan Zeitlin, K2YWE (K3AU)Revised March 2014Copyright 2006, 2007,2012, 2014All rights reservedDan Zeitlin, Annapolis, MDFree use with prior permission
2 Agenda What’s this about? Who is K2YWE? Elements of Success PreparationContest Basics (refresher)StrategyStation ConsiderationsAntennasSoftwareMy favorite Software FeaturesOperating Tips and “Best Practices”SO2RConclusionAppendix A - Best Practices CollectionAppendix B – Selected Contest Loggers
3 What’s this about? Objective Improved Scores for Little Pistols Ways modest stations can improve their scoresObjectiveImproved Scores for Little PistolsIntended AudienceModest HF stations, especially low powerBUT - Principles & Tips apply universallyHow?Make the most with what you haveAdopt successful operating practicesVirtually all of this presentation applies to high power big-time stations too.It’s just focused on Little Pistols, because brute force is usually not an option.Much like in sailboat racing, Little Pistols should be able to outscore may of high power stations that don’t know how to “point the boat in the right direction” or “make it go fast.”
4 Who am I? Licensed 1956 in White Plains, NY Licensed in always a little pistolLicensed 1956 in White Plains, NYMostly CW, very little contesting until 19951995 Field day with W3LPL, K3MM, and K3RAGot “hooked” on contesting, joined PVRCA few years education at W3LPL MMContesting from home sinceOccasional Op at MM stationsModest 100W home stationLearned from many good OpsModerate Success (K2YWE/K3AU)Top ten US & World finishesRegional firstsSkipResults
5 Top home station finishes Some success is possible with a small stationCQ WW nd US, 3rd NA, 9th World, 1st 3-Area 3.0MCQ WW nd US, 4rd NA, 5th World, 1st 3-Area 2.1MCQ WW th US MCQ WW nd US, 1st 3-Area 1.2MCQ WW th US, 1st 3-Area 1.0MCCQ WW th US, 1st 3-Area 1.2MARRL DX nd W/VE ,1st Atlantic Div, 1st MDC 1.8MARRL DX th US - Imputed, forgot to send in log! 0.7MARRL DX th W/VE 1.6MARRL SS th W/VE, 1st Atlantic Div, 1st MDC 148KARRL SS th W/VE, 2nd Atlantic Div, 1st MDC 154Kstill lots of room for improvement
6 Elements of Little Pistol Success Same principles that apply to most successful endeavorsThe Right Frame of MindPreparationAttention to DetailPracticeImprovement and LearningPerseverance
7 The Right Frame of Mind Don’t forget it is a competition “it's a jungle out there” de N6TRYou will not be alone“. . . contesting skill includes the ability to tolerate high levels of QRM, and if you can't do that, you might as well hang it up.“ de K3ZOThink Big“If you think and act like you’re a big dog,you will convince most of the pack thatyou are, although you may get bittenonce in a while.” de K2YWEAccept the environment, and jump into the fray.Show nor fear!QRL!
8 Preparation Have a strategy – write it down “Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand.” Sun TzuHave a strategy – write it downProvides baseline guidanceTry to optimize within your constraintsModify as needed in “battle”Reassess your strategy during the contestExpect to change the detailsTake radical departures only if you have good reason to,like one or more of your baseline assumptions was wrongStrategy is simply a framework. Depart from it and change it as your environment or assumptions changed. It simply provides guidance..Strategy is kind of like Store Policy. The store policy is “we don’t cash checks,” but when the bosses wife comes in with a check to cash, we adapt.
9 Preparation Check your set-up well before the start Get your act in order before the performanceCheck your set-up well before the startAntennas, Hardware, Software, support filesSet appropriate software defaultsProvide enough time for fixing any problemsBe well rested for the contestListen day(s) before to get a feel for CondxHave a simple means to restart softwareWhat did I call this file . . .?Re-use the same name for the currentcontest files. Rename after the contest.Key seems to stick!Listen days(s) . . .Sailing the race course before a sailboat race starts allows the competitor to understand the winds and currents to make use of them during the race.Similarly, checking condx in advance of the contest on different days, bands, and times, will give you a leg up on those that haven’t and help set you strategy.Have a Simple …I learned form W3LPL to always call my contest startup file for ANY contest at hand “Contest.” and change the name afterwards. That way there is no confusion during the contest.Skip Next -Contest BasicsJump to “Strategy”
10 Review of Contest Basics Individual contest rules spell everything out, including scoringRules are published well in advanceValid contacts exchange two-way informationContest rules define the specific informationFinal score is composed of two piecesQSO points – Based on number of valid contactsPoints per contact may varyMultipliers – Based on a unique characteristicUsually location - State, Country, Zone, GridTotal Score is QSO points times the MultipliersTotal Score = “Q pts” x “Mults”Same stations may provide multiple Qs or MultsContacts on different bands or modes may each count31 W6IXB SCV32 W5AFX STXBasic stuff that you can skip (click) if everyone is a contesterSkip Contest BasicsJump to “Strategy”
11 High Level ThoughtsSome reasoning to frame the problemQ’s fuel the engine, Mults provide the turbo boostBoth are importantMore Q’s are key to producing higher scoresOperating Time is fixed, thus Rate must go up!Concentrate on achieving Higher RatesRate DriversSuccessful Running is part of rate generationBeing Heard and Hearing othersAt fixed power level, this mainly means better AntennasOperating Efficiency - Less wasted time in & between QSOsLook to Operating Practices and Shack ArrangementAttracting the other stationsOperating Practices
12 Strategy Class Selection Bands and Modes Propagation Having a game plan pays off during the contestClass SelectionBand(s), modes, assistance, number of Ops, …Leverage your strengthsBands and ModesWhich, when?PropagationWhat’s best for Q’s and MultsON/OFF times selectionTime limitsMeals, sleep, “real life” periodsOperationRun vs. S&PRates, Speeds and TimingSOA, MUF,S&P, rates, snacks . . .Q’s, Mults, Bones . . .
13 Strategy Focus on making the most Q’s Remember that maximizing Q’s is primary to successFocus on making the most Q’sBlock out expected S&P and Run times, ground rulesBalance with periodic short checks for MultsBase primarily on expected PropagationRange of prediction tools are available“Rules of Thumb”QST or CQ tables – simplestModels – betterTemper predictions with your own real-time observationsGray Line info can help, especially on 160m and 80mAllow for time-of-day considerationsWhat’s going on outside your area
14 ON/OFF Times Choose OFF times at lowest expected Q rates Make the best use of your timeChoose OFF times at lowest expected Q ratesBase on your own or other stations’ historyDon’t forget minimum OFF time rulesEnsure using your full time allotmentAllow possibility you may want a late slotDon’t get caught short of time at the endI usually leave a late half-hour insurance slotIt’s tricky, considering the statement aboveSync with your personal needs (of course)
15 Rates Rules Set an average rate you want to achieve Setting Rate Rules helps you achieve QSO goalsSet an average rate you want to achieve(Total Q’s) / (Operating Hrs)Set minimum rates you’ll acceptAcceptable rate will vary over the contest periodInclude minimum rates in your StrategyMake a change if you drop below the RateChange Freq, Band, ModeSwap Running and S&PChase some Multssome animation hereChange your shirtChange Something !
16 Contest Hound Practices Win-Test It may not make you perfect, but it will make you better!Be thoroughly familiar with your softwareA contest is not the time for first trialGain familiarity in day-to-day useExploit helpful featuresUse practice programs and modesModify settings to suit your styleBe comfortable with Run techniquesPractice with a simulator (Morse Runner)Try to operate “run style” (5NN MD DAN BK TU)Pick a day with a good conditions on your best bandUse the Best Practices mentioned later in this presentationContest Hound Practices Win-TestMost people wouldn’t enter a sports tournament without practicing between events. Radio sports is no different. Train for it and you start out ahead of 75% of the other competitors.Another boring sailboat analogy. We used to go out and perform 30 or 40 of the most difficult maneuvers in practice. We certainly had an advantage over those crews that just encountered them once or twice during a race and never practiced them.
17 Station Improvements Assess Station Strengths and Weaknesses Put method behind your madnessAssess Station Strengths and WeaknessesTake band by band inventory based on performance historyAttack Weaknesses with biggest payoffs firstIncrementally fill in the holesExpect Antennas to rank highDon’t forget to pick “low hanging fruit”Assess your Operating PracticesBounce your operation against the Best Practices (later)Adjust accordinglyImproved Antennas & Running payoff mostBut every improvement counts – they all add up
18 My Experience Operation Station Performance improved with incremental changesOperationExploited software features (Bandmap, SCP, …)Discovered and incrementally adopted Best PracticesStarted RunningHad assumed not possible for Little PistolRunning rates improved with experienceLearned when and when not to try runningStationImproved antennas – eventually migrated to monobandersNot exotic – Delta loop, bent dipole, and lazy U wiresAdded low small triband Yagi* - made a big differenceMade shack modifications for better operating efficiency . . .*F12 C3SS (2 el each band) 13m high
19 “Better Operating Efficiency” No Help!Ugh!Mic PropLife is Good!Footswitch & PropBoom Mic & FootswitchDetails of my personal phone operation evolution.I’m a CW OP. Was not prepared for a phone contest.Needed too many hands to hold the mike near my mouth, push the PTT, and enter data in the computer log.Desk mike with PTT on base - nice unit, but a pain. I needed more sets of hands.Added a “stand” (books), then a footswitch, and finally a boom set. – ahh!(Applause sound from the computer at end of animation)
20 Station Improvements at K2YWE Improvements aimed at higher ratesFootswitchSSB - Frees hands for keyboard useCW - Quick T/R transition without listening to QSK noiseBoom or Headset MicLess fatigue, freedom to move, respond to local “QRM”Antenna SwitchingQuicker band changes. Connector Swap -> Switches -> SixPackAdditional or Improved AntennasMore chances to sustain Run, snag S&P Q’s with less callsMore “second tier” QSOsRearrangement of EquipmentMore efficient, quicker, easier operationExamples of contest-driven changes that are enjoyed every day as well, and the perhaps obvious benefits.
21 Antenna Improvements What assets exist to hang antennas on? Be innovative within your constraintsWhat assets exist to hang antennas on?Use all the property lines to full advantageAdd/change antenna to help your weakest bandTry to design a system using monobandersConsider fixed antenna with gain to high QSO areaEnable a new band, like 160mNew Mults and more Q’s during slow timesPut up even a minimal Yagi if possible
22 at 45’ on an AB-577 “rocket launcher” K2YWE Antenna FarmetteSqueezed in three wire monobanders and a 12’ boom tribander80m Droopy-End Dipole125’75’40m Inv Delta160m “U”Force 12C3SS(12’ boom 24ft max element)40m Delta serves as m Rx only and Aux Ant for mK9AYSmall tri-banderat 45’ on an AB-577 “rocket launcher”Began with Multi-band loop and uneven performance.Made incremental improvements to fix deficiencies.
23 Software (S/W) Use the Radio and Keying interfaces Use a contest-oriented program and set it up to facilitate high ratesUse the Radio and Keying interfacesBuild or buy and integrate them if you haven’t alreadyIt makes sustaining high rates much more possibleRecommended S/W Setup (CT keywords SHOWN)WORKDUPES - BANDMAP & ANNOUNCE WindowsCORRECT call signs - RATE WindowSuper Check Partial - SCP WindowStop on auto CQ - SCORE WindowSpotting Network?It’s a strategic decisionCan be a valuable asset, especially in S&PDoes not alleviate you from confirming all entriesBe careful not to get caught up in chasing MultsThee settings are in synch with the Best Practices later in the presentation
24 Typical Logger Screen (N1MM) Contest loggers provide tactical information and controlSkip All butBandmap
25 Software Features Most Useful to Me You can skip to the bansmap if everyone is used to computer dupe checking and using super check parioal (SCP).The bandmap is worth going over, since many people don’t use it.It’s a real boon for S&P.Skip all AllDetail- Jump toBest PracticsSkip All butBandmap
26 Rate (N1MM and CT screens) QSO Rate provides feedback on how you are doingHelps check performance against expectationsRemember about setting rate goals?Aids in making S&P/Run and band decisionsSkip All butBandmap
27 Check Partial Call (N1MM screen) Call fragments yield possible known contester callsignsThe animation helps to explain that fragments anywhere are detected.It is important to point out that this is an aid to help make decisions on what you hear or think you hear. You should not take these callsigns “to the bank.”Matches callsign fragments against database created from recent contest logs and current logged contacts . . .Skip All butBandmapanywhere in the callsign
28 Check Partial Call (N1MM screen) Call fragments yield possible known contester callsignsThe animation helps to explain that fragments anywhere are detected.It is important to point out that this is an aid to help make decisions on what you hear or think you hear. You should not take these callsigns “to the bank.”Matches callsign fragments against database created from recent contest logs and current logged contacts . . .Skip All butBandmapanywhere in the callsign
29 Bandmap (CT and N1MM screens shown) The bandmap saves time in Search & Pounce modeShows who is spotted on what frequency, if worked before, and if needed QSO or multiplierData is entered by hand orautomatically from spotsMap updates periodicallyto expunge stale dataUseful for Dupe or “checklater,” even if unassisted.Skip BandmapJump toSO2R
30 Avail Mults & Qs (N1MM screen) Available Mults & Qs provides aids in band change decisionBand-by-band info on number of new Mults and Qs spotted.Supplements propagation info“Point and shoot” listing of spotsJump to spot if interfaced with radioSkip BandmapJump toSO2R
31 Tips and Best Practices “Best Practices” are what successful competitors say works for them.
32 Some CW Tips* - CWDon’t let your code speed keep you from enjoying CW contestsDo not be intimidated by stations too fast for you to copy.Start with the slower stations higher in the band.Don't worry if you have to hear a call several times to get it.As the contest goes on your will improve!Try moving frequency a bit if you can’t seem to be heard.Often receiver bandwidths in a crowded band are set very narrow.Spotted frequencies put everyone on the same frequencyCall CQ high in the band at a speed comfortable for you.It’s sometimes OK to send QRSDuring Run when you get QRQ response (you can also ignore)During S&P when the CQing station has “run dry”*Some tips are courtesy of the 1999 YCC “Cookbook”
33 Some Phone Tips Use conventional or unmistakable phonetics Apply these basic Phone tips for startersUse conventional or unmistakable phonetics“Duck Soup” are poor phonetics for “D S”Use Standard or “Common Use” phonetics (countries, cities . ..)Maintain a “friendly sense of urgency” in your QSOsChattiness will slow your rate and lose you contacts.Do not be intimidated by stations talking fast or unintelligibly.Firmly ask until you get all the exchange info. Use “again?”It is usually better to ask for one piece of missing info at a time.Listen to what is on your frequency when working split.If you can hear it, you can better time your call or defer until later.
34 Best Practices Basics* - Overall Every point counts!There’s no such thing as “not worthwhile”When things are slow, call for “anybody”A rule of thumb strategyWork bands that may close first. Move with propagation.This often means in a.m. then later on.Try running rather than chasing spots when high bands are open.Go after the Mults when 20 has slowed, but 40 hasn't opened yet.Keep multipliers in mind“Move” Multipliers if you can do so efficientlyHave frequencies on each band set up for quick jauntBalance the effect on rate and total score when chasing MultsExplain that the value of a mult is not really evident when your Q count is low at the beginning of a contsts. But it will become obvious how much they count when you get more contacts in your log.Moving mults is a skill that ahs to be acquired. Pay attention so se if you need the station on another band. Ask to QSO there if it makes sense.*Some of these tips are courtesy of the 1999 YCC “Cookbook”
35 Best Practices Basics* - Overall Overall - continuedVerify the callsign of the station you're workingBV6U and 5C8N are not real callsigns (6V6U and HC8N) Don't log them that way.Always HEAR the call the station is signing and log what you hearAnimation – some delayed, some on clicksYou mean that’s a busted call?The Master Callsign Data Base is not the Bible*Some of these tips are courtesy of the 1999 YCC “Cookbook”
36 Best Practices Basics - Overall Overall - continuedS&P rates can be very high early in the contestEveryone is for you.You can quickly hop from station to station with little fear of Dupes.You are usually safe to call first and fill-in the call at the QSO end.Use early S&P to find a spot to CQYou can maintain a high rate while searching for a clear spot.It beats the alternative of establishing a frequency before the TestBe sure to try CQing late in the contestYou will be “fresh meat” to many that have been CQing all along.They will be seeking to squeeze out the last few QSOs.Repeat only what is missing when asked for a fillRepeating known parts wastes time and possible “clear times.”QRL? . . .“fresh meat”Watch the fresh meat come in !
37 Do you really want to ask QRL? “Can anyone honestly believe that there is a single KHz anywhere in the relevant portion of the 20 meter band that is NOT in use somewhere in the world during the CQWW?” de K3ZOOne Approach . . .Pick a “clear” spot and CQ without “QRL?”You will only invite others to take the frequency by asking QRL?You’ll find out quickly if the Freq is in use by calling a short CQ.This is very controversial. Many hams feel that not asking is rude. You Decide. Use “QRL?” if you have any doubts or are thin-skinned!Mouse click through this one, one panel at a time.It’s an important point.
38 Best Practices General Use K3ZO's "Rule of TWICE" – modify “twice” as sensibleIf you can't get a station after calling TWICE, move onIf he doesn't ID after transmitting TWICE, move onDon’t waste time repeatedly calling DX that has moderate Sigs when the band is otherwise quiet from their part of the worldThey are probably “opening the band” with lots of ERPEnable and use the band map in your logging softwareCheck for dupes in S&P as well as for new Mults and Q’sInsist on fills until you get all the info. Use “Again?” on phoneDon’t log the QSO without complete info. “Sorry, No QSO”Keep the width of an SSB signal in mindBe sure you are far enough from strong stations running not to be covered by a pileup you can’t hear“Twice” doesn’t need to be exactly twice for everyone.My signal is smaller that Fred’s – my rule is three or four . .Point is in S&P it wastes time, and when running people will tire of waiting for you and disappear, breaking your run..
39 more Best Practices . . . Running Use the widest IF bandwidth you can standLess chance to miss off-freq callers, especially on CWDon’t break a run to pull one station throughYour rate will suffer if you take too longYou will drive away impatient waiting stationsUse only a quick ‘Thanks’ if stations are waitingThey know your call. Don’t waste time on it.Throw in your call every few Q’s for newcomersSend the full exchange with a partial callNearly all Ops will correct you, good ones without a missing a beatFix the call during his transmission
40 more Best Practices . . . Running - continued Call CQ when bands are dead for the day or worked outCall CQ when the band is active if you are able to find a frequency and hold itAlways work Dupes (set software to allow)You might not be in his log and it’s usually quickerIf you can't drag a station's call through after trying TWICE, ignore him and start calling CQ again.This is part of K3ZO's "Rule of TWICE." Modify "TWICE" to suit your station capabilities and contest circumstances.Enable call sign correction in your software.This will send the corrected call as part of your goodbye message
41 more Best Practices . . . Running - continued Speed up if your run is being sustainedThis is especially true in contests like SS where the exchange includes your call sign. Slow back down appropriatelyHit the SEND key as soon as the call is in your head Finish typing in the log during the automated response or while talkingSome programs can do this automatically after n charactersMove Multipliers to other bands if you have the timePicking frequencies in advance makes it easier
42 The Complete Best Practices Collection more Best Practices . . .Running - continuedIf another station calls CQ on your frequency, try "QRL" or "Frequency in use, please QSY"Don't engage in extended frequency fightsIf QRL/QSY fails, it almost always pays to moveSometimes you can move up or down a bit in order to lessen the QRM and still hang on to "your" frequencyNEVER NEVER NEVER acknowledge a "jammer". NEVER. Just keep your pace, and don't change your tone of voice on phone or even synchronize your calls to his QRM.Often throwing in a few fake Q’s will discourage the jammerThe complete list is worth looking at.The Complete Best Practices CollectionAppears in Appendix ASkip SO2RJump toPractices ListSkip SO2RJump toLoggersSkip LoggersJump toConclusion
43 A Word About Single Op 2 Radio Everyone has their own idea of an efficient SO2R layout . . .K1PT S02R Setuptwo computersRadio A/B switchat DF0WAK2YWEtwo computersFun stuffDF0WA’s switch in the vise usually draws a few chuckles - Hey, it’s exactly where he want it. That’s what counts.Old Collins station usually draws some comments.I do point out that most of us mortals are closer to my station, on the lower right.An earlier two radio setup(no PC)N2IC one computer
44 SO2R It’s easy for SO2R to be a distraction Save SO2R until you have nearly exhausted other improvementsIt’s easy for SO2R to be a distractionKISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is keyStart with a simple setupUse SO2R only when things are slowCQ A - S&P B or Alternate CQsModify your setup and operation with experienceMost top Ops swear by itPotential to add significantly to your scoreSome don’t use it at allp.s. I’m at level one – a few SO2R Q’s per contest - dbzThe top bullet says it all
45 Internet Links Contest Organizations, Calendars, Info, and Sponsors SM3CER Calendar sk3bg.se/contestWA7BNM Calendar hornucopia.com/contestcaContesting.Com contesting.comNational Contest Journal – NCJ (QSO parties, Sprints, more) ncjweb.comARRL (Sweepstakes, Field Day, DX, UHF/VHF, more) arrl.org/contestsCQ Magazine (CQWW, WPX, and others) cq-amateur-radio.comPotomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC) pvrc.orgFrankford Radio Club (FRC) frc-contest.orgContest Logging ProgramsN1MM pages.cthome.net/n1mm\Win-Test win-test.comWritelog writelog.comCT & CTWin k1ea.comTR Log, TR4W tr4w.com
46 “ It’s not the size of your station, it’s how you use it! ” ConclusionLittle Pistols with modest stations can successfully competePrepare and pay attention to detailRemember Sun TzuStrategies are importantPick and plan the contests. Use the plan for guidance.Adopt proven Best PracticesDon’t be afraid to experiment. Keep what works for you.Run, big dog, runTry to Run if at all possibleStart now making incremental changesMake an improvement list and work it downThere are lots of resources for helpJust ask“ It’s not the size of your station, it’s how you use it! ”Apendices Follow
47 AppendicesAppendix A - Best Practices Collection Appendix C – Selected Contest LoggersSkip toPVRC Link
48 Link to Best Practices Best Practices appendix is available at Follow the linksNews&PhotosPresentationsK2YWE PowerPoint on Contesting - Best Practices
49 Best Practices Collection Appendix ABest Practices Collection
58 Popular Contest Logging Programs Similar capabilities with varying implementationsAll run under Windows OSNeed varying amounts of learning to fully utilizeN1MM (Free)Most popular Win logger. Continuous cooperative developmentWin-Test ($)Many features and options. Easy transition for CT users.Writelog ($)Popular Windows full-featured contest program.TR4W (Free)Very flexible. Behavior taken from popular TR DOS program.CTWin (Free) – Grandaddy of them allWindows character mode version of DOS program.
59 Popular Contest Programs (con’d) Facilitate operating, logging, and exploiting opportunitiesContesting-specific with advanced featuresBand Maps with S&P “point & shoot”SO2R Support (and Multi)Spotting through a Telnet connectionRadio, CW & voice keying, and rotator InterfacesSound card supportMost provide sound card voice keyerSome provide sound card Receive recordingSome support external voice keyer controlVarying levels of RTTY and PSK31 support are providedMost generate and read digital modes using the sound cardSome provide only logging functions
60 N1MM by N1MM et. al. (N1MM, N2AMG, K3CT, N2IC, NA3M) Newest and most popular Windows contest loggerCooperative project with multiple participants/coders.Over 200,000 lines of code and growingMainly Visual Basic & AccessLarge user communityRequires fast machine and substantial RAMMultiple Configurable Windows110 supported contestsAllows User-Defined contestsSound card voice keyerPre-record filesRS-232, Parallel, USB supportFree
61 Win-Test by F5MZNMature written-for-Windows high performance contest loggerEfficient code with minimal processing and memory requirementsStrong CT keystroke emulationOver 100 supported contestsSound card voice keyerBuilt-in editorRS-232, Parallel, USB support~$70 (50€)Proceeds support Radio AmateurClub de Kourou contest activities,including FY5KE (French Guiana).
62 Writelog by Contesting Software, LLC Mature written-for-Windows high performance contest loggerEfficient code with minimal processing and memory requirementsSingle Main Window110 supported contestsAlso GP loggingSound card voiceOn-the-fly recordingRS-232, Parallel, USB support$30 (incl 1 yr updates)Previous $18
63 TR4W by UA4WLINew Win version of mature world-class adaptive contest loggerSmall and fast 100% Windows API codeOnly 100,000 lines of code in 160KB of memoryWin version with same features as successful TRlog by N6TRN6TR provided TRlog source code as basisContinuously adding more featuresOver 140 supported contestsS&P/Run Mode AdaptiveSound card voice keyerExceptional functionalityRS-232, LPT, USB supportUSB I/O includes log backupFree!
64 CTWin by K1EAWin version of first serious contest logger, still in useUses Windows character mode. Minimal system requirementsWin version with same features as original premier CT loggerIncludes extensive set of utilitiesContest support files actively maintained by AD1C & WA1ZNo longer supported by K1EAUser Group supportSupports all major contests and a few othersNo new contests to be added, no changes to existing contestsLimited user-defined contest capabilityRS-232 and LPT I/OUSB with converterControls some voice keyers*Free!Not generally recommended for new startsbecause new contests are not being added, butGood if you have old computer hardwareGood to know as guest Op in existing station*SM3WMV S/W Voice Keyer
65 N3FJP by N3FJP [Info Only – Not Recommended] Basic contest logger – Easy, but lacks important functionalityRecently re-written in C#.NET (was VB6)Single resizable Main Window52+ supported contests ( State QPs and more)Also GP loggingSound card voiceRS-232, Parallel, USB supportNo Band Map*, Limited Spot WindowNo dupe or mult indicators . . .Limited Partial Call Check – Only dupesNo SO2R supportExcellent personal customer service$49 all programs or$ 9 each contest separately*Band Map option available in old VB version
66 Internet Links Contest Organizations, Calendars, Info, and Sponsors Potomac Valley Radio Club (PVRC) pvrc.orgContesting.Com contesting.comFrankford Radio Club (FRC) frc-contest.orgCQ Magazine (CQWW, WPX, and others) cq-amateur-radio.comNational Contest Journal – NCJ (QSO parties, Sprints, more) ncjweb.comARRL (Sweepstakes, Field Day, DX, UHF/VHF, more) arrl.org/contestsSM3CER Calendar sk3bg.se/contestWA7BNM Calendar hornucopia.com/contestcaContest Logging ProgramsCT & CTWin k1ea.comTR Log, TR4W tr4w.comWin-Test win-test.comWritelog writelog.comN1MM pages.cthome.net/n1mm\“includes non-contest loggers
67 “ It’s not the size of your station, it’s how you use it! ” ConclusionLittle Pistols with modest stations can successfully competePrepare and pay attention to detailRemember Sun TzuAdopt proven Best PracticesDon’t be afraid to experiment. Keep what works for you.Run, big dog, runTry to Run if at all possibleStart now making incremental changesMake an improvement list and work it downStrategies are importantPick and plan the contests. Use the plan for guidance.There are lots of resources for helpJust ask“ It’s not the size of your station, it’s how you use it! ”
68 Link to Best Practices Best Practices appendix is available at Follow the linksNews&PhotosPresentationsK2YWE PowerPoint on Contesting - Best Practices