Presentation on theme: "Contest Tips for Little Pistols"— Presentation transcript:
1 Contest Tips for Little Pistols Collected Wisdom and Lessons LearnedK2YWE (K3AU)Dayton 2013
2 Agenda What’s this about? Who is K2YWE? Elements of Success PreparationContest Basics (refresher)StrategyStation ConsiderationsAntennasSoftwareMy favorite Software FeaturesOperating Tips and 'Best Practices'About SO2RConclusionAppendix A - Best Practices CollectionAppendix B – Selected LoggersDayton 2013
3 What’s this about? Objective Intended Audience How? Ways modest stations can improve their scoresObjectiveImproved Scores for Little PistolsIntended AudienceLow power “grass roots” HF stationsBut - principles & tips apply almost universallyHow?Plan and prepareMake the most with what you haveAdopt successful operating practices
4 Who am I? Licensed in 1956 . . . always a little pistol Licensed 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 stations tooModest 100W home stationContinuing to learnModerate Success (K2YWE/K3AU)Top ten US & World finishes, Regional firsts
5 Elements of Success The Right Frame of Mind Preparation Same principles apply to most successful endeavorsThe Right Frame of MindPreparationAttention to DetailPracticeImprovement and LearningPerseverance“Which brings us to my next point”
6 The Right Frame of Mind Don’t forget it is a competition Get “in the zone”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 levelsof QRM, and if you can't do that, you mightas 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 nippedonce in a while.” de K2YWEQRL!
7 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 big departures only if you have good reason to,like one or more of your assumptions is wrong
8 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 contestINS Key sticks!
9 Review of Contest Basics It’s all about accuracy and Q’s & MultsRules 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 MultipliersSame station may provide multiple Qs or MultsQSO’s on different bands or modes may each count
10 High Level Thoughts Q’s fuel the engine, Mults provide the turbo boost Some 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!Rate DriversBeing Heard and Hearing othersAt fixed power level, this mainly means better AntennasOperating Efficiently - Less wasted time in & between QSOsLook to Operating Practices and Shack ArrangementAttracting and retaining the other stationsOperating PracticesRunning is part of rate generation
11 Strategy Class Selection Band(s), modes, assistance, number of Ops, … 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&P, Rates, Speeds and TimingSOA, MUF,S&P, rates, snacks . . .Q’s, Mults, Bones . . .
12 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 observationsGray Line info can help, especially on 160m and 80mAllow for time-of-day considerationsWhat’s going on outside your area
13 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)
14 Rates Goals Set an average rate you want to achieve Setting Rate Goals 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 Rate or trend keeps moving down Change Freq, Band, Mode Swap Running and S&P Chase some Mults Change your Shirt Change Something!
15 Practice Be thoroughly familiar with your software It may not make you perfect, but it will make you better!Be thoroughly familiar with your softwareA contest is not the time for a first trialGain familiarity in day-to-day useExploit helpful featuresTry different 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 HoundPractices Win-Test
16 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
17 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 mods for better operating efficiency . . .
18 Operating Efficiency Ugh! No Help! Mic Prop Footswitch & Prop Boom Mic & Footswitch
19 Station Improvements 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 Swaps -> Switches -> RelaysMore chances to sustain run, snag S&P Q’s with less callsMore 'second tier' QSOsRearranged EquipmentMore efficient, quicker, easier operation
20 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
21 Antenna Farmette (K2YWE) Squeezed in three wire monobanders and a 12’ tribander80m Droopy-End Dipole125’75’40m Inv Delta160m 'U'Force 12C3SS(12’ boom 24ft max element)40m Delta also serves for m Rx and Aux Ant for mK9AYSmall tri-banderat 45’ on an AB-577 'rocket launcher'Began with Multi-band loop and uneven performance.Incremental improvements helped deficient areas
22 Software (S/W) Use the Radio and Keying interfaces Use a contest-oriented program set up to facilitate high ratesUse the Radio and Keying interfacesBuild or buy and integrate them if you haven’t alreadyMake 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 too caught up in chasing Mults
23 Typical Logger Screen (N1MM) Contest loggers provide tactical information and control
25 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 decisions
26 Super Check Partial (N1MM screen) Call fragments yield possible known contester callsignsMatches callsign fragments against database created from recent contest logs and current logged contacts . . .anywhere in the callsign
27 Super Check Partial (N1MM screen) Call fragments yield possible known contester callsignsMore letters narrow the possibilities, butLog only what you copy – SCP is just a guess!
28 Bandmap (CT and N1MM screens shown) The bandmap saves time in Search & Pounce modeShows who is spotted on what frequency,if worked before, if needed Q or MultData is entered by hand orautomatically from spotsMap updates periodicallyto expunge stale dataUseful for Dupe or 'checklater,' even if unassisted
29 Available Mults & Qs (N1MM screen) Available Mults & Qs aids in band change decisionsBand-by-band info on number of new & worked Mults and Qs spottedSupplements propagation info'Point and shoot' listing of spotsJump to spot if interfaced with radio
30 Tips and Best Practices 'Best Practices' are what successful competitors say works for them.
31 Some CW Tips Sometimes it’s OK to send QRS Don’t let code speed keep you from enjoying CW contestsDo not be intimidated by code too fast for you to copyStart with the slower stations higher in the bandDon't worry if you have to hear a call several times to get itAs the contest goes on you will improve!Try moving frequency a bit if you can’t seem to be heardOften receiver bandwidths in a crowded band are set very narrowSpotted frequencies put everyone on the same frequencyCall CQ high in the band at a speed comfortable for youSometimes it’s OK to send QRSWhen your CQ gets answered too QRQ (? or ignore also works)During S&P when the CQing station has 'run dry'*Some tips on this page are courtesy of the 1999 YCC 'Cookbook'
32 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 contactsDo not be intimidated by stations talking fast or unintelligiblyFirmly ask until you get all the exchange info. Use 'again?'Listen to what’s on your frequency when calling splitIf you can hear it, you can better time your call or defer until later
33 Best Practices Basics - Overall Every point counts!There’s no such thing as 'not worthwhile'When it’s really slow, call for 'anybody'A rule of thumb strategyWork bands that may close first. Move with propagationThis often means in a.m. then later onTry running rather than chasing spots when high bands are openChase 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 & total score when chasing Mults*Some tips on this page are courtesy of the 1999 YCC 'Cookbook'
34 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 wayAlways HEAR the call the station is signingand log what you hearThe Master Callsign Data Base is not the BibleYou mean that’s a busted call?*Some tips on this page are courtesy of the 1999 YCC 'Cookbook'
35 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 DupesYou are usually safe to call first and then fill-in the callUse early S&P to find a spot to CQYou can maintain a high rate while searching for a clear spotIt 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 alongRepeat only what is missing when asked for a fillRepeating known parts wastes time and possible 'clear times'QRL? . . .'fresh meat'
36 Do you really want to ask QRL? to QRL OR NOTto QRL, THAT ISTHE QUESTION ...'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 controversial. Many hams feel that not asking is rude. You Decide. Use 'QRL?' if you have doubts or are thin-skinned!
37 Best Practices Use K3ZO's 'Rule of TWICE' GeneralUse K3ZO's 'Rule of TWICE'If you can't get a station after calling TWICE, move onIf he doesn't ID after transmitting TWICE, move onModify 'TWICE' as sensible for your station and circumstancesDon’t waste time repeatedly calling DX that has moderate signals when the band is otherwise quiet from their areaThey are probably ‘opening the band’ with lots of ERPEnable and use the band map in your logging softwareUs for dupes and ‘call later’ in S&P as well as for new Mults and Q’sInsist on fills until you get all the info.Don’t log the QSO without complete info. ‘Sorry, No QSO’Be mindful of SSB signal bandwidthBe far enough from strong runner not to be covered by an unheard pileup
38 Best Practices . . . Call CQ when the band is active RunningCall CQ when the band is activeIf CONDX are good for your stationIf you can find a frequency and hold itCQ when bands are dead for the day or worked outUse the widest IF bandwidth you can standLess chance to miss off-freq callers, especially on CWUse 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 newcomers or if none waitingAlways work Dupes (set software to allow it)You might not be in his log and it’s usually quickest
39 Best Practices . . . Send out a full exchange with a partial call Running - continuedSend out a full exchange with a partial callMost Ops will correct you, many without a missing a beatFix the entry during his transmissionSend the corrected call as part of your ‘bye messageEnable call sign correction in your softwareDon’t break a run to pull one station throughYour rate will suffer if you take too longYou will drive away impatient waiting stationsIf you can't drag a call through after trying TWICE, ignore him and start calling CQ againThis is part of K3ZO's 'Rule of TWICE'
40 Best Practices . . . Speed up if your run is being sustained Running - continuedSpeed up if your run is being sustainedThis is especially true in contests like SS where the exchange includes your call sign.Slow back down again appropriatelyHit the SEND key as soon as the call is in your headFinish typing in the log while the exchange is sentSome programs can do this automatically after n charactersMove Multipliers to other bands if you have the timePicking frequencies in advance makes it easier to jump
41 The Complete Best Practices Collection 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 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 Best Practices Collectionappears in Appendix A
42 A Word About SO2R [single op 2 radio] Everyone has their own idea of an efficient SO2R layout . . .K1PT S02R Setuptwo computersRadio A/B switchat DF0WAN6TR one computerno box (TRlog)An earlier two radio setup(no PC)K2YWEtwo PCs, rx audio switch
43 A Word About SO2R It’s easy for SO2R to be a distraction Save SO2R until other improvements are nearly exhaustedIt’s easy for SO2R to be a distractionKISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is keyStart with a simple to use 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 allI’m at level one – a few SO2R Q’s per contest - dbz
44 Internet Links Contest Organizations, Calendars, Info, & Sponsors Here are a few of the many available resourcesContest Organizations, Calendars, Info, & SponsorsWA7BNM Calendar hornucopia.com/contestcalSM3CER Calendar sk3bg.se/contestContesting.com contesting.comNational Contest Journal (NAQP …) ncjweb.comARRL (Sweepstakes, Field Day, DX …) arrl.orgCQ Magazine (CQWW, WPX …) cq-amateur-radio.comPopular Contest Logging ProgramsN1MM pages.cthome.net/n1mm\Win-Test win-test.comWritelog writelog.comTR Log, TR4W tr4w.comCT & CTWin k1ea.comTreated in Appendix B
45 Conclusion Prepare and pay attention to detail Little Pistols with modest stations can successfully competePrepare and pay attention to detailRemember Sun TzuStrategies are importantPick and plan your contests. Use the plan for guidanceAdopt proven practicesTry the Best Practices. Keep what works for youRun, big dog, runTry to Run if at all possibleStart now to make incremental improvementsMake a list and work it downThere are lots of resources for help‘ It’s not the size of your station, it’s how you use it! ‘
46 Best Practices Appendix A What successful competitors sayworks for themK2YWE0 of 9note: Order in the table was arranged forfit and is not necessarily logical
47 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleGeneral OperatingAssume a big dog attitudeIf you act like a big dog, most will believe you. If they bite back painfully, you can find other turf.Maintain an “friendly sense of urgency” in your QSOsChattiness will slow your rate and lose you contactsAlways work DupesSet your software accordinglyYou may not be in their logIt usually takes more time to rebuff than workEnable and use the Bandmap feature of your logging software even if you are not Assisted.The Bandmap allows you to enter stations yourself on the flyIf you need to check back later, the Bandmap will have the call sign and frequency noted for youYou’ll waste less S&P time on waiting for station ID or on calling DupesK2YWE1 of 9
48 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleGeneral Operating - continuedIn general, use K3ZO's 'Rule of TWICE’Modify ‘TWICE’ to suit your station capabilities and contest situation:If you can't get a station after calling him TWICE, move onIf the station doesn't ID after transmitting TWICE, move onYour time can be better spent increasing your rateA multiplier can quickly become worth less than the QSOs lost tryingYou can put his frequency into the Bandmap to check back laterTry moving frequency a bit if you don’t seem to be heardOften receiver bandwidths in a crowded band are set very narrowK2YWE2 of 9
49 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleGeneral Operating - continuedDo not waste time repeatedly calling DX stations that have moderate signals when the band is otherwise quiet from their part of the worldThis is likely to happen when big guns are just ‘opening the band’ or ‘keeping it open’Try another timeMany stations running high power will be heard when propagation is poor, but will not hear you despite elaborate antennasRemember that 1.5kW vs. 100W is roughly the difference between S-7 and S-3. These are the guys that are S9 or more under better conditions.Send only the missing or wrong part when asked for a correction (FILL)The response to K3? would be ‘ABC’ (a few times if needed) not all of ‘K3ABC’ since K3 wasn’t in questionSimilarly in SS if queried for your CK, don’t send the entire exchangeTime spent sending known information is wasted.You may squander a clear interval or QSB peak on resending known infoThe time spent sending known info may be a missed opportunity for the Fill to be heardK2YWE3 of 9
50 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleRunningCall CQ when the band is active if you are able to find and hold a frequencyYou will usually beat your S&P rateAn exception is the start of the contest when everyone is ‘fresh meat’ for you and your S&P rate can be very highCall CQ when the bands are dead for the day or worked out near the end of the contestThat’s when the stations that have been CQing will S&P for ‘fresh meat’Consider not asking if the frequency is busy before CQing. You’ll find out soon enough if it is.Do ask if you’re uncomfortable not askingQRL? is an announcement to others that it’s clear at your endSomeone else may jump in and CQK2YWE4 of 9
51 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleRunning - continuedUse the widest receiver bandwidth you can standLess chance to miss off-frequency callers, especially on CWIf another station calls CQ on your freq and fails to respond to your QRL-QSY message, carry on for a while to see if he leaves. But, don’t do this for very longEven though he is not hearing you, if you are being heard by others he may not get many responses and might give up quickly. No one likes to waste timeDon’t engage in long frequency fights. Try ‘QRL’ or ‘frequency in Use, QSY.’ If that fails, it almost always pays to move.Sometimes you can move up or down a bit in order to lessen the QRM and still hang on to “your” frequencyIt costs you QSO timeYou may be in QRM at the other endK2YWE5 of 9
52 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleRunning - continuedDon’t break a run to pull one station throughYour rate will suffer if you take longYou will drive away impatient waiting stationsIf you can't drag a station's call through after trying TWICE, ignore him and start calling CQ againThis is part of K3ZO's /Rule of TWICE./ Modify TWICE to suit your station capabilities and contest circumstancesRunning has to do with how fast you can accurately get Q’s into the log. You don’t want your rate to slow or waiting callers to lose interestEqually important, on a crowded band you must transmit often to keep "your" frequency clearSpeed up if your run is being sustained. This is especially true in contests like SS where the exchange includes your call sign.Waiting callers likely have your infoMore stations will be inclined to waitYour rate will go up with speedK2YWE6 of 9
53 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleRunning - continuedUse only a quick “Thanks” or “TU” without your call sign or QRZ if you heard multiple callers.Throw in your call every few Q’s for new listeners.Keep it up until there are no more responses, then build back to your “full” QRZ message and CQ.If you get no responses after just ‘Thanks’, try only your call and ‘TEST’ before resuming a full CQMost waiting stations will know your call. Don’t waste time on it.Minimizing the time stations have to wait for you will help to keep the impatient ones hanging around and will increase your QSO rate.Less experienced contesters may not realize you are waiting for them. “TEST” will alert them you are ready for another station to callSend any call you have corrected as part of your goodbye messageEnable call sign correction in your software on CWStations want assurance that you have them correctly. This will keep them from asking QSL? It might also save your from a mistakeK2YWE7 of 9
54 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleRunning - continuedWhen the call sign of a responder is questionable, send a complete exchange using the questionable call Correct it during his exchange.You can use SCP to help guess incomplete calls on the first roundMake sure you have it right before you let him goNearly all contest stations will correct you on their transmission, good Ops without missing a beatIt saves an extra exchange devoted only to getting the callsign rightYou can revert to “normal” fill-in procedures if this practice failsMaintain an “friendly sense of urgency” in your QSOsChattiness will slow your rate and lose you contactsMove Multipliers if you have the time (a slow run)Pick frequencies in advance. Give up if you don’t connect in a short whileIt’s a quick way to gain band-Mults.Many Ops will go with youYou probably won’t make the Q if you don’t connect quicklyK2YWE8 of 9
55 Best Practices Appendix A RationaleRunning - continuedHit the Send key as soon as the call is in your head, and finish typing it into the log during your outgoing exchange transmissionSome software can be set to do this after n callsign keystrokes (TR4W and N1MM, for example)If your fingers are like mine, they slightly lag my brain and I am still typing when the other station stops sending.This practice reduces the lag between when the other station finishes calling and when you respond, increasing your rateNEVER 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 QRMWith no response to his jamming, he can't be sure he is even bothering you, and it isn't ‘fun’ for him if he doesn't get a reactionK2YWE9 of 9Got More?
57 Popular Contest Loggers Appx B 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 ($)Many features and options. Easy transition for CT usersWritelog ($)Popular Windows full-featured contest programTR4W (Free)Very flexible. Behavior taken from popular TR DOS programCTWin (Free) – Grandaddy of them allWindows character mode version of DOS program
58 Popular Contest Loggers Appx B 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 other digital mode supportMost generate and read digital modes using the sound cardSome provide only logging functions
59 N1MM by N1MM et. al. (N1MM, N2AMG, K3CT, N2IC, NA3M) Newest and most popular Windows contest loggerCooperative project with multiple participants/codersOver 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
60 Win-Test by F5MZN Efficient with minimal processing and memory needs Mature written-for-Windows high performance loggerEfficient with minimal processing and memory needsStrong 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)
61 Writelog by Contesting Software, LLC Mature written-for-Windows high performance loggerEfficient with minimal processing and memory needsSingle Main Window110 supported contestsAlso GP loggingSound card voiceOn-the-fly recordingRS-232, Parallel, USB support$30 (incl 1 yr updates)Previous $18
62 TR4W by UA4WLI Small and fast 100% Windows API code Win version of mature world-class adaptive contest loggerSmall and fast 100% Windows API codeOnly 100,000 lines of code in 160KB of memorySubstantially same features as DOS TRlog by N6TRN6TR provided TRlog source code as basisContinuously adding more featuresOver 140 supported contestsS&P/Run Mode AdaptiveSound card voice keyerFlexible functionalityRS-232, LPT, USB supportUSB I/O includes log backupFree!
63 CTWin by K1EA Windows character mode. Minimal system needs Win version of first serious contest logger, still in useWindows character mode. Minimal system needsSame features as original premier CT loggerIncludes extensive set of utilitiesSupport files actively maintained by AD1C & WA1ZNo longer supported by K1EAUser Group supportAll major contests and a few othersNo new contests, no changesLimited user-defined contest capabilityRS-232 and LPT I/OUSB only with converterControls some voice keyersFree!because new contests are not being added.Not recommended for new startsGood if you have old computer hardware.Good to know as guest Op in existing station.but
64 N3FJP by N3FJP [Info Only – Not Recommended] Basic contest logger – Lacks important functionalityRecently re-written in C#.NET (was VB6)Single resizable Main Window52+ supported contests ( State QPs and more)Sound card voiceRS-232, Parallel, USB supportNo Band Map, Limited Spot WindowNo dupe or mult indicators . . .Limited Partial Call Check – Only dupesNo SO2R support$49 all programs or$ 9 each contest separatelyNot recommended for serious contestingbecause of lack of important features