Friday, July 1, 2011

LZ HF Field Competition Setup

BTW, if you'd like to see pictures of the goings on here, Wil K6ND is posting daily pix at 
He's posting the pix on a daily basis; that web site will give you the pix from day 0, then change the address to perin1 for day 1 pix, perin2 for day 2 pix, etc.

We spent this morning checking out each station and making sure they worked.  Assignment of power supplies, computers, programs, etc. were mostly completed.  We have a few more to do this PM.  Getting everyone up and ready is a bigger chore than I thought.  For my station, my K3 power amp stopped working the last 5 minutes of Field Day.  When I hooked it up this AM, it produced 100w, but after about 5 minutes it started with the "Error 12V" again and dropped back to QRP.  Looks like a trip back to Elecraft for the PA is going to be in order.

For those of you elsewhere, I think a discussion of the rules of the competition is in order.  There are rules as written, then there are rules interpretations. The below are MY interpretations of the rules, and not those of the competition committee.  BTW, I am getting my email while here in Bulgaria, so any questions you'd like answered can be addressed to me at

1. There will be 100 stations in the contest.  If every station is separated by 20 meters and they are arranged in roughly a 10x10 square, that gives us a needed box of 200x200 meters, or 600x600 ft.  That's less than an acre of land, and should easily ft on a golf course.
2. Each station will have a 10ft vertical.  An attentuator will be attached to each antenna so that whatever power is input, about 1w will be presented to the antenna at the bottom.
3. The entire band will be monitored by skimmer to check out that there is no one station that has a louder signal than any other station, i.e. the attenuators and power levels are as expected.
4. You are allowed to rework a station already worked if the specified time period is exceeded.  That time period is going to be either 30 min or 60 min.  If the time period is 60 min, say you work a station at 1101; if you work him again at 1157, he would not count as a Q for either station.  What's more, you can't work that station for a valid QSO until 1258 (not 1201).  So the message is clear- make sure you don't rework someone too soon.
5. The sent exchange is your serial number followed by the the serial number of the last station that you worked.  N1MM software will give you the correct exchange if you log the number correctly and have the message set properly.
6. There are no mults.
7. You can only work stations in the contest.  My suggestion is that if someone outside the contest calls you, work him, log him, and he'll go away faster.
8. After the contest is over, you submit your Cabrillo file.  You are awarded points if what you sent matches what he copied, and if what he sent matches what you copied.  If either of you made an error, you both the QSO credit.
9. With that in mind, I also offer several hints on using the logging programs:
a. Even if the other station doesn't send 6 digits, enter it into your logging program as 6 digits.  Make sure the first 3 digits are the number he sent, and the last 3 digits are correct, with leading zeroes input as needed.  If an op sends you 3 026, you must log it as 003026.  If you log it as 3026, the judge's matching program will say the number you copied is 302 and you'll both lose credit for the Q.
b. Using N1MM, if a station that you've already logged asks for a fill, either send the info by hand or open the CW send window with Ctrl-K and enter the info there.
10.  We can use the frequencies 3510 to 3600.  SPREAD OUT!  We each have about 1KHz to call our own; we don't all need to jam into 3510 to 3520.
11. Make sure to update the time in your laptop within a couple of hours of the contest start.  We're allowed a tolerance of 3 minutes, so we need to make sure that everyone turns the clock on 1100 local (0800Z) at the same time.
12. If you use the * in your messages (a wildcard signifying your call), the ONLY change you need to make in N1MM is the "-Change your station data" callsign; that will cause ALL your messages to reflect your assigned callsign.
 13.  Max score, if rework dupe time=60 min, would be 792 points.
Max score, if rework dupe time=30min, would be 1584 points.
 If rework dupe time = 60 min, I would expect the winner over 250 Qs.  If rework dupe time = 30 min, the winner will make over 475 Qs.

That's about it for now.  By this time tomorrow, it will all be history, with only the submission of the Cabrillo files to follow.   I'm starting to get stoked!

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