delara news Delaware Amateur Radio Association, Delaware OH   VOL 37 NUMBER 6

DELARA Contest Team

The June VHF Contest is coming up the weekend of June 9. You might want to study the results article for the January VHF Contest, and read some post-contest comments on 3830scores.com to understand how the VHF contesting landscape is changing vis-à-vis FT8. Remember, the contest exchange is just the grid square. Don't squander valuable band opening moments by sending any extraneous information. No signal report is required for the exchange. SSB and CW mode rates are usually greater than FT8 rates if the band is open. Remember to use Contest Mode if you're using FT8 on WSJT-X. If you see impractical grids being sent by the other side, one side is probably not using contest mode. Marshall, K5QE, published "VHF+ Contesting and the Digital Modes" which contains practical, specific guidance on how and when to use specific modes. It always pays to read the manual or help files for the software that you're using. The Eighteenth USA ARDF (Amateur Radio Direction Finding) Championships will be held June 13 - 17, 2018 in Truckee, California. There will be a day of training activities before the main event on June 13, open to anyone participating in the Championships. IARU Region 1 ARDF rules will be in effect for the competition. To encourage use of the Contest Online Scoreboard by competitors during the just-completed CQ WPX CW Contest, two new plaques were sponsored by the operators of the Contest Online Scoreboard: Highest Online Scoreboard (Single Operator) Highest Online Scoreboard (Multi Operator) To be in contention for one of these plaques, the competitor must have had to actively contributed their scores to the Contest Online Scoreboard during all periods of contest activity. Most of the popular logging programs already feature upload of scores to website. The ARRL reported that FT8 Activity has been increasing at the expense of some other modes. According to Norm, W3IZ, ARRL Radiosport Manager, "Activity in the traditional modes of SSB and CW has decreased only slightly, by 10%." John Dorr, K1AR, was named as Director of CQ World Wide DX Contest, taking over the reins from Doug, KR2Q. John has been involved in contesting for decades, including as emcee of the Dayton Contest Dinner for 25 years. He was also inducted into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame in 1997. The Dayton Contest Dinner featured the induction of Andy, N2NT, and Tom, N1MM, into the CQ Contest Hall of Fame. Andy has a number of world-class contest wins going back to 1979, and is known for being able to get on the air to be competitive despite adverse conditions. He's been the director of the CQ WW 160 Meter DX Contest for the last decade. Tom is known by the contest community and beyond for the N1MM Logger+ program, which supports hundreds of different radio contests, and is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers. Regarding the mention of the Zepp antenna in a previous edition of the ARRL Contest Update: "The Zepp airship antenna patent is available on line. Included in the patent are detailed diagrams." (Ray, W8LYJ) "The WSJT Development Group is pleased to announce WSJT-X Version 1.9.0. If you have been using version 1.8.0, or a candidate release v1.9.0-rc#, you should upgrade at this time. New features and enhancements since Version 1.8.0 are summarized here." (Joe, K1JT) Hackaday's article on low-cost Amateur Radio gear highlights modern radio kits in general, and the QRP Labs QCX CW Transceiver in particular. KK6MC's contest write-up (see below) noted that there were many more Single Operator entries in the January VHF Contest this year - small, low-power portable stations. The SOTA (Summits On The Air) trend is extending beyond HF to VHF+ contesting and lightweight and low-cost gear is important to that type of operation. Look for many more SOTA/NPOTA-style operations like this. Articles like this are highlighting a new (or lesser-used) door to ham radio. (Ward, N0AX) - ARRL Contest Letter