March 4, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

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Foundations of Amateur Radio

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Defining a standard on Contest Scoring

Not a weekend goes by without an amateur radio contest or six, each with its own objectives, audience, times, rules, exchanges and scores. When you get bitten by the contesting bug, you’ll quickly graduate from using pen and paper to keyboard and screen. That process comes with the inevitable selection of software suitable to both run on your shack computer and log your particular contest since as you’ll discover, not all software knows about all contests or runs on every computer.

When you eventually do arrive at a working solution, you’ll reap the rewards of using technology. Contesting software can help in many different ways. From logging your operating frequency and mode to tracking where other stations are active and it doesn’t stop there. Type in a partial callsign and your software can suggest which ones it might be. Log a contact and you’ll see if your contact is valid within the rules or not. Software can track your activity level and warn if you’re exceeding any contest time limits. It can keep track of multipliers and the impact on your total score and at the end of a contest, contesting software can help with submitting your log.

After you’ve done this for a while, you’ll notice that contest rules and scoring change over time. That brings with it the possibility of your software using old and invalid rules for validation, scoring and other contesting requirements.

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