Tuesday, February 12, 2013

ARRL DX Contest questions

I see that the ARRL DX CW contest is next weekend. I haven't decided yet whether I will come on and give away a few points, nor whether I will operate QRP or run 100 watts. I think it will depend on propagation.

One thing I am unsure about is what exchange to send. I believe DX stations - which means me in this context - are supposed to send RST and power.

If I'm running QRP (5 watts) do I send "5NN 5" or "5NN 005" or even "5NN TT5"?

If I'm running 100 watts would I send "5NN 100" or "5NN 1TT" or even "5NN ATT"? These short form numbers confuse me a bit. I've heard 1 being sent as A, and 0 (zero) being sent as the letter "O". Or at least, I think I have.

If I change the power as I normally do and run 100W only when it is needed do I send the actual power I am using or stick to the same exchange (100W) throughout the contest?

Do I work only US stations or will all stations, even Europeans, benefit from working me with a point?


VE3WDM said...

Good morning Julian, I will try to do my best at answering some...and hope all your questions. I have been CW contesting for a few years now and here is my take on things....

As for sending report and power I would send 5NN 5 or TT5. I would avoid 005 as it is very long in CW contesting. For me my choice would be just plan old 5. I would not choose TT5 because at QRP levels some station may have a hard time picking you out of traffic. Adding the TT may add confusion and get you in the log with the wrong power.

If you are going to run at 100 I would use 5NN 1TT. The reason I would use this is it's fast, yes "A" is the letter for 1....but....for me as an op to hear ANN may be more confusing and I may ask for a repeat. As far as 100 I would see that as being a long exchange to send.

Changing power part way through......never had done that before not sure what to say. I have always stayed QRP or QRPp and in the contest that is the same category. But my guess is the rules say that low power is 150 watts or less. To me if you lower your power from 100 to QRP you change your exchange to match your power output but you are still in the low power (150 watt category).

As for points....you get points on the DX contacts into the US and Canada and no where else. I on the other hand have to contact DX and not U.S or Canada.....I mean you can but there is just no points involved.

I hope I helped and did not further confuse you.

Bert, PA1B said...

Hello Julian, just use the power that works, in the conditions that you encounter. Just try, what works for you, 5NN TT5 or 5NN 5. I used both.
For 1 W or less, I use 5NN TT1, even with 36 mW using an attenuator. hi.
Operator like Chas, K3WW have Excellent Ears, as you can read in my Blog. Enjoy the contest. 73,Bert

Bert, PA1B said...

Hello Julian, I wrote an entry at the PA1B QRPp Blog, on the exchange in the ARRL int DX contest. This contest is great fun. GL, 73, Bert