Contest Branch Blog back at ARRL.org

August 3, 2010

Hi folks-

I’ve been able to put together a news page back on the ARRL site. You can find that page at:  http://www.arrl.org/arrl-contest-branch .

We’re still working on the subscription capabilities, so QRX for that.

This page has served its purpose, but now with the page at arrl.org again, there will be no further updates made to this site.  This site will be deleted eventually.

73,

Sean KX9X

ARRL Statement on 2009 IARU HF Championships

June 8, 2010

Statement of the ARRL Awards Committee Regarding HQ Station Entries in the 2009 IARU HF World Championship

June 7, 2010

A most unfortunate dispute has arisen in connection with the 2009 IARU HF World Championship between participants in two HQ station entries: AO8HQ on behalf of Union de Radioaficionados Espanoles (URE) and DA0HQ on behalf of the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC). It is extremely regrettable that the matter has escalated into a distraction from the other issues facing Amateur Radio organizations today. As the administrator of the contest on behalf of the IARU, the ARRL regrets that it has contributed to this development in two ways.

First, we have allowed too much emphasis to develop on competition between HQ station entries. The special category of HQ stations was intended to raise the visibility of the IARU member-societies among active radio amateurs, and to make the contest more interesting to participants by providing additional multipliers. It was never intended to be a competition for the highest world score. Clearly there can never be a “level playing field” for such competition, nor does it further the objectives of the IARU.

Second, in adjudicating the 2009 contest results a serious error was made in the initial computation of scores. Many contacts were incorrectly identified as “busted calls” that were not. As a result of this error, when the results were first published AO8HQ was shown as having the highest score when in fact the DA0HQ score, after correction of the computation, is slightly higher. When the corrected results were published, the AO8HQ operators were understandably disappointed. They had believed that, as was the case in 2008, their location in Africa – from which the vast majority of QSOs (including those with Spanish stations in Europe) are worth 5 points – would elevate their score based on about 12,000 QSOs past the scores of all of the other HQ stations, 16 of which had more QSOs than AO8HQ.

The DA0HQ log contains more than 26,000 QSOs. Several thousand of these contacts are with “unique” German call signs – that is, call signs that appear in no (or very few) other logs. Most of these appear to be contacts with individual amateurs who got on the air to work their national team but who were not otherwise participating in the contest. Such contacts are found in every HQ station log, including AO8HQ. They are more numerous in the DA0HQ log than in others because of the large number of German amateurs and because an award is offered (and has been offered for a number of years) to encourage contacts with DA0HQ on both modes and on all six bands. Other member-societies offer similar awards.

Following publication of the corrected, final results URE obtained the DA0HQ log from DARC and conducted a detailed analysis. URE identified hundreds of QSOs by DA0HQ with German stations that it regarded as questionable. The DA0HQ team reviewed this analysis and responded by acknowledging that “The German amateur radio community was overly eager in assisting DA0HQ to win the contest, and used means that, although legal, were construed by the AO8HQ team as being illegal. DA0HQ had no control over these actions, and did not request them in any way.” This included “liberal use of club station calls in addition to personal call signs.”

The “General Rules for All ARRL Contests” apply to the IARU HF World Championship. These rules provide that “An operator may not use more than one call sign from any given location during the contest period.” The General Rules also provide that “A transmitter used to contact one or more stations may not be subsequently used under any other call during the contest period, except for family stations where more than one call has been issued, and then only if the second call sign is used by a different operator. (The intent of this rule is to accommodate family members who must share a rig and to prohibit manufactured or artificial contacts.)”

For the vast majority of QSOs questioned by URE, the most reasonable explanation based on circumstantial evidence is that the operators who made those contacts with DA0HQ were violating one or both of these rules. This is not unique either to DA0HQ or to this year’s event. Excessive “cheerleading” for national teams is practiced in other countries and has been for a number of years. While the operators providing these contacts may have been violating the rules, the DA0HQ operators were not. No penalty can be imposed on the operators who violated the contest rules because they were not competing. Neither can a penalty be imposed on DA0HQ; URE has provided no evidence, and the ARRL Awards Committee is aware of none, to contradict DARC’s contention that the DA0HQ operators did not solicit contacts in violation of the contest rules.

That said, DARC has acknowledged that DA0HQ benefited from the fact that German amateurs were “overly eager” to assist. This underscores the principal lesson to be learned from the unfortunate acrimony of the past few months: far too much emphasis has been placed on a competition that is essentially meaningless. Comparing the results of different national HQ teams, especially across continental boundaries, is comparing apples and oranges (or apples and pears) and leads to behavior that is contrary to the IARU objective of promoting international goodwill and friendship.

Therefore, the ARRL Awards Committee has decided that no certificate will be awarded for the high scoring IARU member society HQ station in the 2009 IARU HF World Championship. A certificate will be awarded to each continental leader, and certificates of appreciation for their participation will be awarded to all HQ stations. Effective with the 2010 IARU HF World Championship, no adjudication of HQ station logs will be conducted by the ARRL. A certificate of participation will be awarded to each IARU member society HQ station. Also effective with the 2010 event, by submitting a log the submitter agrees that the log may be made public, at the discretion of the Contest Sponsor.

We are grateful for the support of the IARU HF World Championship by the operators of all IARU member-society HQ stations. The ARRL will not engage in further correspondence with regard to the 2009 IARU HF World Championship but welcomes suggestions for improvements for future events.

Dave Patton, NN1N

Manager, ARRL Membership and Volunteer Programs

For the ARRL Awards Committee

2009 ARRL 10 Meter Contest Results

June 3, 2010

Hi folks-

 

Results of the 2009 ARRL 10 Meter Contest are now online. You can view them at: http://www.arrl.org/contest-results-articles

IARU 2009: DA0HQ’s Repsonse

May 24, 2010

The DARC has issued a response to the charges of “log-padding” during the DA0HQ operation in the 2009 IARU HF Championships. Their response can be read here:  DA0HQ – Response To Charges of “Log-Padding”

The ARRL continues to review this matter and will issue a ruling when a conclusion has been reached.

The Spurious Emissions Band at Dayton 2010

May 17, 2010

Hi folks-

One of the best things for me at Dayton this year was the chance to play music. Ward N0AX and I have enjoyed many a musical jam session together, and Ward has carried on in Andy N2NT’s footsteps by re-writing the words to many songs to include lots of contesting and DX’ing references. Ward and I decided this was the year to take some of this public, and we recruited a few compadres to enjoy the experience. Tim, K3LR gave his blessing to perform at the Contest Super Suite on Friday night, just before pizza was served, and that was all the encouragement we needed. Ward would play mandolin, Kirk K4RO was recruited to play guitar, Scott W4PA brought his 5-string acoustic bass, and I brought a tiny snare drum that sits in your lap; it was likened to a cookie sheet on several occasions. Mark N5OT was recruited to sing, too. The result: the first-ever performance of the Spurious Emissions Band.

After numerous rehearsals (well, one rehearsal,  anyway…), we got to where we didn’t cause dogs to howl anymore and agreed to give it a go. We made our way to the Contest Super Suite at the Crowne Plaza on Friday night about 10:30, and took over the far corner of the room. Bruce K0BJ and Khrystyne K1SFA were recruited at the last moment to sing. Just before we went on, Tim K3LR came over with a very serious look on his face, pointed to us and said, “You’d better not screw this up.” No, he didn’t really do that; I made that part up.

The Spurious Emissions Band

We played four tunes, and managed to not get anything thrown at us.

For those who are morbidly curious, didn’t get to hear it in person, or for some strange reason want to relive it, the entire performance is here in five MP3 files.

*************

The Spurious Emissions Band
Dayton Hamvention’s Contest Super Suite
Miami Ballroom – Crowne Plaza Hotel
Dayton, Ohio Friday, May 14, 2010 10:30pm

The Band:

Ward Silver N0AX: Mandolin, Vocals, Master of Ceremonies
Kirk Pickering K4RO: Guitar, Vocals
Scott Robbins W4PA: 5-String Bass, Vocals
Sean Kutzko KX9X: Snare Drum, Harmonica, Vocals
Mark Beckwith N5OT: Vocals
Khrystyne Keane K1SFA: Vocals
Bruce Frahm K0BJ: Vocals

Technical Notes: Recorded by KX9X on an Olympus LS-10 digital recorder with internal
microphones on a table about 5 feet from the band. Audacity editing software was used
to mix and edit the recording and convert to 128kbps MP3.

Setlist:

1: Intro by Ward N0AX
2: The Sound Of DX (“The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, revised lyrics by Andy Blank, N2NT)
3: Comes A Time (“Comes A Time” by Neil Young, revised lyrics by Sean Kutzko KX9X)
4: Tunin’ (“Willin” by Little Feat, revised lyrics by Ward Silver N0AX)
5: Poachin’ Eyes (“Lyin’ Eyes” by The Eagles, revised lyrics by Ward Silver N0AX)

Thanks to Tim Duffy K3LR for letting us play in the Super Suite!

Thanks to the crowd for not throwing things at us!

01: Intro By Ward N0AX

02: The Sound Of DX

03: Comes A Time

04: Tunin’

05: Poaching Eyes

April 2010 Rookie Roundup Results

April 20, 2010

Hi folks-

The results for the April 2010 Rookie Roundup are online. You can view them at: http://www.arrl.org/rookie-roundup.

Certificates are being generated and we should have those available for free download in a couple of days. Check the Rookie Roundup Blog for updates on certificate availability.

Thanks to everybody for getting involved with the first Rookie Roundup! I hope to see you again in August for a repeat of SSB.

73,

Sean Kutzko KX9X

Rookie Roundup – Logs Received

April 19, 2010

Hi folks-

A list of logs received for the Rookie Roundup is now online at:

http://www.arrl.org/logs-received

Go to that page and scroll down to the “Other Reports” area.

If your call is not listed, we do not have your log. Read the next blog entry on how to submit your score to us by 2100 UTC today (Monday April 19, 2010).

Sean KX9X

Rookie Roundup Log Submission

April 19, 2010

Hi Folks-

Thanks to everybody that participated in the Rookie Roundup today. It
was fun to work a lot of stations.

If you have been unable to submit your score tonight, go download this
paper score summary worksheet:

http://rookieroundup.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/rrsummary.pdf

Fill out the worksheet, then email me the summary.

YOUR CALL:
Are you a Rookie?:
Your state, province or country:
ROOKIE QSOS:
NON-ROOKIE QSOS:
TOTAL POINTS
TOTAL MULTIPLIERS:
SCORE:
NAME:
ADDRESS 1:
ADDRESS 2:
CITY:
STATE:
ZIP:
EMAIL:

Email this info to me at contests@arrl.org. Use the subject “Rookie
Roundup Summary – [your call]“

Score summaries should be received by 2100 UTC Monday, April 19, 2010.

Scores will be posted to the official ARRL Rookie Roundup page by 1600 UTC Tuesday,
April 20, 2010. Certificates will be available for download before the
end of April. Check http://rookieroundup.wordpress.com for specific
info.

Sean KX9X

The New arrl.org Is Really QRV Now

April 13, 2010

Hi folks-

The new ARRL.org website went live around 1900 UTC on Tuesday, April 13. I encourage everybody to take a look around and get a feel for it.

The new site going live is the first phase of a multi-part rollout of the new arrl.org. There are still some things that need to be brought online with the new site. For example, I know that the contest results area needs a lot of work. I will start brining that info over as fast as possible. Please have patience while I work on that.

If you can’t seem to something anywhere on the site, look for the “Having Trouble?” link at the bottom of every single page. Click on it and you’ll be taken to a contact form where you can report the issue, and we’ll let you know where to find it, or if it’s not available yet. Your reports are very valuable to me; it’s a large site and I only have one pair of eyes.

I hope you enjoy navigating through the new site. Yes, we’re still working on some stuff, but we’ll have it taken care of before you know it.

Sean KX9X

2009 ARRL EME Competition Results Online

April 7, 2010

The results for the 2009 ARRL International EME Competition are now online. You can view the QST article from the May 2010 QST and the Printable Line Scores at: http://aptos.arrl.org/contests .

Sean KX9X


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