It is just a few days until WPX CW 2012. A few tips to help you enjoy the contest.
Before the Contest
Spend a few minutes to get all of your software set up before the contest. Once the clock starts at 0000z on May 26, you want to spend your time working stations - not working on software!
Make sure your rig and antennas are working properly too. And that you have your CW messages set up correctly.
Take a few minutes to download the latest country files from www.country-files.com/cty/. This will help your logging software show you the correct score. If you use the super check partial function, be sure to download the latest files from www.supercheckpartial.com.
Visit NG3K’s contest site to see all the planned operations that will be active for WPX CW 2012.
Read the WPX Contest rules! Things do change and it never hurts to remind yourself about the different categories, scoring, and operating time limits. The rules are available in 13 languages.
During the Contest
If you can’t do a full time effort, operate as much as you can. Every point you earn could move you higher in the standings. Focus on periods when rate is best into the high population areas of Europe and USA.
Double points for DX contacts on the low bands. All band entrants can really help their score by spending some time among the static crashes. The dedicated low band specialists on 80 and 160 meters would really appreciate a QSO.
Multi-operator stations should watch the band change rules. Both multi-single and multi-two have a limit on the number of band changes per hour. Make too many band changes and valuable QSOs could be removed from your log.
Watch the dots. Some of the most common callsign copying errors on CW are for calls with lots of dots. This includes calls with the letters S, H, and 5, but also with B, V, 4, and 6. Don’t let KH6MB become K5BMB or confuse S57DX with SH7DX. These errors will cost you points during the log checking!
Use the WPX Contest online database to track your progress during the contest. Set the filters to only show scores from your country and category. Then make it your goal to keep moving up the list of previous scores. It can provide some extra motivation as you pass your old scores or those of your local competition.
After the Contest
Submit your log right away! There really is no reason to wait.
Logs should be in Cabrillo format. Most logging software can output this format. Take a moment to open the file in a text editor (such as Notepad or Wordpad) and look it over. Any question, see the Cabrillo format page.
Don’t worry if your logging software calculated the score perfectly. All logs are rescored during the checking process.
Do take a moment to see that all QSOs are logged at the right time and on the right band. You would be suprised how many people lose QSO points because their log is off by 1 hour or they logged a series of QSOs on the wrong band.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR ENTRY CATEGORY! If you were single op and used the DX Cluster you must enter the Assisted category. If you enter the Rookie overlay category, please show the date you received your first license in the SOAPBOX.
Upload your log at http://www.cqwpx.com/logcheck/. The logcheck page will give you immediate feedback if everything is formatted correctly and then offer to submit the log for you. It couldn’t be easier.
If you use a general purpose logger that can’t output Cabrillo, see if it can export your log in ADIF format. Then use the converter at http://www.cqwpx.com/adif/ to convert the log to Cabrillo. Be sure to export the sent and received serial numbers if you logged them.
After your log is submitted, post your score to 3830 at http://www.hornucopia.com/3830score/. Give some commentary about your experience in the contest. We use these reports when we create the contest writeups for CQ Magazine.
The log deadline is June 20, 2012. All logs are welcome and help us with the log checking.
Good luck to everyone in WPX CW 2012. Wishing you good conditions, high rates, and lots of prefix multipliers!