St. Petersburg Amateur Radio Club

Posts filed under Contesting

The MAK is Back

SPARC contesters enjoyed entering W4TA in the newly reestablished Makrothen RTTY contest. Makrothen is a Greek word meaning distance. In spite of poor propagation, the SPARC team made 541 QSOs with a claimed score of 2,203,706 points.

Tom W4CU running while Ron KP2N watches [N2ESPhoto]

What makes the Makrothen different from the other contests we compete in is the method of scoring. Most contests are scored based on the number of QSOs times the number of “multipliers” worked in the contest. The points value awarded for each QSO varies with each contest. Different points value may be assigned to stations worked in a country different from yours, operating mode, or band. Multipliers also vary by contest. Typically each DX country is a multiplier; multipliers can also be established geographic radio “zones” worldwide. This type of scoring is biased in favor of population centers, with east coast US stations closer to Europe, with its large number of countries and the Caribbean with numerous small island countries.

Leslie WA4EEZ running as Tom NY4I looks on [N2ESPhoto]

As its name implies, the value of a QSO in the Makrothen contest equals the distance (in kilometers) between the two stations. The information exchanged between the two stations includes the Maidenhead grid square in which each station is located. The four character grid square designator exchange gives a rough indication of each station’s latitude and longitude. This information is then used by computer logging program algorithms to determine the distance between the two stations. Hams regularly working DX are aware that it is more difficult to work stations on the lower frequency bands. To encourage the use of these bands in the contest, QSO point values on 40M and 80M are multiplied by 1.5 and 2.0 respectively. In the event both stations are in the same grid square, a value of 100 points is assigned to the QSO.

N1MM+ RTTY contest software [N2ESPhoto]

This contest is run in three eight hour segments (8PM-4AM, 12PM-8PM and 4AM-12PM) that are separated by three eight hour off times.

SPARC members participating in this event were: Paul KA4IOX, Rex KB8ESY, Ron KP2N, Dave KR4U, Bob N2ESP, Richard N4BUA, Dee N4GD, Tom NY4I, Tom W4CU and Leslie WA4EEZ.

If you are interested in participating in any of the contests we enter, contact one of the folks above. No experience is necessary, we will provide an Elmer (mentor) to get you started in this competitive area of our hobby.

Leslie WA4EEZ enjoying her run on 15M [N2ESPhoto]

SH5 Contest Stats
QSOs by Band

Click here to see more results produced by the SH5 contest statistics processor.

Upcoming Activities

Besides this being the start of contest season, we also have some other events that you might want to check out.

On October 13 through October 15, there is the Makrothen RTTY contest at the club station. See here for more info….

On October 21, it’s the St. Petersburg Science Festival. Look for more info here and at the club meeting but this is a chance to spend a great day on the waterfront in St. Pete showing amateur radio to kids of all ages.

On October 28 in Palm Harbor, is the Upper Pinellas ARC Hamfest/tailgate. More info on that is here.

We also have the ever-popular Tampa Bay Hamfest on December 8th and 9th. More info on that hamfest is found here.

Check back on this website for upcoming contest operations from the W4GAC SPARC HF Station.

As Hurricane season winds down, amateur radio season starts up (he said optimistically…).

SPARC Contesters Win US 4th Call Area in CQ WPX RTTY

During the WPX Contest earlier this year, SPARC posted a score of 2,810,572 points in the Multi-operator, Single Transmitter category. This was good enough to win 1st place in the US 4th call area, 7th place in the country and 23rd in the World. This was a team effort of the following operators: KA4IOX, KB8ESY, KR4U, KP2N, N2ESP, N4BUA, N4RI, NY4I, VE3XD, W4CU ad W4TSP. The full results are available on the CQ WPX RTTY Website as well as the write up in the July 2017 edition of CQ Magazine. Congratulations to all these RTTY Operators.

W8IM Places 3rd Worldwide

Dean, W8IM. earned 3rd place worldwide in the 10M PSK31 QSO Party that is sponsored by 10-10 International. What makes this accomplishment more amazing is that Dean won in the QRP category! An accomplished CW operator, Dean decided to expand his horizons with PSK31. Congratulations Dean. Click the title to see Dean’s certificate.



W4TA Late Entry Into NAQP RTTY

Due to a last minute cancellation at DMI, we were able to participate in the NAQP RTTY contest. Operators participating on the W4TA Multi-2 category team were: Ron KP2N, Bob N2ESP, Dee N4GD, Tom NY4I and Johnnie W4TSP. The team used N1MM+ logging software which incorporates the MMTTY RTTY engine. This facilitated the ability to display real time contest statistics on our big screen TV as well as live on our web page. We ended the contest early as thunder storms approached. Claimed score for this event was 446. Thanks to all those that participated.

Real Time QSO Summary Screen

Real Time States Worked Map


NY4I sets up logging and web display programs

Dee N4GD working NAQP RTTY


W4TA Places Second in RTTY Roundup

Courtesy ARRL

According to the August 2017 edition of QST, W4TA placed second in the Multi-Single Low Power class in the 2017 ARRL RTTY Roundup.

1st K9NR 103,851

2nd W4TA 85,845 (908 QSOs and 97 multipliers)

3rd WS9V 78,587

Way to go SPARC operators: KA4IOX, KP2N, KR4U, KB8ESY, N2ESP, N4GD, N4KPJ, N4RI, NY4I, VE3XD, W4CU and W4TSP.

If you would like to join in the fun, contact Ron KP2N for details on our next Radiosport event.

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