December 2002 North American Meteor Scatter Contest

1. PURPOSE: to promote activity using meteor scatter propagation
on the amateur VHF/UHF bands.

2. CONTEST PERIOD: starts on Saturday, December 14, at 0000 UTC
and ends on Monday, December 16 at 0700 UTC (Friday evening
through late Sunday evening, North American time.)  The dates
have been selected to make good use of the annual Geminids meteor

3. ENTRY CATEGORIES: You must specify Low Power or High Power,
Single Band or Multiband, and Assisted or Unassisted operation.
This means that there are a total of eight categories in all.
Low power means less than 200 Watts output was used at all times.
 "Assisted" stations may use the internet, email, telephone, or
other non-meteor-scatter communication to make schedules or
solicit contacts.  "Unassisted" stations must make their QSOs by
calling CQ, answering a CQ, or tailending on another QSO.  There
are two exceptions to this rule.  It is permissible for a
Multiband Unasissted station to move a QSO partner to another
band.  For example, if you are are working someone on 6 meters
you might send "QSY 144.113" instead of "73".  In addition, an
Unassisted station may make schedules with other stations so long
as the schedule is arranged before the contest has begun and the
other station is at least 1300 miles distant (as determined by
the six-digit grid locators of the two stations).  This rule is
to encourage efforts to push the envelope of meteor scatter

Entrants in the Assisted categories may make any normal use of
email, Ping Jockey, or other scheduling aids during the contest,
but of course they must not exchange any significant QSO
information by non-meteor-scatter means while a QSO is in

4. EXCHANGE: full callsigns, four-digit grid squares, and final
rogers must be exchanged.  Any communication by
non-meteor-scatter means during a contact invalidates the

5. MODE: any transmission mode (for example, CW, SSB, HSCW,
FSK441) is permitted.  QSOs with the same station count only once
per band, regardless of mode.

6. OPERATING PROCEDURES: QSOs will be much easier to make if
everyone adopts conventional procedures.  In gerenal, the
westernmost station should transmit in the first sequence.  On a
directly north-south path, the southern station goes first. 
For scheduled QSOs in FSK441 mode you may find it desirable to
use 15 second sequences rather than the conventional 30-second
sequences.  However, please do not use anything but 30 second
sequencing on the 144.140, standard CQ frequency, as it would
likely cause hopeless confusion."

All participants are encouraged to listen for "tailenders" after
completing QSOs, and to listen on the standard FSK441 calling
frequencies (50.270 and 144.140 MHz) for CQs.  The preferred
method of calling CQ is the form "CQ U5 W1ABC", "CQ D13 W1ABC",
or "CQ 113 W1ABC", indicating that W1ABC will be listening for
replies "Up 5 kHz" or "Down 13 kHz" from the CQ frequency, or, in
the third example, on 144.113.  In each example the subsequent
QSO would take place on the reply frequency, NOT the CQ-calling

For example: W1ABC in FN42 beams southwest and calls "CQ D10
W1ABC" on 144.140, transmitting in the second half of each
minute.  W4XYZ replies on 144.130 and thereafter listens 144.130.
 As soon as W1ABC hears a reply, he QSYs to 144.130 to send
"W4XYZ W1ABC FN42", and the two stations complete their QSO on
that frequency.  When the contact is complete W1ABC can go back
to CQing on 144.140, knowing that a tailender might call him on
144.130 as well an someone answering the new CQ.

If the preferred CQ frequencies become too busy, move up or down
by 5 or 10 kHz.

As a further aid to stations operating in the Unassisted
categories, all participants are encouraged to look for requests
to QSY to another band.  After receiving RRR from W4XYZ, instead
of sending "73" W1ABC might send "QSY 50.265".  When W4XYZ
receives this request she immediately QSYs and starts calling on
50.265.  W1ABC moves over to 6 meters when he hears no further
pings on 144.133, and the pair then complete a QSO on 6.

7. SCORING: each QSO counts 1 point on 50 and 144 MHz, 3 points
on 222 MHz, and 10 points on 432 MHz.  QSOs originating by any of
the permitted methods -- pre-arranged schedule, real-time
schedule, calling CQ, tailending, or requesting a QSY to another
band, are all scored the same way.  Your final score is the sum
of all QSO points multiplied by the total number of unique
4-digit grid locators worked, per band.

8. REPORTING: Log information must contain the following data:
Date and time of QSO, callsign of station worked, frequency, grid
square, claimed QSO points, and new grids by band. For example:

Date      UTC   Call    Band  Grid Points Mult
Dec 14   0103   W1ABC    144  FN42   1    144-1
Dec 15   1237   N4XYZ     50  EM83   1     50-1
Dec 15   1252   N4XYZ    222  EM83   3    222-1
Dec 16   0203   W9JKL    144  EN62   1    144-2

The following information should be contained on the summary
sheet accompanying the log: Callsign used, Grid Locator, Power
Category, Assisted of Unassisted, Single or Multi-Band, Name,
Address, and Email Address (if available).

Callsign used:          K0ABC
Grid Locator:           EM48
Power (High or Low):    Low Power
Assisted or Unassisted: Assisted
Single or Multi-band:   Multi-band

Name:                   John Doe
Address:                1234 Main Street
                        My Town, State, Zip

Email address:          [email protected]

The summary sheet should include a table of the following form:

Band    QSOs  Points  Grids
 50       1      1      1
144      2      2      2
222      1      3      1
432      0      0      0
Totals:   4     6      4

Total Score = 6 x 4 = 24

Logs must be postmarked or email dated no later than January 15,
2003. Email logs should be sent to [email protected]; paper logs
should be sent to:

  Louis R. Tipton
        Edna, Texas 77957

Please, please send in your score!  It's very easy to do, and we
want to have a good record of the level of activity in the event!

9. RESULTS will be posted on a pre-announced web site.  Scores will be
listed in rank order of total score, and there will be an indication
of the entry band (50, 144, 222, 432, or M for multi-band) and

10. [ Certificates?  Would anyone like to volunteer to do this? ...]

-- 73 from Joe, K1JT, and Tip, WA5UFH

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