G3VGR Contesting      




I enjoy operating in CW Contests, usually in the QRP section. This is an ideal way to improve CW and listening skills. It's also very good for testing antennas, because if many stations come back after just one call, you can be sure the antenna is radiating well. It is easy to have fun and post a reasonable score in many of the European contests with just modest power and antennas. The big contests like CQWW are much more of a challenge as the bands are very busy with many large signals.

My favourite contests are the REF Contest, Worked All Germany, DARC Xmas Contest, AGCW Happy New Year Contest and IARU Contest. I also enjoy participating in the smaller contests and activities run by the various CW clubs of which I enjoy membership. The two contests I usually avoid are the CQWW and IOTA contests. Both seem to attract many aggressive and ill-mannered participants.
Having a small signal usually means one can't often hold a frequency and run with CQs, so the Search and Pounce method of working stations is usually used to build a score. To work S&P effectively, it is necessary to use a decent logging program to avoid wasting time hearing the same stations over and over again. The current program used at G3VGR is N1MM's Logger, which is a dedicated Windows contest program. With it's excellent bandmap facilities, it is a very suited to S&P operation. It also has the advantage of being freeware. I have also used YPLog for contesting, which was also rather good, having the unique ability to create rule files for various contests that are not supported by any other logging programs. Unfortunately, support for this fine program ceased a long time ago.
Many of the best contest programs ran under DOS, such as CT, NA and SD, however my favourite was TR. Unfortunately, it is a pain to retain a dual-boot PC just to provide the ability to occasionally run DOS-based contest software and many of the newer systems do not have serial or parallel ports included, so these programs are often no longer viable. There is a Windows version of TRLog available, but it came too late to be useful to me, as I had already been using N1MM for quite a while and had forgotten many of the TR commands.

YPLog Screenshot

TRLog Screenshot

N1MM Logger Screenshot
Contesting Links