Formation of the UK and EI Contest Club - the UKEICC                

In 2014 there was no 'Contest Club' in the UK. CDXC and GMDX catered for the interests of DXers, but contesters had no club to join - this was the main motivation for forming the UKEICC. There was also an element of frustration about the lack of change in RSGB HF Contesting. Other UKEICC aims were to (a) widen the horizon by having EI contesters join with UK contesters (b) offer more choice by introducing some new contests, with new formats (c) introduce fully automated speedy adjudication and (d) to 'test the water' by running 80m to 10m DX UK/EI-centric contests - was there demand for such contests and would they be well supported?

UKEICC contests are not rivalling RSGB contests and never will. We are just offering contests with new formats that participants are finding extremely refreshing, which you can choose to participate in or not. The UKEICC has no constitution, no membership fee and our aims are to run some contests which entrants enjoy and to promote HF contesting as an interesting aspect of our hobby. We choose our contest dates to ensure no clashes with RSGB events (although there are so many VHF/UHF evening contests we sometimes can't avoid clashing with one of them).  The dates of our DX Contests are online with dates chosen and publicised until the year 2022. The UKEICC also has the advantage of great flexibility - we can change/correct any problems with our contest rules very quickly.

Let's look briefly at how well we are meeting the aims outlined above :

(a)  UK / EI involvement - given the relatively small number of active contesters in EI, we think we are doing reasonably well. The 'Kenwood Cups' which are awarded to the leading UK or EI Unassisted entrant were both (SSB + CW) won by EI entrants last year.

(b)  We run simple 1-hour long 80m contests - September to April - 2000z to 2100z on the first (SSB) and last (CW) Wednesdays of each month - with a parallel 'Teams competition'. We have trialled an 80m CW 'Random Numbers' contest - it is an interesting concept - we'll run another one once N1MM+ can support it (there was some 'discussion' about algorithms which I did not fully understand, hi)

(c)   We introduced one-hour log submission deadlines for our 80m contests - there were some grumbles at first, but now everyone is used to this and there are no problems submitting their logfiles on time. The excellent log submission robot (thanks to our software expert) pre-screens all logfiles (also in the DX contests) and alerts entrants to correct any Cabrillo format or other problems. After one hour, we press a button and the Results are online shortly after the log submission deadline (thanks again other software expert) Our excellent adjudication software generates UBN files which are then e-mailed to entrants, usually within 24 hours.

(d)  We run two DX contests per year - March (CW) and September (SSB) - all UK/EI districts are multipliers which make it great fun for all UK/EI participants, even those with modest stations and modest antennas operating from home. Last weekend's UK/EI DX CW contest received 637 entries, with over 70000 QSOs made in the 24 hours. European and DX contesters love these contests - we just need a bit more support from the UK and EI in the future.

We have lots of other ideas, some of which we might not be able to implement - for example we've been thinking about if it is possible to run an 80m contest with 'real-time scoring' (not the same as a 'real-time scoreboard') The logging server software would have to receive CAT data from a huge variety of different connected radios, so this idea may be impossible - maybe there is another way to do this? Some of our other ideas are more realistic :-)  Please let us know if you have any ideas..... [email protected]

Our original website was astonishingly over-ambitious, with convoluted menus and about 30 links that went nowhere!  We are slowly improving it and hope to move to a new server in the next few months.

The current UKEICC team are :  G4FJK, GW0ETF, GM3POI, EI5DI, EI2KA, M0VKY, G4MKP, M0YOM and GM3WOJ.

Thanks for reading...   73     Chris    GM3WOJ / GM2V                      29th March 2019                                                              E&OE