Operating WPX CW

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.

Set up your logging software to post to the getscores.org or cqcontest.ru live score servers. Nothing is more fun than racing other competitors in near real-time.

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!

CQ WPX Contest 2011 Year in Review

With the WPX SSB Contest only days away it is a good time to look back at the activities of the past year.

  • WPX SSB experienced some of the best conditions on the 15 meter band ever. Record scores were set on nearly every continent.  DR1A raised the prefix record by over 200 to an amazing 1909 prefixes worked. We received a total of 5,143 logs.
  • WPX CW had even worse conditions in 2011 than in 2010 (I didn’t think that would be possible). Even so, LZ9W was able to increase the prefix record to 1365. Log submissions reached a record of 3,869.
  • WPX SSB saw 12 Yellow Cards issued for unclaimed use of assistance. There was one Red Card issued for a multi-single station that transmitted more than one signal at a time.
  • WPX CW had 14 Yellow Cards for unclaimed assistance and 5 Red Cards for more than one signal.
  • The third annual WPX Contest Survey was conducted in September, 2011. Invitations were sent to everyone who submitted a log in the 2011 WPX RTTY, SSB, and CW Contests. We received 6,500 responses to the survey with 3,584 completing the full survey.  Results are presented in 2 parts (go to part 1).
  • There were two notable rule changes for 2012.  The first is a definition of where power is measured. “Power is measured at the final output connector of the transmitter.” The second is to remove the 275Km distance limitation from the club competition.
  • Private links to log checking reports were sent by email to everyone who submitted a log for WPX 2011. Reports detailed the final score, any score reductions, list of unique QSOs, and information on errors made by other stations working you.
  • Tzetzo, LZ2FQ, created a new log submission tool to convert ADIF format log files into the Cabrillo format needed for the robot. This will enable users of general purpose logging software programs to easily submit their logs for the contest. Start the ADIF log conversion here.
  • CQ WPX Contest fan page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/cqwpx) has 2,090 fans!

Thanks to everyone who participated on the air or contributed to the operation of the CQ WPX Contests. Get on the air and have fun!

48 hours to start of WPX CW 2011

We are now less than 48 hours from the start of the 2011 WPX CW Contest. There may be a small chance of ‘cloudiness’ in the solar forecast, but not enough dampen our spirits. Looking for lots of activity and new records again this year.

Rules in 14 languages: http://www.cqwpx.com/rules.htm

Results from previous years: http://www.cqwpx.com/results.htm

67 plaques up for grabs: http://www.cqwpx.com/plaques.htm

All-time records by world, continent, country, and call area: http://www.cqwpx.com/records.htm

When the contest is over, please use the new web form for log submission.


You can upload your log, have it checked for formatting and all necessary header info, make corrections, and then submit directly to the robot. It’s the perfect way to avoid robot anxiety.

Even if you can’t operate the full contest, get on the air for as much as you can. Please submit your log. It shows CQ Magazine how much we appreciate the contest and it helps the log checking.

A few hints:

  • Watch those dits. Letters like S, H, and 5, or V and 4, or B and 6, are often miscopied.
  • Copy the serial numbers.
  • Need motivation? Go to the score database (http://www.cqwpx.com/scorescw.htm?yr=ALL&mode=CW ), select your country and call area, then work your way up the scores. Always feels good when you pass another score on the list.

73 and good contesting!

Randy Thompson, K5ZD