• [FOAR] The power supply connector dance contest... (3/21)

    From FOAR via rec.radio.info Admin@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 18 13:48:30 2022
    [continued from previous message]

    As an example, consider the location of your device. Let's say that you
    changed the location of your computer, either physically or via a
    preference. All of a sudden your Wi-Fi network stops working. The one that
    you used for years. Turns out that changing location changed the Wi-Fi
    driver to stop using a particular channel, not permitted in your new
    location. If you're curious, this happened to me last week.


    The point being that troubleshooting is about controlling change in that fragile environment.


    So, when you're trying to figure out how to make your serial connection
    work, you need to stop fiddling with everything all at once and change one thing at a time. Discovering the layers of dependency makes this difficult
    at times, but not impossible.


    For example, a working serial connection requires that both ends are
    physically connected, speaking the same language at the same speed. That depends on the radio being correctly configured, but it also depends on the computer having the right drivers installed. It also depends on the
    software you're using being configured correctly to talk to the right
    serial device and the operating system giving your software permission to
    do so. It depends on the software using the right radio mode and it depends
    on the radio being switched on.


    Now, imagine the serial connection "not working".


    Do you check the radio mode before you check if the radio is turned on?


    What about the physical connection?


    When you're troubleshooting, you cannot just look at the error message on
    the screen and follow that path. You need to ensure that all the underlying things are working first. You don't check the bulb until there's light in
    the street. Same thing. No need to worry about the error until you've discovered that the radio is on, the cable connected correctly, the driver installed correctly, the speeds set right and the mode configured properly.
    If and only if that's all correct, then look at the error.


    This becomes harder if it worked yesterday. What changed between then and
    now? Did your operating system do an update? Did your radio forget its settings? Did the cat jump on your desk and dislodge a cable overnight? Is there an earth fault that caused the serial connection to cease working?


    Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you cannot find the problem.


    At that point you need to take a step back and think about how to prove
    that something is working in the way that you think it is. Multimeter to a light bulb to check continuity - style. In the case of a serial connection, what can you use to test the link if your favourite tool doesn't work or stopped working suddenly?


    I've said this before, but it bears repeating, since it's not obvious.


    Troubleshooting is all about discovering and controlling change.


    Pick one thing to test, prove that it's correct, then pick the next.
    Eventually you'll come across a "Duh" moment. Don't sweat it, we've all
    been there. Now do it again!


    What's your best troubleshooting moment?


    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220424.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

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    How far can you go?

    Posted: 16 Apr 2022 09:00 AM PDT http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220417.foundations-of-amateur-radio.txt

    Foundations of Amateur Radio


    Antennas and propagation are the two single most discussed topics in our
    hobby, that and how an FT8 contact isn't real. Not a day goes by without
    some conversation about what antenna is the best one and by how much? In my opinion it's a futile effort made all the worse by so called experts
    explaining in undeniable gobbledegook, or sometimes even using science,
    just how any particular antenna is a compromise.


    The truth is that most conductive materials radiate to more or lesser
    degree. Sometimes there is enough of that to make it outside your backyard
    into the antenna of a fellow hobbyist. To make a point, as is my wont, over
    the past months I've been conducting an experiment. It's the first in a
    series all related to antennas and propagation. As has been said, the difference between fiddling and science, is writing it down, so this is me writing it down.


    I'm using the tools available to me to explore the various attributes of my station and how it affects what's possible. I will observe that this is
    within the dynamic nature of the environment, so the solar cycle, solar
    events, thunderstorms and noise are making an impact. No doubt I'll create
    a visualisation that links some of those extra variables, but for now I'm
    just noting that these external events affect what I'm doing.


    You might recall that I took delivery of a WSPR beacon a few months ago. If you're unfamiliar, WSPR or Weak Signal Propagation Reporter, is a tool that allows a station to transmit a time synchronised signal on a specific frequency, so other stations can look for, and attempt to decode it. Think
    of it as a timed Morse code signal and you'll have a pretty close
    understanding of what it does.


    The beacon I purchased was a 200 milliwatt, ZachTek 80To10 desktop
    transmitter, built by Harry, SM7PNV. It can operate on all the HF bands I'm licensed for and can run all day, every day. It's time-synchronised using a supplied GPS antenna and powered by a Micro USB cable. It's currently
    connected to my vertical antenna.


    That vertical antenna is a homebrew helically wound whip, tuned for the 40m band, clamped to the side of my metal patio roof. It's fed by an SGC-237 antenna coupler which is held by magnets to the roof. A 75 Ohm, RG6 quad
    shield coax cable, about 20m long, left over from my satellite dish installation days, is connected via several adaptors and coax switches to
    the beacon.


    This is not a fancy set-up by any stretch of the imagination, but it's my station and what I use to get on air to make noise and that's the whole
    point of this exercise. You might recall that one of the reasons I want to learn Morse is so I can hear an NCDXF beacon and know which one I'm hearing
    on my own station. In many ways, this is a different way to approach the
    same problem.


    Said plainly, "How do I determine what propagation is like for me, right
    now, on my own gear?"


    There are countless tools available, from the Voice of America VOACAP propagation prediction, through the graphs and charts on clublog.org to the Space Weather Services run by the Bureau of Meteorology in Australia.


    All of these tools have one thing in common, they don't use your own gear.


    Unsurprisingly, you're likely to wonder what it is that I can achieve with
    a mere 200 milliwatt transmitter and a vertical. Turns out, quite a lot. As
    of right now, my WSPR beacon has been heard multiple times over the past
    three months in the Canary Islands, over 15 thousand kilometres away. The
    Watts per Kilometre calculation puts that at over 76 thousand kilometres
    per Watt, not bad for a little amateur station located in the middle of a residential suburb. Did I mention that this was on the 10m band?


    I was asked if I would put a pin in my DXCC map, tracking the countries for each of these WSPR reports and my answer to that is "No". This is not a contact, this is a propagation ping. I suppose that I could, if I really
    wanted to argue the point, which I don't, use a pin if I had a reciprocal report from the other station within a set period of time, but that's not
    why I'm doing this. The purpose of this exercise is to discover what my
    station is capable of, what propagation is like, how it changes over time,
    how uniform my radiation pattern is and how much of the globe can hear my signal.


    One observation to make is that much of the West Coast of the United States
    is a similar distance away from me, but so far there are no reports from
    that continent. As a quick and dirty test, I'm using my Yaesu radio and 5
    Watts for the next day to see if this is an edge case, or if there is
    something else going on. For example, my house has a peak metal roof, to
    the West of my antenna. Is it possible that it's affecting the radiation pattern, or is there something else going on, like the neighbour's house
    that sits to the East?


    For all I know the noise floor in the Canary Islands is significantly
    better than anywhere in the USA, but only time will tell.


    I've recently taken delivery of a multi-band vertical antenna which I'm planning to use to replace my current vertical. The main reason being that
    my antenna coupler cannot tune with 200 milliwatts and to do band-hopping
    I'd have to re-tune manually each time, not something that is sustainable
    24 hours a day.


    No doubt that change will bring other discoveries, but then, I'm keeping
    track.


    The intent of all of this is that you can experiment with your own station, test ideas, trial a set-up, keep a log and discover new things that your station presents to you. Amateur Radio is never just about one thing, it's always a dozen different things, all at the same time.


    What are you going to discover next?


    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220417.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

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    After the chaos ... building the ideal shack

    Posted: 09 Apr 2022 09:00 AM PDT http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220410.foundations-of-amateur-radio.txt

    Foundations of Amateur Radio


    One of the first questions a new amateur asks is "Which radio should I
    buy?" It's a topic I've discussed at length and the answer "It depends." is unhelpful without doing more research, but after you've done the work,
    you'll be able to answer it for yourself.


    A question that is just as important, but not asked nearly enough, frankly, I've not heard it in the decade I've been part of this community, is: "How should I build my shack?" The answer is just as useful, "It depends."


    So, let's explore what precisely your shack design depends on. Let me start with pointing out that I'm not here to give you answers, you can watch
    hundreds of YouTube videos, read a gazillion web-pages and get no closer
    than discover how others have answered this question. It wasn't until
    recently that I understood that it was a question at all, but airing my frustration at the level of dysfunction of my shack unearthed it and in attempting to answer my own question, I started to explore the landscape.


    As with choosing a first radio, one of the very first answers you need for yourself about the ideal shack is: "What do you want to use it for?"


    That in and of itself is not enough. I had an answer for that, I want to operate my weekly net, I want to do casual HF contesting, have a beacon
    running and have space for experimentation. It wasn't until Ben VK6NCB suggested that I dedicate a single radio to the weekly net and the
    contesting and use the other for experimentation, that I discovered that
    this wasn't going to work for me.


    I want to be able to use both my radios at the same time, in a so-called
    Single Operator Two Radio setup, or SO2R. This will allow me to extend the boundaries of my comfort zone and in doing so, will give me plenty of new things to learn.


    So, the question: "What do you want to use your shack for?" is probably the single most important thing you need to discover. If you're like me, the obvious answer is: "Everything!", but reality soon sets in and you might
    start to create an actual list of things that you want to do. Prompted by
    Ben's suggestion, I was able to articulate for the very first time
    something that I didn't want to do. I didn't want to set a radio aside for experimentation. So when you're considering what you want to achieve, also think about what you don't want.


    For example, I have no interest in using the 6 meter band at this time. Not because it's a bad band, far from it, it's because I'm not permitted to use
    it with my current license. Same for the 23 cm band. This means that I
    don't have to find ways of making my shack accommodate those two bands. My current license permits me access to precisely six bands and the station
    I'm building only needs to access those bands at the moment. That brings me
    to the next question for the ideal shack design.


    "How long do you expect the layout to last?"


    For example, are you going to build a new building for your shack, for the
    next 50 years, or is it something that's going to last for the weekend? Is
    your shack going to be moved, or is it something a little more permanent?
    Are you going to change your needs and should you incorporate some of that
    into your design, or are you perfectly happy with what you're doing today?
    You have to remember, this is your shack, not mine, not your friends,
    yours. It means that it needs to accommodate what you want.


    The next question, boring as it might be, "How much money are you going to spend?"


    Building a whole new shack out of a catalogue is perfectly fine, but you
    might discover that the gear you have today is ample to get your shack
    started. You might leave space for a different piece of kit, or you might decide that the shack needs changing when a new shiny piece of equipment arrives in a nondescript brown box.


    Some other things to consider are, "What operating actually looks like?"


    I've seen shack videos that look like a tour through a radio museum with
    more radios than I have keys on my keyboard, sometimes all connected, other times, just stored on shelves to look at.


    Are you going to have more than one radio operating at the same time and if
    so, how are you planning to control them? How many antennas are connected
    to this shack and how do you track which antenna is connected to which
    radio?


    What are you going to do about power? Does everything run on mains power,
    or are you going to build a 13.8 Volt supply for all your gear?


    Where are you planning to put computer screens, what about keyboard, mouse, Morse key and antenna switching controls? In other words, "What do the ergonomics of your shack look like?"


    Remember, there is no right answer. The answer you come up with is yours
    and yours alone. Look at things that work for you and take note of things
    that make you wince when you see it in another shack somewhere. That's not
    to say that you should be dismissive, rather, use the opportunity to ask
    the shack owner why they made that choice. Who knows, it might cover
    something you hadn't considered yet.


    So, what does your ideal shack look like?


    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220410.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

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    In the beginning there was chaos...

    Posted: 02 Apr 2022 09:00 AM PDT http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220403.foundations-of-amateur-radio.txt

    Foundations of Amateur Radio


    Over the weekend I learnt to my chagrin that my shack was not ready for the contest I decided to participate in for an hour. Truth be told, it was
    probably me who wasn't ready, but I'm going to blame my shack, since it
    can't argue and besides this is my story.


    It started off with turning on the HF radio. That involved turning off my
    10m WSPR beacon which is transmitting its little heart out 24 hours a day
    into the one vertical antenna it shares with my HF radio.


    Turning off the beacon was simple enough, reach into the mass of cable and
    dig out the USB power lead that plugs into the beacon. Then follow the
    antenna coax to the correct switch. Whoops, that's the GPS coax, the other
    one, there's the switch, now switching it to the HF radio.


    Why didn't the sound change, actually, come to think of it, what sound?
    Hmm, the audio is going into, nothing, actually, it's going into the audio mixer that's turned off. Turn that on. Then audio at last, nope. Hmm, oh
    wait, the audio needs to go from the HF radio, not the VHF radio that's configured to do some audio spectrum recording. Turn off the Raspberry Pi
    at the same time, since there's no more audio going into that and who needs more potential noise? Locate the two audio plugs that go into the radio
    audio adaptor, disconnect the Pi audio, connect the radio audio, now, which
    one is the microphone?


    Now I've got it all plugged in, still no audio. Hmm, two of the mixer
    channels are muted. Turn on one, radio goes into TX, that's not good. Turn
    it off, radio stops transmitting, sigh of relief. Turn on the other
    channel, finally hear some squeaky sounds. Ahha, it's coming from the
    headset.


    Don the headset, now I've got glorious mono in my brain. Test the
    microphone, nothing. Hmm, ah the switch on the microphone lead. Now I've
    got RX and TX going. Yay, victory!


    Now turn on the computer so I can do some logging. Fire up my trusty, wait, which tool? The one I normally use for casual contesting hasn't seen a new version since the author became a silent key, no idea if the rules for this contest are still current, fire up the next one, that needs a brand new configuration file, but that means reading the manual and I've got more important things to do.


    Try another one, Yes, that's got the rules ready to go. No idea if the
    rules are current, but at least there's no configuration file to contend
    with.


    At this point I'm two hours into my one hour contesting window and I have
    to stop. Haven't even tuned the antenna and I'm already out of time.


    Hmm, this shack is rigged.


    Wonder who I should blame for that?


    Some days all good intentions come together. Other days they don't. There's always the next contest.


    Lessons learnt, my shack needs a serious rethink on how best to set it up
    so I can operate daily, experiment and accommodate a casual contest. Looks
    like I'm off to the hardware store for some brackets and my documentation clearly needs updating, actually, truthfully, needs writing.


    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220403.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

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    Planning for an emergency...

    Posted: 26 Mar 2022 09:00 AM PDT http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220327.foundations-of-amateur-radio.txt

    Foundations of Amateur Radio


    Identifying the problem is the first step in fixing it and with that I want
    to talk about emergencies. One of the very first things I was told about
    our amateur radio community was that we're here for when emergencies
    happen. Our purpose is to communicate, so in a crisis, we can assist by supplying communication to the situation.


    I've talked about some of this before. Preparedness in the way of on-air training by contesting, in getting gear ready and even exercises for when
    this occurs. There are amateur clubs dedicated to putting up repeaters for
    just such an eventuality.


    Recently there was a local news item about radio amateurs banding together, sending gear to fellow amateurs who were hit by severe flooding that wiped
    out their shack and with it their ability to communicate.


    Another event was a friend who lost a big chunk of his shack when his
    basement flooded.


    Across Australia and in other parts of the world in recent times we've been witness to the most devastating fires that destroyed entire towns and communities, taking with it infrastructure, communications, not to mention stock, local flora and fauna and entire wildlife ecosystems, bringing some
    to extinction levels.


    The destruction doesn't end there. War and famine, drought, cyclones, hurricanes or typhoons, snow storms, heatwaves and the like.


    All those situations can to greater or lesser degree benefit from amateur
    radio communications, either for amateurs affected, or for the community at large.


    I started considering what would actually be required to be useful in such
    a situation. Could you be prepared for anything, or are you required to
    pick and choose? What does "being prepared" actually look like and what
    steps can you take once it's happening?


    I asked myself if sending radio gear to amateurs who are affected by floods
    is the most effective way to actually help, or would it be better to pass
    the hat around and send the proceeds to their bank account?


    Should you as an amateur drive into an emergency area and start
    communicating, or are there better ways to help?


    There are local amateur radio emergency service groups under various names
    in different countries, some of which are highly effective, others much
    less so.


    One attempt I made was to join the local volunteer state emergency
    services. For several reasons that didn't work out for me, but it remains a viable option for some.


    Joining those types of groups gives you a framework, but does it actually answer the underlying question, that of effectiveness?


    I have a drawer full of emergency service training manuals, each more dense than the next, but very little of it relates to the amateur radio. Many
    pages are dedicated to search and rescue, staying alert, first aid, keeping alive, hand signals, log books, mapping and the like.


    I am left wondering why we as a community, with a proud century of
    activity, having one of the main principles as emergency communication
    appear to have such a poor track record of actually considering what
    dealing with an emergency looks like and what your own individual place
    could be in that situation.


    We document our radios, antennas, power supplies, contacts, circuit board designs, contesting procedures and all the rest of it, but we don't seem to
    do the same for emergencies.


    Why is that?


    In my opinion, it's time to document emergency amateur radio and if you
    have already started, get in touch.


    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220327.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

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    Why do we communicate?

    Posted: 19 Mar 2022 09:00 AM PDT http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220320.foundations-of-amateur-radio.txt

    Foundations of Amateur Radio


    The art of amateur radio is many things to many people. For me it's a technological challenge, a learning, a way to broaden my experience, a way
    to be technically active away from my consultancy. The place that amateur
    radio takes in your life might be the same, or it might be completely different, as varied as the people I've encountered since I became an
    amateur.


    People from all walks of life with different experiences and vastly
    different stories. Truth be told, in the decade that I've been an amateur,
    I've spoken to and met people from more diverse backgrounds than in the
    forty years before that. I make that statement as a person who migrated
    across the globe twice, travelled through a dozen or so countries, stood on stage in front of thousands of people, taught countless classes and as a
    radio broadcaster interviewed people from all over the planet.


    From paraplegic to quadriplegics, from people with terminal diseases to
    people struggling with their identity, from astronomers to astrologers,
    from train drivers to truck drivers, from mariners to motorcyclists, from working to retired, from healthy to hospitalised, from local to remote,
    from energetic to sedentary, from happy to sad, from connected to isolated
    and everything in between.


    As a host of a weekly net for new and returning amateurs I've begun to
    notice that some people are falling away, either sitting on the side
    because they feel that they have nothing to contribute, or stopping communication altogether.


    It occurred to me that for some people amateur radio is the only way that
    they connect to the world around them. It's the only way for them to meet people who are different, who walk a different path, who tell a different story. It's also sometimes the only thing that makes them get out of bed.


    In a world where we're all busy, dealing with the realities of daily life, trying hard to figure out what our place is in that experience and trying
    hard not to lose your identity while you're attempting this, it's easy to overlook the amateur you didn't hear from for a week or a month.


    I know that for several of my new friends, amateur radio kept them alive
    for longer and made them smile more often and made their life a little
    easier, even if several of them have become a Silent Key since I counted
    them as my friend.


    When one of the main activities of our hobby is communication, it seems appropriate to take a moment to consider what that looks like from the
    other person's perspective. What might it be like to be acknowledged, to be validated as a human, to see them and their life, to speak with them, even
    if only briefly, and to take a moment out of our own busy existence and
    answer that CQ, or respond to a question, or smile with a fellow amateur.


    There is another aspect to this, one which I've not actually seen in the amateur community. Perhaps I've been too busy to notice, but it appears
    that the venerable telephone circle, the idea that one person calls the
    next person on the list, who then calls the next and so-on. If the last
    person doesn't get a call within a set time, they call the list backwards
    and discover who is not answering their phone. It's an effective way for
    people to regularly talk to each other and it's an excellent way to make
    sure that everyone is OK.


    In our own community of amateurs we can do the very same thing. Hosting a
    net is one way, having a daily commuter chat is another, but when you do
    this, take a moment to consider who didn't check in and see what they're up
    to.


    It's fascinating to me that we're a hobby that's primarily made of old men,
    yet we haven't actually embraced our own ageing process as part of the experience. Sure there is a need to encourage new people into the hobby,
    but that's not the entire story. We should be so lucky as to speak with our friends on a regular basis, to check-in with each other and to make sure
    that we're all getting our daily dose of RF.


    So, ask yourself how the community around you is doing and how you might
    take a moment to check-in with those not so near, but just as dear to you.


    I'm Onno VK6FLAB
    This posting includes a media file: http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220320.foundations-of-amateur-radio.mp3

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    Introduction to the terms of contesting

    Posted: 12 Mar 2022 08:00 AM PST http://podcasts.itmaze.com.au/foundations/20220313.foundations-of-amateur-radio.txt

    Foundations of Amateur Radio


    One of my favourite activities is contesting. Essentially it's a
    time-limited activation of your station for the purposes of testing your
    skill and station against other participants. Contests are controlled by
    rules as varied as the amateur community itself.


    That said, there are common terms and concepts and if you're not familiar
    with them, they can lead to confusion and disappointment when you
    inadvertently break a rule and see your hard work vanish into thin air.


    I will note that what I'm discussing here is not universally true, so read
    the rules for each contest you participate in, something you should already
    be doing since rules are refined over time and it's rare to keep the same
    rules between years.


    A contest starts and stops at a specific time, often expressed in UTC, or Universal Coordinated Time. You should know what your local timezone is in relation to UTC and take into account any variations like Summer and Winter time. Any contacts made outside these times don't count and you cannot log these against the contest.


    Each contact or QSO is awarded a set number of points. It might be scored
    based on mode, band, power, time and sometimes distance. To encourage
    specific types of contacts, some might attract a score of zero. This does
    not mean that the contact is useless, which I'll get to shortly.


    Your score is the sum of all the points you make for each contact. I will mention that contest logging software can track this to make your life
    easier, although it comes at the price of requiring a computer.


    Sometimes a prohibited contact attracts penalties. Prohibited, as-in, by
    the rules of that contest. For example, some allow you to contact the same station more than once, others allow this only if you do it on a different band.


    Speaking of bands. It's not permitted to make contest contacts on the WARC bands. In 1979, the World Administrative Radio Conference allocated the
    30m, 17m and 12m bands for amateur use. These are not used for contesting.
    To avoid a contest, you can use those bands, but truth be told, you should
    try to use all the bands, even during contests, since it will help you
    operate your station in adverse conditions, something worth practising.


    Many contests allocate additional scoring based on state, country, DXCC
    entity, CQ or ITU zone, prefix, or all of these together.


    Both the CQ and ITU zones represent regions of the world. The CQ zones are managed by CQ Magazine and the ITU zones are managed by the International Telecommunications Union. A zone is represented by a number.


    The DXCC is a system that tracks individual countries across the globe. If
    you make contact with 100 of these places, you've achieved your DX Century
    and you join the DX Century Club, or DXCC.


    Consider a contact with me. You'd have a contact with VK6FLAB. It would
    also be a contact with the VK6 prefix, the VK DXCC entity, CQ zone 29 and
    ITU zone 58. If that's not enough, it would also be a contact with OC-001,
    the IOTA or Islands On The Air designation for Australia.


    This is useful because for some contests these extra features represent
    points, often significant ones, generally referred to as a "multiplier".


    To calculate your score, tally up all your contact points, then count all
    the features, CQ Zones, the ITU Zones, DXCC entities, states, countries,
    etc. and multiply your score with that count. If you contact 10 callsigns
    and get one point for each, you have 10 points. If in doing so you contact
    five contest features, you end up with an overall score of 50 points.


    Often contests have different categories and rules for transmitter power
    level, the number of transmitters and the number of operators.


    Definitions for these vary. High Power might be 400 Watts in Australia, but 1500 Watts in the United States. QRP or very low power might be 10 Watts in
    one contest, but 5 in another, so check.


    Some contests have an assisted category where you're permitted to use tools like the DX Cluster where other stations alert you online to their presence
    on a particular frequency.


    There is a concept of an overlay, where how long you've held your license,
    your age, working portable, battery operated, using a wire antenna or
    mobile, groups you with others doing the same thing. This means that you
    could be a rookie, youth, portable, battery, wire antenna, single assisted operator, all at the same time. It often pays to consider who else is in a particular group and make your claims accordingly.


    If you're contesting with more than one person, a Multi station, there are rules for that too. Sometimes this includes the amount of land a contest station is permitted to use.


    If you're a Multi-Single station, you might be permitted to use one
    transmitted signal on one band during any 10 minute period.


    A Multi-Two might be permitted to use two simultaneous transmitted signals,
    but they must be on two different bands.


    A Multi-Multi may activate all six contest bands at the same time, but only
    use one transmitter per band.


    Some contests have a Short Wave Listener or SWL category, where you log all stations heard. There is also the concept of a check-log, where you log all your contacts, submit them, but don't enter the contest itself. You might
    have worked stations during the contest, but not according to the rules, because you might be aiming to get your DXCC. Submitting your log will help
    the contest organisers check other entries and validate the scores of the stations you contacted.



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