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Author Topic: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer  (Read 7491 times)

WA4STO

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Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« on: October 04, 2012, 01:58:13 PM »
Fairly often, I find that "chasing wallpaper" can be a free pastime on ham radio.

Sure, sometimes the award sponsor will charge a little, but not always.

Here's an example of one fee-free one that turned out to be a lot of fun to work toward:



It was "fun" because of the need to utilize ten different digital modes, and all of those contacts had to be on the 30 meter band.

Dunno if you can see it or not, but down at the bottom left, the sponsor comments about "30 meters, best kept secret on HF Ham Radio".  And, yes, it is a fun band.  No contests there, just radio amateurs making contact with one another.

73 de WA4STO

Sunflower

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2012, 09:42:08 PM »
Good to know. I will make a note of the band in my book. Not sure when I will get a radio, or even if it will be strong enough for the band you indicated. Do the Hams on that band make contact via CW?

gil

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 12:42:19 AM »
Hello Tess,

30m is a great band for CW. Contests are not allowed there, and it's only for digital modes and CW...

Gil.

WA4STO

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 01:10:21 PM »
Good to know. I will make a note of the band in my book. Not sure when I will get a radio, or even if it will be strong enough for the band you indicated. Do the Hams on that band make contact via CW?

You won't need to worry about whether or not your radio-to-be will be "strong enough", Tess.  30 meters is a fabulous band for CW and -- as Gil has already correctly pointed out -- for all the digital modes as well.  Power output is not an issue there.

But... there is one point that bears some consideration.  We have not had access to the 30 meter band for all that long.  Thus, the old radios that I've been recommending for newcomers will need to be examined carefully if 30 meters is on your fun radar; they may or may not have the required crystals installed and may in fact not even have a place for those crystals.

The one(s) I recommend for White Tiger were mostly good on 30; some of them were even "ready" to install the other "missing" bands, such as 12 and 17 meters.

One of the fun digital modes that you'll find on 30 meters is called Feld Hell.  The mode itself has been around for many decades but nowadays, your computer's sound card makes FH reception and transmission very easy.



73 de WA4STO

MIA

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 11:47:16 AM »
Good to know. I will make a note of the band in my book. Not sure when I will get a radio, or even if it will be strong enough for the band you indicated. Do the Hams on that band make contact via CW?

Most digital modes excel with low power. I've played around with several of them over the years, but PSK31 has captured most of my HF digital operating time. With it you can make world wide contacts with 25w depending on the band, propagation, and antenna.

White Tiger

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Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 01:18:32 PM »
Interesting, I haven't had/shown much interest in contesting - I just had other reasons forgetting into amateur radio. I don't deny it looks fun - and Luck, you certainly have collected quite a lot of impressive papering that definitely illustrates a high level of operator skill!

My question is this - if you're using integrated software for logging and utilizing the digital modes - does the software take care of this, does a contest coordinator gather the logged information during the contest  -and the later you're advised of accomplishing something which you weren't aware you were participating? Or do you have to specifically be aware of the contest and sign-up/purposely commit to actively participate in the contest?
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 01:37:08 PM »

that definitely illustrates a high level of operator skill!


Way-ull, I dunno about THAT!  All it really indicates is that I'm persistent.  Consider:  if you throw enough lead at the golden horde, a bunch of them will fail to make it to your bunker.  Now, if you have a decent logbook, you could more easily tell how many were obliterated by which ammo (antennas) and by which weapons (bands). 


My question is this - if you're using integrated software for logging and utilizing the digital modes - does the software take care of this, does a contest coordinator gather the logged information during the contest  -and the later you're advised of accomplishing something which you weren't aware you were participating? Or do you have to specifically be aware of the contest and sign-up/purposely commit to actively participate in the contest?

Uh, errr... umm... I think the correct answer is "none of the above".

The software (on your laptop/pc/tablet/whatever) is in charge of keeping track of the many many fields of data that each QSO entails.

But it's all 'local' to your PC.  Except/Unless you set it up to automagically send the data to some external web site, which I do for eqsl, for example.

But, no, neither the contest administrators, nor the certificate/award promoters "know" you're participating, until such time as you apply for the award, and even then, there's no personal info involved, 'cept for your callsign, of course.

Now the logging/QSLing site eqsl.cc does alert you to the fact that you've successfully QSOd AND QSLd a given number of countries, based on the above-mentioned fact that I auto-send my QSO data to them.  But that's a good thing and, again, there's no reason whatsoever to be concerned about that sort of stuff.  I got a message from them over the weekend that stated I had QSLd 51 countries, or some such thing.  Nothin' to worry about.

73 de WA4STO




gil

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 04:52:44 PM »
I do have eQSL and LotW, but I do not send QSOs to them unless I receive one from a contact who wants confirmation. I think it is nobody's business who I talk to and my contacts might not want to be listed in some database either... Nothing "secret" here, but we have so little privacy left these days, I'll keep as much as I can, just on principle.

Gil.

MIA

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 06:00:12 PM »
White Tiger: Awards, Certificates, and other "wallpaper" are not contests really. There is nothing to "win" except the challenge of making the contacts. Sometimes making the contacts are easy, other times it requires some effort, some luck, and on some rare occasions even some skill.

eQSL and LotW are just easy and inexpensive ways to facilitate confirmation of contacts with out mailing a QSL card. Even though it's great to have QSL's from all over the world, the postage does get awfully expensive these days. A confirmation of a contact is a courtesy. Some operators extend the courtesy, others do not. I routinely uploaded contacts to eQSL and LotW, but am quite happy to exchange paper QSL's if an operator prefers. I have to admit that I enjoy displaying the QSL's from stations in exotic locations (like the Galapagos Islands, South Pole, or Turkmenistan) in the shack. They help to stir a lot of interest in visitors to the shack.

White Tiger

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Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 09:24:00 PM »
I do have eQSL and LotW, but I do not send QSOs to them unless I receive one from a contact who wants confirmation. I think it is nobody's business who I talk to and my contacts might not want to be listed in some database either... Nothing "secret" here, but we have so little privacy left these days, I'll keep as much as I can, just on principle.

Gil.

I agree Gil, that is why I was actually GLAD to hear Luck say that there just isn't any way to do it automatically!

I absolutely can see how it could get expensive sending postcards if you're working CW or any of the digitals...but it seems like SSB voice wouldn't have the same level of contact?
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2012, 10:43:26 AM »

I absolutely can see how it could get expensive sending postcards if you're working CW or any of the digitals...but it seems like SSB voice wouldn't have the same level of contact?

There are several categories of hams that seem to thrive on SSB QSOs and want QSLs (this is not a bad thing; just an observation)

County hunters.  It's seriously difficult to be truckin' on down the rut doing CW or digital.  Thus, the SSB county hunters' nets thrive.  And they MUST have the QSLs to obtain the certificates/awards.

Newbies.  In spite of the fact that we see a lot of interest in CW and digital HERE, the vast majority of newbies worldwide enjoy SSB/voice, or at least apparently so.

MIA makes the point -- and I agree -- that it's way cool to have the 'real' DX QSL cards in the shack.  'Course, the electronic QSLs can just be printed out and posted on the walls as well.  But there's something special about the mailed ones, I guess.

73 de WA4STO

KC9TNH

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2012, 03:00:22 PM »
First line of my QRZ bio contains my policy. I have the electrons of a draft I thought up quite awhile ago. Once in a blue moon I'll return one snail mail. Early this year there was a young man I relayed into the MMSN from the Caribbean, newly minted & tickled that to make his first HF contact. Gotta honor that & I agreed with him on the air to send him one. (In fact, I think that was the last one.)

Otherwise, nope. It's almost a year since the last military cross-band event, maybe that certificate will show up from Huachuca someday if I haven't retired first...
 8)

MIA

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Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 11:14:11 PM »
[Snip]...but it seems like SSB voice wouldn't have the same level of contact?

That's true for the most part. Casual conversation don't usually generate a QSL. As KC9TNH mentioned, a first HF contact (IMHO) should always be followed up by a QSL, even if it wasn't asked for. It's just a nice thing to do. Kids are another reason for me to send out a QSL, and I always mark the card as no reply needed. Otherwise, I'm always happy to send one out if it's asked for, but it's not something that I would initiate unless it was something that I was interested in for an award. In that case I would ask if the op was agreeable.  If he was, then I would send a card and include a SASE so as to minimize any expense on the other end. Many times I include a post card that already contains the QSO information and required postage, so that the other op only has to initial it and drop into the mail.

Radio Preppers

Re: Certificates and Awards for the newcomer
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2012, 11:14:11 PM »