VK Contest Log

John Moyle Field Day

 

The John Moyle Field Day contest has the most number of categories/sections of any known contest. Therefore it is sometimes difficult to select the appropriate category/section at the start of the contest, and it is a VKCL limitation that not much can be changed once the logging starts. Hence some operators may have chosen a 'wider' section at the start of the contest that they finally used for whatever reason, so generating a log that was not the best for their chance to win their section. (The contest manager often reviewed their log and revised the section specification when appropriate.)

VKCL has bee revised to minimise this problem by requiring a minimum information at the start of the contest. It is still necessary to specify the category, whether a home station or a portable station, and in the latter case whether single or multiple operator. It seems unlikely that it would be necessary to change the category during the contest.

It is no longer necessary to specify the section at the start of the contest. Basically everybody starts in the "All Band/All Mode" section and is able to make whatever contacts the operator wants without any restriction.

At the end of the contest when the log is being created for submission to the contest manager, the database is scanned and the points for all possible section are calculated. They are all presented in a choice control labeled 'Section' with the most appropriate one selected as the default. The most appropriate section is the one that gives highest points and minimum range of bands and modes, so that you are competing just with the operators who made the same types of contacts as you did. (For multi-operator multi-computer station, this should be done on the computer where all part-logs have been imported.)

However you are able to override the default section and select another one, either one with a wider range of bands and/or modes, or one with a narrower range. You may have done well in the "All Band/Phone" section and think that you have a chance of winning the "All Band/All Mode" section even though you made no CW or digital contacts. Or you tried a few CW contacts but they did not add much to your score and you wish to discard them, entering only "All Band/Phone" section.

In the first case, your log will remain identical except that the Section specification in the header of the log will be 'wider' than necessary. In the second case, the CW contacts will remain in your log for cross checking purposes by the contest manager, but they will be assigned zero points and will not add to your score. The contest manager will accept either of these variations from your optimum section, as you must deliberately choose them for output.

While on the topic of 'modes' please note Sections 32 to 34 of the rules in AR for Jan/Feb 2013 (and equivalent sections on the WIA web page for JMFD). The modes for this contest are:

1: CW - hand or computer generated (but not fully automatic),

2: Phone - all voice modulation types. AM, SSB, FM, and D-Star (always simplex, no repeaters allowed)

3: Digital - all packet and digital modes, RTTY, PSK31 etc, and ATV.

 

The use of Maidenhead locators has also been enhanced. It was noticed sometimes that the direction for maximum signal was not always the one given by VKCL for short distance stations.This is because the assumption that each station is in the centre of their locator can result in considerable error in the calculated direction between the stations if one or both are significantly away from the centre, almost 90 degress in extreme case for adjacent locators. This becomes more important at UHF and above with the narrow beam dish antennas.

The Maidenhead standard defines an additional two digital characters that may be added to make it an eight-character locator improving the calculation accuracy ten-fold. Useful particularly when you are on an edge of six-character locator, for example, QF22mf92, as you are now assumed to be in the centre of a much smaller locator 'square'. The use of eight-character locators is completely optional and you can ignore all this if you are not interested in direction to the station being worked. The 6-character locators are quite adequate for calculating the distance for scorring purposes.

How do you get your Maidenhead locator, particularly the 8-char one? Good question! Glad you asked!

If you have a GPS unit or even newer "smart" mobile phone, there is always a page where your geographic co-ordinates are displayed, and some even display the 6-char Maidenhead locators.

If you have access to the Internet, the best way is to use the QTH locator created by Laurent, F6FVY. The UTL is:

http://f6fvy.free.fr/qthLocator/fullScreen.php

and the following image shows what you can do by showing a well known spot in QF44NQ. The scale here is kept relatively small to show the full locator, but you can magnify the scale and if you knew your way around the building, you could probably select an office to work from. The bubble gives you the latitude and the longitude of the selected spot, as well as the 6-char locator. If your position is pretty well near the middle of the 6-char locator, as that building is, you would probably not bother going to an 8-char locator, but it is very simple to do so.

Having the latitude and longitude from any of the above methods, enter them into VKCL where you would normally put a Maidenhead locator in either of the following forms:

(-35.30854,149.12447)

or

(-35:18:31,149:7:28)

That is, latitude first (-ve for South) followed by longitude (-ve for West) separated by a comma, and all enclosed in round brackets. In the first form the co-ordinates are in degrees with decimals, and in the second form the degrees, minutes, and seconds are separated by a colon. VKCL will convert either form and save it as an 8-char locator:

QF44nq45

On air you can either give it out in full or shorten it to a 6-char locator. At your end, the 8-char locator will always be used to work out the distance and the bearing to the worked station after you enter their 6 or 8-char locator in the comments field.

 

Page last updated: 14/ 2/2013