Operating a contest

Using N1MM at K9IU

With the exception of School Club Roundup, our contests are logged with the N1MM logger. This documentation assumes that N1MM has already been setup for the contest that you are operating in.

IMPORTANT STEP! When you first sit down to operate after someone else has previously operated, go to the N1MM logger and press CTRL-O to change operator, then enter your callsign. This is critical so we can tell who was operating that station for a given set of contacts. This will need to be done anytime you change stations or anytime the operator changes. Please note that the contacts you make will be made as K9IU (Kilo Nine India Uniform), not as your personal callsign. This step is done to make sure we are legit with our logging.

How to log a contact

Simple, enter the callsign of the station you are looking to log. If it is a duplicate station, you will see red lettering saying "Dupe!". If you are hunting for contacts it is always a good idea to enter their callsign before making the actual contact to check for a duplicate contact on that band. If this is the case, move on to the next contact. Otherwise, make your contact with that station, and record the signal report and exchange received. In the screenshot below, the previous contact logged shows up in gray lettering (C06MT) while the current contact being logged is YV1JGT. This example falls along the rules of the ARRL DX SSB contest where the exchange we are expecting is a power report (1000 in this example). Our sent exchange is always Indiana and a signal report (59), so the Indiana portion is hidden since it will always be the same. To save time, use the Tab button to move between the entry fields. Once these details are entered, just hit "Enter" to log the contact and move on. You don't need to worry about all of the extra buttons and options on the N1MM logging screen.

Other things you should know about N1MM

  • With the radios hooked up to the computers, N1MM should have control and know what frequency a contact is logged on so you do not need to worry about frequency logging.
  • Likewise, if you start to enter a contact but tune away from that frequency before hitting enter on the contact, N1MM will clear the screen for you and spot the callsign where you were at.
  • Please note that when we operate with multiple stations, N1MM will be networked between the 2 logging systems. Logged contacts will be shared, thus allowing for duplicate checking across both stations and combined scoring in real time.
  • Much more information is available under the "Window" file menu. "Score Summary", "Log", and "Multipliers" are all valuable to keep an eye on during a contest.

Operating in Split Mode

In many DX contests, the DX stations will operate in what is called "split" mode. This means that the station is listening on a different frequency than they are transmitting on. One reason this is done is due to different band allocations in different regions (a DX station may only be able to legally transmit on a frequency that we are only allowed to transmit digital signals from here, so they will listen for our signal in a frequency that we can legally transmit phone). It is important not to transmit on the frequency that the DX station is transmitting on when they are operating split! The best way to find out if they are operating split is to listen. If you do not hear a pileup on a DX station that is coming in strong, chances are the pileup is on a different frequency. The DX station should announce where they are listening when they call CQ but in some cases they only do so occasionally so you may have to wait to find out where they are listening. For example, on 20m, a station may be transmitting on 14.130 but announce that they are "listening 230" meaning that they are listening on 14.230. They may also say "up 100" which would mean the same thing. Another way to find out the split frequency is by checking comments on DX cluster, like at http://dxsummit.fi (if this station has been spotted on the cluster, sometimes they will note the split). Know ahead of time if the use of the DX cluster is against contest rules or changes our submission class in any way. Usually we submit as a multi-op station which includes the use of DX cluster. On the other hand some people feel strongly against the use of DX clusters in contesting.

Split mode on the Icom IC-746

See page 47 of the IC-746 manual by clicking here. (this will be PDF page 49)

Split mode on the Kenwood TS-570

See page 23 of the TS-570 manual by clicking here. (this will be PDF page 29)

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