Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Importance of Submitting a Log for every contest

In May of 2013 I wrote a Blog entry about the importance of submitting a log for every contest you participate in, regardless of how few QSOs you actually make.  (Click here to read that Blog entry.)
Recent events have inspired me to revisit this point.

Submitting a log after every contest has its benefits.
  1. It actually makes the log checking process EASIER and FASTER when everyone sends in a log.  Callsigns are less likely to be considered "unique" when they are from a station who also submitted a log.
  2. Your callsign is more likely to be included in the callsign lookup database(s) for future contests making it easier for operators to conclude that your call is valid when they see it pop up on check-partial lists.
  3.  You might actually win a certificate or plaque - which is what this blog entry is all about.
From a competitive contesters' point of view, #3 is the most important.
My attitude USED to be that I would not submit a log unless I thought it would be a clear winner, or at least a contender.  Because we used paper logs and dupe sheets in those days getting a log ready for submission was quite a chore.  Needless to say, I rarely submitted a log.

One year while checking the Sweepstakes results I discovered I would have won a certificate for East Bay (EB) section if only I had submitted a log - my competitor's log ended up being disqualified and became a "check log".  Oooops.  Had I submitted a log, my 2nd place score would have become a 1st place winner.

In the 2014 Sweepstakes phone contest while there were several school club stations on the air evidently none of them submitted a log - no plaques were issued for that category.  A school making 1 QSO could have submitted a log and received a piece of wood - go figure.

Today, thanks to the Cabrillo log format, submitting a log could not be easier.
As I said in the [original blog entry] on this topic, now I submit logs for EVERY contest I play in.
Because I like to piddle around in the numerous "mini" contests, in recent years I have submitted DOZENS of logs for those events.  From time to time I receive unexpected envelopes at my P.O. Box with certificates like this one.

The important thing to note about this contest entry is that I spent barely an hour making those 12 QSOs (9 on CW and 3 on SSB) while waiting for 10 & 15 meters to open up during the tail end of the All Asian SSB contest.  That evening I web-submitted the contest log and then moved on to other things.
100+ days later I am rewarded with the above 1st place certificate.

While we ran 1.3kw for the SSB contest, for TNQP I simply ran one of NX6T's auxiliary K3 radios barefoot into a sufficiently high C-31 yagi, offering lots of signal gain.

From the NX6T Fallbrook location there didn't seem to be a lot of TNQP activity.
In desperation I switched from CW to SSB to make 2 final SSB QSOs before hearing 15 meter Asian signals waft into the Station #2 speaker.   By the time the All Asian contest was over so was TNQP.
After wrapping up the All Asian log I made a Cabrillo file for the TNQP and web-submitted it before
leaving the mountain and heading back to the "real world".

Because QSO party hosts like those running TNQP make it so easy to submit a log, in my opinion there is no legitimate reason to not make a submission.  Wherever possible I submit logs on the same day a contest ends to get it out of my mind.  I also begin writing up the text for what will be the next entry to the WQ6X contest blog.  Before submission I write up a SOAPBOX entry for the log which can also be used for my contest summary submission to the 3830 Scores website.

Contrary to popular belief, contest organizers DO read soapbox entries and sometimes even use them in their results write up for the contest.  N6GEO and I discovered this to be true when we read the 2014 RTTY RU contest result - they printed a quote right from the soapbox comments I wrote for our WP2/WQ6X 1st place (worldwide) finish in that event.  You can see this write up at the WQ6X.Info/WP2 page.

The CQP organizers went one step further by putting operator pictures from our 2013 CQP event page on the CQP home page for nearly 6 months in 2014.  How cool is that?!

Another point should be noted about log submissions.  Some contests (like All Asian) allow you to work stations on multiple bands and then submit the entire log as a single band entry.  Because 20 meters was my best band, for the 2013 All Asian phone contest I ended up submitting the log as a single band 20 meter entry which gave me a 1st place win for USA.
I truly did not see that coming.

While the log submission was a single band entry, the remaining QSOs in the log become a "check log" (making the contest log checking duties easier for the contest organizers), and I ended up with an unexpected 1st place certificate.

The above points are all things to consider when you engage in contest activities.  The bottom line is - ALWAYS SUBMIT A LOG - you never know when it will turn out to be a winner.

Do you dabble in radio contest activities?
Do YOU submit a log for every event?
If not...... WHY NOT?!


  1. Thanks for your entry, Ron!

    I'm the guy who checks the logs for the TNQP. Absolutely, we want EVERYONE to send in a log. It's the little logs that allow us to ensure the big logs are accurate. Because amateur radio contesting is not about making lots of QSOs -- it's about making lots of ACCURATE QSOs.

    I apologize for the difficulty you had finding TNQP activity. We had plenty of folks on, but a high proportion of our activity is on 40 meters. At the time you were on, there was probably little or no propagation from California to Tennessee on 40. I'm attempting to encourage more use of the high bands but that's been a challenge...

    1. Thank you for your informative reply.
      Yes, accurate QSOs are what it is all about.
      I think the daytime use of 40 meters explains why I experience "poor" activity in most QSO parties.
      I am used to CQP wherein we have 30 hours to make it all happen. We typically start on the high bands at 9am (local) working our way down as daylight turns to night light and then back to the high bands on Sunday morning.