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160m (1.8 - 2.0 MHz) 80m (3.5 - 3.8 MHz) possibly to 4 MHz for USA 40m (7.0 - 7.2 MHz) possibly to 7.3 MHz for USA 20m (14.0 - 14.35 MHz) 15m (21.0 - 21.45 MHz) 10m (28.0 - 29.7 MHz)
There are several types of exchange, depending on the contest types. Some are very straightforward (ie. CQWW), some ridiculous with more different exchange types in a single event. The exchage consists mostly of RST + exchange type (or RS + exchange type on phone modes), however some contests omitting the RST. Anyway, RST should be included by default with posiibility to exclude it.
Serial number - very common is the QSO serial number (exchange is 599001 on CW or 59001 on SSB, respectively). The zeros may be shortened on CW (ie. T or O ... like oh, not zero). Some OPs and some software does not introduce the leading zeros to the serial, so the exchange may sound as 5991 or 591 respectively.
Zone - another very popular exchange type is the WAZ or ITU zone number. The number can be derived from the callsign, a good contesting software should put the zone number into exchange without any typing, however there must be always possible to rewrite/reedit this number because the suggested zone number can be pretty inaccurate, mostly at US stations (ie. a W6 from CT etc.).
County or province abbreviation - is used mostly in contest of the "country versus the whole world" contest types (UBA, Russian DX Contest, OK/OM DX Contest etc.). The same category is a contest where the postal code (ie. ZIP) is a part of exchange (the ROPOCO Contest). Such exchanges are mostly geographically defined, unfortunately a table with callsigns and the corresponding exchange is mostly not available and the exchange does also not depend on the prefix etc. The operator must mostly receive and write down the whole exchange.
Another constant number or string - is quite frequently used in club contest where the membership number is known because it is related to the call sign. Almost every club publishes its membership list with (at least) call and the number. Any good contesting software must be able to take this number from a predefined list (table). Any callsign related exchange should be processed in similar way (ie. names etc.).
There are many exchange types but very important is if the exchange can be retrieved from a database and the operator only checks the suggested values with the real exchange or the whole exchange must be written.
There is a very popular contest which is a rare exception - the WAE (Worked All Europe) Contest where the Europeans working non-european stations. There is QTC system giving additional points to both, the 'sender' outside EU and the 'recipient' in EU.
- Every QTC that was correctly transferred, counts one point for the sender and one point for the receiver.
- A QTC contains time, call sign and serial number of the reported QSO. Example: "1307/DA1AA/431" means that DA1AA was worked at 1307 UTC and sent serial number 431.
- Each QSO may only be reported once as a QTC. The QTC may not be reported back to the original station.
- Two stations may exchange up to 10 QTCs maximum.
- The two stations may establish contact several times to complete the quota.
- QTCs are transferred by means of QTC series. A QTC series is a block of one (minimum) to ten (maximum) QTCs. QTC series are numbered using the following scheme: The first figure is the progressive serial number starting with one; the second figure denotes the number of QTCs in the series. Example: "QTC 3/7" means this is the third QTC series transmitted by this station and it contains seven QTCs.
- For every QTC series that is transmitted or received, the QTC number, time and frequency band of the QTC transmission must be logged. If any of this data is missing from your log, no credit will be given for this QTC series.
The rules of this exceptional contest are at http://www.darc.de/referate/dx/fedcw.htm
There are countless variants of scoring. HF contests mostly using multipliers so the final score is given
total score = QSO points x multipliers
Some contests are different, there are no multipliers. Also, different methods can be used, ie. bonus points for working particular station or for QSO with the same callsign on more bands etc.
Many contests using different point numbers for working own country, own continent, DX or a station from a particular region, country, province etc. This is a bottleneck of most contesting programs whoch are not capable to track down such variants. There is no known software fully meeting such rules but highly configurable programs (TRlog by N6TR, WriteLog by W5XD etc.) can be adopted to meet such rules. Almost any program can be used to run the contest but it can't be used for scoring, score tracking and strategy planning.
The same problem as above is the multiplier processing. There are many multiplier types and like point counts there can be also different multiplier values (ie. a QSO with particular country, area or continent gives more multipliers than others). More multiplier types can be combined in a single event (like CQWW combines DXCC+WAE countries and WAZ zones).
Suggested contest template divides point count in such way:
-by continent -by country -by zone -by prefix -domestic QSO -from the list
The 'from the list' option should enable to assign a particular point count to any listed call sign. It does not mean that all listed calls will get the same point count.
The multipliers can be counted in similar way
-by continent -by country -by zone -by prefix -domestic multipliers -from the list -none
A variant of the 'no multipliers' contest based on bonus points for contact a station on more bands etc. will be rather unique but is on a wish list of many contest operators. Current contesting software matches the philosophy of the world's major contests (CQWW, WPX, WAE etc.) but mostly fails in club contests of growing popularity.
The above mentioned WAE Contest using a different scoring method.
Cabrillo is the mostly used format for HF contest log submission. Its specifications are at http://www.kkn.net/~trey/cabrillo/
The log consists of a header and a QSO list in a form suited for machine processing. It may look like this:
START-OF-LOG: 3 CALLSIGN: OK1RR CATEGORY-ASSISTED: NON-ASSISTED CATEGORY-BAND: ALL CATEGORY-MODE: CW CATEGORY-OPERATOR: SINGLE-OP CATEGORY-POWER: LOW CATEGORY-TRANSMITTER: ONE CLAIMED-SCORE: 436 CLUB: FOC CONTEST: FOC Marathon CREATED-BY: YFKtest 0.0.7 NAME: Martin Kratoska ADDRESS: Vysehradska 45 ADDRESS: CZ-128 00 Praha 2 ADDRESS: Czech Republic ADDRESS: OPERATORS: OK1RR SOAPBOX: Most enjoyable event, however awful propagation. QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2101 OK1RR 599 1437 G3ZGC 599 1752 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2102 OK1RR 599 1437 DK8EI 599 1344 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2103 OK1RR 599 1437 SM6CUK 599 935 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2103 OK1RR 599 1437 G5LP 599 1757 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2104 OK1RR 599 1437 G4VHH 599 1758 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2104 OK1RR 599 1437 GM3UA 599 1638 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2105 OK1RR 599 1437 PA5TT 599 1506 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2105 OK1RR 599 1437 G3IFB 599 611 1 QSO: 3500 CW 2008-02-01 2106 OK1RR 599 1437 GM4SID 599 1471 1 ... END-OF-LOG:
The header is self explanatory, the QSO list (the lines beginning with QSO:) contains band in kilohertz format (3500), mode (CW), date (2008-02-01), time (2101 - note, no separator!), the own call sign (OK1RR), the exchange sent (599 1437 - RST separated from the rest with a blank space), the worked station call sign (G3ZGC), the received exchange (599 1752 - RST separated from the rest with a blank space) and the point count. The position in the line is important and should be followed.
The submitted file should have a .cbr extension and should contain the sender callsign, ie. ok1rr.cbr.