Makrothen is coming! The Makrothen RTTY Contest is less than 2 weeks away! Originally conceived by Waldemar Kebsch, DK3VN and now sponsored by Pizza Lovers 259 (PL259), the contest takes place each year during the second full weekend in October. The Makrothen RTTY Contest works to level the playing field for contesters (big and small) by using distance-based scoring. This year, the Markrothen RTTY Contest takes place starting at 0000Z on October 13th and has three operating periods: 10/13 0000Z – 0759Z 10/13 1600Z – 2359Z 10/14 0800Z – 1559Z A participant can operate in ANY or ALL of the operating periods. Full rules including log submission information are on the PL259 website at: https://www.pl259.org/makrothen/makrothen-rules Participants can choose to operate low or high power, SO2R as well as categories including multi-operator or multi-station. Placement certificates are available to all participants on both a World and Continent basis. Logs are due by 2359Z on October 21st, 2018 and PL259 strives to issue contest results no later than 30 days post log submission close. Distance Based Scoring = more FUN! Most contests use a scoring system based on the number of QSOs made together with the number of multipliers accumulated by each station during the contest. Each QSO made during the contest is allocated a point score. Often the points depend on whether the station you contact is in the same country, a different country in the same continent, or a different country in a different continent. Multipliers vary by contest but are often based on how many unique DX entities you work or the number of different CQ or IARU zones you contact. A simple look at a world map shows that these kind of scoring systems favor stations located in particular locations. For example, stations on the East Coast of the United States are closer to Europe with its many Hams and many different countries. They can generate a higher average point score per QSO because they work stations in different countries and different continents. Being closer also means they are stronger. Contrast this with stations on the West Coast of the United States who are further away and weaker when working into Europe. The Makrothen RTTY Contest scores based on the distance spanned by the two stations making the QSO. Each station sends its 4-character grid locator and logs the locater received from the other station. Each QSO in the log contains a pair of grid locators from which the distance spanned can be calculated. Each QSO gets scored using the center of each station’s locator square as its effective location and then calculating the Great Circle path distance between them. To avoid any confusion, the Makrothen RTTY Contest rules include the specific formula used to calculate the Great Circle distance. The Band Factor recognizes that spanning distance on the lower frequency bands is more difficult due to differences in propagation, noise levels and antenna efficiency (usually lower on the lower frequency bands due to size and height limitations). About Makrothen The name of the Contest (MakroQen) is an ancient Greek word meaning “great distance” or “some distance away”. Waldemar DK3VN conceived the contest as a way to minimize the differences in propagation and multiplier structures in other contests by using distance-based scoring. First held in 2004, the Makrothen RTTY Contest is sponsored by Pizza Lovers 259, a contest club located in Northern California.