New ham questions

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by K2ROT, Jul 27, 2020.

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  1. K2ROT

    K2ROT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Questions at the end.

    After getting my Licence in May, I finally made first ssb contacts yesterday 7/26/2020

    I was attempting to call CQ on Friday night, but no response, even there were a lot of activity on 40 meters.
    I do not know how to get in contact with some one having conversation and did not want to interfere, however in 3 hours I could not find any one calling CQ or, as mentioned before, responding to mine.

    So on Sunday 26, I went to 40 meters again and close to midday was able to finally establish 4 contacts. All 4 were calling CQ.
    My first contact ever was W1JHY.

    I also had a very pleasant 10-15 minutes conversation with W2XC about 400 km away.

    I was operating g90 with 20w and handmade dipole.

    1)I had a contact with W1NVT. He mentioned numbers "3103" - what does that mean?

    2)How do I log the contacts? What is the way to do it?( I started to do it in but noticed that some hams say in their bio that they don`t do it there for some reason?)

    3)Friday night i have heard people calling CQ but they were saying also "contest". What does it mean?

    Thank you in advance for your answers. 73 K2ROT
    KF5KWO likes this.
  2. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    1. No clue. If he was operating in a contest, that number relates to the contest exchange format.
    2. There are a myriad of computer logging programs, some free, among which you can select or simply follow the traditional paper log format. The log this site promotes isn’t very popular.
    3. They were seeking contacts for whatever contest was on-going at the time. There is some contest almost every weekend .
    K2ROT likes this.
  3. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    To answer another of your questions, one would normally say "break" in-between transmission of a QSO in progress. This does not guarantee that they will allow you in - some don't mind break-ins while others very much do.

    There are usually a dozen contests each weekend and perhaps a dozen are significant over a period of a year. The best contest source at present is WA7BNM and most contests do not require you to be a member of anything. If you decide to participate, be sure to read and understand the rules so as not to cause unnecessary anguish to the other participants. Contests are a great way to work towards operating goals such as "Working All States" or "Working 100 Countries (DXCC)". Enjoy!
  4. KF5KWO

    KF5KWO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome to the party, pal! :) Congrats on your license. For logging, you might want to log on paper first to kind of get the hang of it. As long as you copy down the date, UTC time, the other ham’s callsign, the signal report you sent and he/she sent, and the frequency and mode (ssb/cw/etc), that’s all you “need.” Either a handwritten log or you can print out or download a logging sheet from the webs, just google “ham radio log sheet” or something and you’ll be good-to-go. Or, if you want to do it on a device/computer, there are several very good programs/apps out there, but it depends on the device you’re using. I use an iPad at my station for logging, and use the “HAM Quicklog” app from the Apple app store. But there’s also the “73 ham log” which is nice as well, which I previously used. There are other logging programs for Android devices, phones, and laptops/desktop computers for the Windows/Mac/Linux operating systems. The log you choose also depends on the features you want. Don’t worry — as a new ham, you might not know at this point which features you want. Contesters generally want to be able to export the contacts to a separate file for easy uploading to the contest’s website so their scores can be counted. There’s a forum here on that is specific for logging software, just look at the different forums and read the posts first, as many hams have asked the same questions you have — we’ve all been in your shoes at one point! :)

    As for contests, is probably the best website to see which contests are going on, to read the rules, and find out what the “exchange” is (the data you send and receive to/from the other ham) which is generally a signal report and a one-up number or your state/geographic section (IARU or ITU section, state, county, etc) or something else. Definitely NOT a time for chatting, as people are generally trying to get as many contacts as possible in order to score as many points as possible. Some contesters are EXTREMELY serious about it. They’ll do their best to pull out your signal, and if they come back to you and say that it’s your first one and you’re a little nervous, they should help you with the exchange. I like to help any new contesters along, so if I hear you, I’ll help you. :) Probably the best thing to do is tune around and listen to the hams calling “CQ contest” and answer them, that’s how I started. Once I got the feel for it, only then did I find an open frequency and call CQ myself. This was after listening to a good number of contests first. So definitely listen at first, especially the big 48-hour ones on weekends to get the feel. You don’t have to listen to the WHOLE thing, just a little bit to see what’s going on. They’re fun, addicting, and pretty fast. I remember the first contests I jumped into, and it was (and still is) really cool to break through a pile-up to answer a ham calling “CQ Contest.” And hey — contests seem to make propagation all of a sudden work in your favor! Meaning that if the bands seem “dead” during the week, just wait til the big contest weekends. Everyone will all of a sudden be able to hear you! :)

    Good luck, bud, keep listening, and jump in when you feel ready. Send more questions, we’re happy to help.

    73 de Jeff, KF5KWO
    K8BZ likes this.
  5. W5RYC

    W5RYC Ham Member QRZ Page

    W1NVT was operating a "Parks on the Air" or POTA station.The number 3103 was the identifier for the specific park from which he was operation.
    It refers to Branbury State Park in Vermont. A Google search of Parks on the Air will give you a lot of info about the POTA program.

    Welcome to Amateur Radio.
    73, Ralph
    NG0L likes this.

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