Chain Reaction CW Contest

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Chain Reaction CW Contest

Postby af2z » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:27 pm

Okay, it looks a little, uh, lengthy... :shock:
but it's less complicated than a game of Monopoly or Five Card Stud and maybe could be some fun...


CHAIN REACTION CW CONTEST

SUMMARY.

Partial sections of a selected text (i.e., "messages") are copied from station to station in an
attempt by operators to assemble the complete text with the least amount of error and in the
shortest amount of time.

This will involve a little more "key time" than the usual brief contact exchanges. Operators will
have to hunt stations, copying any messages which they are seeking, as well as relay messages to
those who request them.


PRELIMINARY.

Contest requires a small number of volunteer operators to act as "Originators" and get the ball
rolling.

Contest organizer divides a selected text into a number of short sections (for example, sentences
from some public domain text). Each of these sections constitutes a "message". The total number of
messages will be known ahead of time to all contestants.

Before the contest begins these separate messages are distributed randomly by email, one to each
Originator op. [Alternatively, they can be distributed one or two per call area, ensuring a wide
geographic distribution. Which way is better?]


DETAILS.

As contest begins these initial ops send "CQ SKS" to start things off. Other ops respond, request
transmission of the messages, and send QSL when they have copied. These ops in turn can retransmit
the messages to others, etc.

There are two objectives for contestants:

1) copy the entire set of messages;
2) re-transmit each message at least once.

QSL RULE. All message receipts must be QSL'd. A message does not count as transmitted until QSL is
given by receiving op. Time of QSL shall be recorded by both ops.

At some point, as stations start to acquire more messages, their CQ's can become more specific,
either advertising those messages which they have yet to send or requesting messages which they are
missing.


Examples:

"CQ SKS 347" or just "SKS 347" (I am looking for msg nrs 3,4,7)

or

"SKS QTC 159" (I need to transmit msgs 1, 5 and 9)

A responding station might send: "pls 5" (Please send me msg #5)

[Alternatively, messages could be designated by letters instead of numerals. Which way is better?]

A station can ask for a missing message: "QRU 3" (I need msg #3)

Or simply, "QRU?" (Which msgs do you have?)

QTC RULE. Only one message per each op (and not the same message) can be transmitted during the
course of a single QSO; both ops must then either send or receive a message to/from other stations
before working each other again.

To inform another station that you need to get rid of a message: "QTC 5" (I need to send msg #5)

If the other station doesn't need it, he can simply respond, "no" or "sri".

Or, if he is ready to receive it: "QRV" or "ga" or "k"

DUP RULE. A station is not allowed to accept transmission of a message which he has previously
received. [Alternatively, a station may accept transmission of a message which he has previously
received, but only if he has successfully copied the entire set of messages. Which rule is better?]


A station who has sucessfully copied and transmitted all of the available messages can continue to
participate until the contest ends, adding to his traffic total.

BLIND TRAFFIC. Stations may monitor transmissions between other stations. For example, if AF2Z has
monitored K4VD's transmission of a message to some other station, and AF2Z feels he has sucessfully
copied it, he then needs only to contact K4VD and QSL. A retransmission of the message by K4VD is
not required in this case. For example, AF2Z would call K4VD and send:

"QSL 4" (I have copied msg #4 from you)

Both ops record the time of QSL.

If AF2Z is not able to contact K4VD in order to QSL the blind traffic he must request transmission
of the needed message from some other station. In other words...

QSL RULE #2. You cannot QSL to one station for a message which you have copied from another station.

QSP RULE. You cannot re-transmit a received message if you haven't yet QSL'd it.

ORIGINATOR RULE. An Originator Op cannot count the initial email message as a received message; he
must at some point receive and QSL it over the air.


ENTRY SUBMISSIONS.

Submission of following information will allow scoring and construction of communication chains [See
SCORING, below]
:

<msg#> <call of sending stn> <call of rcv'g stn> <time of QSL>

Example: 3 K4VD AF2Z 0031

This would indicate...
msg #3, sent by K4VD, received by AF2Z at 0031z.

One line in this format is submitted for each message sent and one line for each one received.


SCORING.

Contestants could be ranked on any or all of the following: number of different messages transmitted
and received (if not the entire set); the time of reception of the complete msg set; time of
transmission of complete set; total message traffic handled; accuracy of copy.

It's probably too difficult to check individual entries as to copy accuracy. But it might be fun to
chart the chain of communication, one station to another, of the various messages, using the
submitted log data. That would be pretty easy to do. Or compare the contents of the original
messages with those copied at the end of long chains. Operators in the longest and/or most accurate
chains could be cited, etc...


DURATION OF CONTEST.

Depending on the number of messages, the contest period could be anything from a short sprint to a
number of days.
af2z
Member
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:24 pm

Chain Reaction CW

Postby KC2EGL » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:54 pm

To add to the message transmission I think SKCC #'s should be exchanged not just call sign's. Or was that listed as a rule and I just missed it?
CW LIVES
73's
Michael
-.- -.-. ..--- . --. .-..
KC2EGL
SKCC # 553
3 Land Coordinator
North American QRPCW # 1236
FPQRP # 1262
OMISS # 4911
KC2EGL
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Location: Brookville, Pennsylvania. U.S.A.

Re: Chain Reaction CW

Postby af2z » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:02 pm

KC2EGL wrote:To add to the message transmission I think SKCC #'s should be exchanged not just call sign's. Or was that listed as a rule and I just missed it?


Sure, or if that's too much just ask for it during the QSO if you need it: "SKCC?"

There would be a fair amount of give & take during the exchange anyway, maybe fills & repeats... so asking for a SKCC nr wouldn't hurt if it isn't already included as part of the exchange.

73,
Drew
af2z
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Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:24 pm

Re: Chain Reaction CW Contest

Postby af2z » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:42 pm

[Following copied from Yahoo group]


--- In skcc@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin K4VD" <kevin@...> wrote:
>This is a fairly complex idea that may be just what SKCC needs. It
goes
>beyond the typical contests and provides some real challenges. One
of the
>challenges will be to get the on-air procedures down well.
>

Right, but I hope the procedural stuff wouldn't discourage anybody
from participating. The extra complexity isn't meant to make it
a "serious" event, but just to have more fun and more on-air
activity. The SKCC events are all laid-back and hopefully this kind
of contest would be the same.

I included a few procedural examples in the rules only in order to
show how it might work in practice; this isn't necessarily the best
way. The object is "get the message through", to quote the old Army
Signal Corps motto; but we're not in the Army so no one gets
in trouble for forgetting procedure and asking questions on the air.

The on-air procedures could really bear to be discussed... Or
else, just figure them out in the course of a contest. Some traffic
handling signs would come in handy: WA, WB, AA, etc.

>Messages can either be generated at random (with rules) from the
initiators
>or selected text can be used as a standard. Text from "The Art and
Skill of
>Radiotelegraphy" might be a lot of fun though I'd also enjoy hearing
some
>quotes from Edgar Allan Poe. That will certainly raise some
questions from
>those happening to be listening in. Quotes from The Centurion
newsletter
>might be a good source of text.
>

I was thinking that all of the messages should be the same length,
but even that doesn't matter since everyone will be trying to copy
and retransmit the entire set of messages. So there is no particular
advantage if some messages are a little shorter than others.

It would be interesting for onlookers who happen to stumble upon a
lot of CW traffic about "Kubla Khan" and "Xanadu", and
whatnot... "The Art and Skill..." would be great as a message source,
as would stuff from Percy Maxim, etc. (but not sure if there would be
problems with using material that isn't in the public domain.)

>
>I suggest one per originator op. Going by call area might be
difficult as we
>can't guarantee there will be ops from each call area. Also, what if
KL7,
>KH6 or DX joins in? It might seem that they could never be an
originator.
>

The point with the call areas was just to get a wider distribution
and insure that all the early activity is not concentrated in one
region. Not every call area would necessarilly have to have an
originating op; just need to have a good initial distribution across
the country, I think.

This contest is a little different because it's not about which
stations you work but about how many messages you can manage to copy
and retransmit. (Stations can work each other multiple times with
little restriction in this contest.)

Even if a DX op originates a message, that message would still
eventually work itself into the fray: _someone_ would copy that first
message from the KH6, etc. and then be trying to retransmit it to at
least one other station, etc. It would eventually get passed along
the chain and start to fan out.

This is a grey area: how many different messages should there be?
Should everyone who signs up as an originator get a different
message? Or should there be, say, ten messages which get distributed
multiple times among the pool of originators? Or ten messages and ten
originators?

You could just select x-number of originator ops and let them come up
with their own messages. Everyone else would know that there are x
messages floating around out there to be copied and re-transmitted.

The number of different messages should probably have some loose
relation to the expected number of participants and the desired
length of the contest.


>"[Alternatively, messages could be designated by letters instead of
>numerals. Which way is better?]"
>
>Might make no difference, but numbers are easily confused with other
things
>(freq, rst, etc.) while arbitrary letters would be hard to confuse
with
>anything else.
>

Using letters for message designators would also be convenient if the
number of different messages is more than ten.

>I hope I can get back on the air before the first event. This one is
going
>to be fun!
>

Might be good to try it as a quick sprint to get the bugs out and
fine-tune it a bit.

>Kev K4VD
>

73,
Drew
AF2Z
af2z
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Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:24 pm

Re: Chain Reaction CW Contest

Postby Guest » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:54 pm

Scenario.

Here's a first-person scenario showing how some of the on-air contest
exchanges might work:

I fire up the rig, waiting for the contest to start. According to the
current rules there should be ten different messages floating around the
bands. They were initially distributed by email to the originating ops who
will be trying to pass them on to others by CW. I will need to copy and
then retransmit as many of the ten messages as I can.

I start scanning around the SKCC frequency on 80... Yep, there's K4VD
sending CQ. Let's see what he's got...


SKS DE K4VD... QTC 3 K

OK, he's got message nr 3. Let's see if I can get him. I'll just drop my
callsign:


AF2Z

He comes right back:

AF2Z DE K4VD K

I respond, telling him that I would like to copy msg #3 from him...

PLS 3 K

He comes right back again with the message:

R... HR NR 3... [BT] REGIONS SUCH AS ICE COVERED ALASKA [AR] HW? K

Allright! Solid copy. Now I just have to QSL. Also, I'll tell him that I
don't have anything to send yet:


DE AF2Z... QSL TNX... HR NIL EE

He taps out "TU dit-dit" and starts CQing again. We both log the
time of QSL. For convenience I've made up a message check-off sheet; so now
I check off msg nr 3 as 'received', station: K4VD, time of QSL: 0006z.
There are similiar spaces in the 'transmitted' column of the sheet.

Now I think I'll send CQ and see if I can get this message to someone else.
(Each different msg has to be retransmitted to at least one other station.)
I start moving down the band, looking for a clear space... Oh, wait a
minute, here's somebody else already in a QSO...


...HR NR 5...

Looks like he's getting ready to send msg nr 5; I don't know who it is but
I better try and copy it because I don't have that msg yet...


... [BT] MILES FROM SUPPLY DEPOTS [AR] K

Got it! But I'll still need to contact him and QSL for the message as
'blind traffic'. I'm not allowed to claim the msg for credit or even
retransmit it until it has been properly QSL'd. I hear the receiving
station come back with...


AA2XB DE K8JBS... QSL TNX 73

Allright! It was AA2XB who sent the message... I jump right in and try to
grab him...


AA2XB DE AF2Z K

Uh-oh, he didn't quite hear me... He sends:

QRZ? DE AA2XB K

I try again...

DE AF2Z AF2Z K

That worked! He comes back, asking me what I have...

AF2Z DE AA2XB... QRU? K

I'll tell him that I already received his transmission of msg nr 5. There's
no need for him to send it again. Also, I'll let him know that I have msg
nr 3 to send; maybe he doesn't have that one yet...


HR QSL 5 QSL 5 ES QTC 3 QTC 3 K

I'm getting ready to transmit msg nr 3 to him but he comes back with...

R QSL... SRI QTC 3... QRU? K

Darn! He acknowledged my qsl but said he's already got msg nr 3. He wants
to know if I have any other messages available. I reply that I have nothing
else...


SRI NIL EE

He taps out "dit-dit" and starts sending CQ.

At this point I've received and QSL'd messages #3 and #5, but I still
haven't retransmitted either one of these yet. I decide to call CQ and see
if I can get them trasmitted to someone...


CQ SKS DE AF2Z AF2Z... QTC 3 5... SKS K

I try this a few times with variations, pausing to listen or let someone
break in...


SKS AF2Z QTC 3 5

and

SKS SKS AF2Z... HR 3 5

Finally someone comes back, just dropping his callsign. He's a little weak
but I copy...


KJ7BS

I respond...

KJ7BS DE AF2Z K

He replies that he wants message nr 5 from me...

PLS 5

So I get my copy of msg nr 5 and start sending...

HR NR 5... [BT] MILES FROM SUPPLY DEPOTS [AR] HW? K

Uh, oh... looks like he had some trouble copying; he's asking for a fill...

PLS... WA FROM K

He missed the word after 'FROM', so I repeat it for him...

WA FROM SUPPLY K

He gets it this time, he QSLs it, then tells me what he wants to send...

R QSL TKS... HR QTC 3 K

I already have #3, the one he wants to get rid of. So I'll tell him I don't
want it and ask if he has any others, ones that he's already transmitted to
someone else but which I still haven't managed to get hold of...


SRI QTC 3... QRU? K

He comes back with a list of messages. Even though he's previously
retransmitted these he'll be happy to send any of them to me;
that will add to his total traffic score...


QTC 6 7 9 K

Wow! He's been busy. He's already received and re-transmitted these
three messages. So, he has three msgs completed plus two more received
and ready for re-transmission (including the one I just sent him).

So, he's got nrs 6, 7 and 9 for me. I can use any of them but can only grab
one per QSO, so I might as well just ask for the first one, #6...


PLS 6 K

He sends the message...

R HR NR 6 [BT] THESE ARE PLACES WHERE RADIO ASSUMES A VITAL IMPORTANCE [AR] HW? K

I copy it all, no problem, and QSL. We've each sent a msg so there's nothing else we can do in
this QSO. So, time to move on...


KJ7BS DE AF2Z... QSL TKS EE

He says "TKS EE" and starts CQing. Maybe I can quickly pass some traffic
with someone else then come back to him. He's got two other msgs that I
could use...
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