recording a whole contest?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
Hi Al in Flex world,

I am going to be contesting in the WPX SSB in a couple of weeks and would really like to record my whole effort of 36 hours. I know I can output via DAX to a nice tool such as Audacity, and my P has no problem with speed or storage space.

But how can I also record my own TX audio?....without resorting to external cabling, microphones that is.

73 de Steve G1XOW
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G8ZPX

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Posted 4 years ago

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Enable the mic in the dax panel and add it as an audio source in audacity.
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Gary Wise

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You might wish to take a look at the February 2016 issue of the Northern California Contest Club newsletter.

http://www.nccc.cc/newsletter.html

In the issue they cover the use of Sony micro recorder with sufficient capacity to record an entire contest. I bought one for just this purpose. You have to operate with the Mon function enabled to record your side of the QSO.

Records directly in MP3, and requires no PC resources.

73,

Gary W4EEY
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Burt Fisher

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I would like to buy the DVD's of the 36 hours of the contest to do a Flex version of the below
(Edited)
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Phil m0vse

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Looks like K1OIK has far too much time on his hands. I prefer the SPRINT format where they have removed the need for pointless signal reports or VHF/UHF where accurate reports are the norm.
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Burt Fisher

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I have too much time on my hands? I am not the one sitting on my butt cackling CQ Contest for 36 hours.
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Phil m0vse

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Lets face it, nothing to do with amateur radio is particularly rational. If I 'just' wanted to have a conversation with somebody on the other side of the world (or down the street), I would simply pick-up the phone, much more likely to work and not subject to atmospheric conditions. 

Personally, I enter contests in an attempt to improve on my previous score. I consider it a kind of personal development helping me to hone my operating skills. As far as 59 or 599 reports are concerned, I would advocate that all contests remove RS/RST from the contest exchange but for many it does count and points are often deducted for an incorrect report which is why most contesters have adopted this strategy. 
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Walt - KZ1F

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Funny you should say that Phil. Whenever someone not savy about ham radio and I try to explain it, the inevitable next sentence is why don't you pick up the phone and call or send an email. Back before this was all automated I remember calling phone information (operators) in other countries and chatting with them. They were most often young women and they likely wanted someone to flirt with as well.

Is there even an NTS anymore? I suspect what you were referring to was to improve operating skills for NTS and other nets, esp for passing emergency traffic where 58 is WAY different than 59 and close doesn't count.

Given the costs involved, it's not too hard to become a cynic... Bah, Humbug!
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Ken - NM9P

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Burt....
The "signal report" in modern contesting is now seen merely as a placeholder before the "important" part of the exchange, which may be the state, zone, or serial number.   When running fast and furious CW in the midst of high interference, crowding or with very weak signals, hearing the 599 or 5NN is a placeholder that says "now I am sending the report."  It makes it easier to tell when the total exchange is coming.  Yes, it has become so meaningless that many stations have their auto-keyers set so that it rips the 5NN out at about 40 WPM and then slows down to 28-32 (actually the optimum contest speed for overall efficiency) for the rest of the exchange.  

Does this make contesters "liars?"  Not really.  It just means that conventions change and computerized logging programs have accelerated the change.

When contesters analyze their station performance, rather than trying to summarize a highly objective signal report, (even if they were "true") a station making over 2000-5000 contacts can more effectively determine performance by plotting contact density, time, and band on graphs and maps in order to visualize their results.  Something that would have been unheard of before complex computer analysis routines.  

Still,  it would be nice to have some type of automated "contest mode" that one could touch a button and have a digital burst sent that includes actual receive dBm reading, GPS location, transmitter power output, etc.  

This would make for an interesting contest....automated calculation of miles-per-watt with the figures added to the point totals.  The person with the highest mile-per-watt times number of contacts, times number of different grid-squares worked would win, putting high and low powered stations on an even footing......

Back to the OP...I will investigate digital recording of both sides of the contact someday when my scores improve to the point that I am required to submit a recording.........not likely any time soon!

Ken - NM9P
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Barry N1EU

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http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Third+Party+Software&structure=N1MM+Logger+Documenta...

To record mic audio as well, I would cable the headphone jack (through a Y) to the soundcard line in.

I didn't need to do this on the K3s - monitor audio is included in the Line Out audio.  I don't know why Flex doesn't provide MON audio on DAX Audio RX1 or at least the option to do so.

73, Barry N1EU
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Barry N1EU

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The recording utility described in that link, QSORDER, has a command line option to record the entire contest and it automatically chunks the recordings into one-hour long mp3 files with datetime stamped filenames.  It works really slick.
(Edited)
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James Whiteway

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Burt, I'm shocked! Hams giving out false signal reports in a contest? What has the world come to??  Very funny and oh so true Bert!
Thanks for the laugh!
james
WD5GWY

By the way, you're 5 9 here in Texas!!!
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David Warnberg

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humm... 36 hours of recording a radio contest from one station?  WHY?
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David Warnberg

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@Howard.. not sure I would want to go back and relive 36 hours of a contest... if I didn't get it right the first time my problem..  if it's required by the contest I think I'll find another as that contest is just way to competitive for me..
yes I do enjoy an occasional contest but when people find the need to cheat for the rights to say "I won" I think one is going a bit far, particularly when  we are talking about what?  A piece of paper? and not the green kind you can spend either..   

It's bad enough with people tuning up, not listening, etc.. when simply chasing DX.. 

But I digress...
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David Warnberg

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@Howard.. not sure I would want to go back and relive 36 hours of a contest... if I didn't get it right the first time my problem..  if it's required by the contest I think I'll find another as that contest is just way to competitive for me..
yes I do enjoy an occasional contest but when people find the need to cheat for the rights to say "I won" I think one is going a bit far, particularly when  we are talking about what?  A piece of paper? and not the green kind you can spend either..   

It's bad enough with people tuning up, not listening, etc.. when simply chasing DX.. 

But I digress...
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David Warnberg

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not sure that happened.. double post.. sorry.. tried to remove but it fails
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Burt Fisher

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I wonder how much of the 36 hour contest I would have to play for my students before they pleaded they would behave?
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W7NGA

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And how disappointed they would be Burt, to find, that everyone wasn't really 5-9 at all. This young lady is distraught because she just spent $15,000 on her rig and antenna and someone on the west coast gave her a 5-5 report with QSB. 

And then ... told her they no longer will send a real QSL card because postage is too high and they don't have the time to spend unless it is a bona-fide contest.
(Edited)
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W7NGA

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Wait .. are we saying we can now record a contest, and go back and 'make adjustments'? Fix the log? Tidy things up? This is up there with the big unknown in my life. Why .. why do we have a 40-meter net with an 'early checkin' option. Sorry .. I listened for a week to find any value here. Nothing. Nuthin' I says. No traffic, no nuthin. Not to mention 'early checkin' for those with nothing to add and the ability to check-in early to tell the world they 'have nuthin' an hour(s) before anyone actually gives a listen. What .. nuthin to check-in? And my neighbors wonder why I need such a big tower and antenna a'hangin in the air. Geez ... what if the big one drops?
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P

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@Burt & @Walt......"Nothing heard...." is usually said to indicate that "i'm done calling, the frequency is clear."  which is unnecessary.  I will more often say something like. "NM9P QSY" which, I know is CW jargon, but is commonly used to say "I am leaving the frequency, don't bother trying to call me."  Still not the best procedure.

But some common misnomers I hear a lot:....

"I'm destinated, so I need to sign off."    "Destinated" is not a word, but I hear it all the time.  I wish they would say "I have arrived at my destination." or simply, "Well, I'm her, so I gotta go."

"When referring to their station, a term that has invaded the amateur ranks from the 11 1/2 meter "freebanders" is "Working conditions."    "The Working Conditions here are a Flex-6500 and AL-80B running into a TA-33 at 56 feet."  Old timers would have a kiniption over that.  Rather we should say, "The Station here is....."  "The rig here is...."

Often new hams will say "The Personal here is..."  instead of saying "My name is Bob."  or the third party... "The name here is Bob," which is not as proper, but better than "The Personal here"  ..... personal what?  I always thought that my name WAS personal.

On CW, the nomenclature has shifted in international contacts.  Instead of "TNX FER THE CALL - UR RST IS 5NN 5NN - QTH IS Washington - MY Name is Ken."  
it is often sent "TU 5NN WA - OP JORGEN BTU"

The use of OP took me by surprise when I got back into CW DXing, but I caught on quickly that it was short for "operator."  The exchanges have gotten much shorter with more abbreviations or shorthand.  Now perhaps this is because I have entered the realm of higher speed operators and DXers who are after a quick contact so they can move on, but it sure has changed over the past 42 years.

Some of the CW changes I can appreciate.  It was interminably long completing a simple contact at 5 WPM CW, especially when everything was spelled out complete with punctuation.  This, I think drover many young hams out before they ever learned how to abbreviate or send faster.

Listen to me...Geez....Burt, you must be rubbing off on me....hi hi.  (CQ Jargon intentional for effect)  I need to buy you a coke at Dayton to get it out of my system!

Actually, back to the Original post..... There are times that I would love to have the ability to record highly compressed copies of some the the more interesting QSO's that I have had....Like the one with an old timer who actually worked spark in the old days..... or the guy who worked on the early Gemini & Apollo programs...or the ham who lived in the boonies outside of Whitehorse in Northern Canada in order to get back to nature while he fought cancer....or the teacher who taught geography to her junior high class by making contacts all over the world by Ham Radio and having her class research each nation/state they contacted...Or the German station celebrating the changes in the geopolitical world on the day the Berlin Wall came down, or later on "Unification Day," when East and West Germany were united....or the Russian stations who could finally speak freely, or at least more freely, when the Soviet Union dissolved....  Or the first time I heard Owen Garriott transmitting from the Space Shuttle....

It would be interesting to replay some of these...or share them with other young hams who will never have the opportunity to hear some of these stories.  A good recording utility would be very helpful not only for contests, but for things like this as well.

Ken - NM9P
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Burt Fisher

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Destinated is shorter than "I have arrived at my destination", thus efficient.

Then you must be against QTH? You would rather send on CW " I am located at?"

You said we should say, ""The Station here is....."  "The rig here is...."

What is the purpose of the word, "here?" Do you think the rig might be somewhere else?

You said, hi hi. Are we on CW here?


(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Ken, I knew that. But you have to admit, Burt does have a knack for making idiosyncrasies pretty hilarious. I was watching his contesters lie video the other day and nearly blew perfectly good beer out my nostrils. Burt, I believe lives just over the bridge onto cape cod, the hook that juts out into the Atlantic on the east coast of Massachusetts.
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P

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Just having a little fun, guys.  I hope you understand....no insults meant, only a friendly tweak...I'm serious about the Coke at Dayton.   Sorry, that is as strong as I buy -- except perhaps for Mountain Dew!

@Burt.  Actually I am not against the use of Q-Signals (or even "HI" ) on CW, or even on phone when they have become commonly used.  

My observations were mainly how phone and CW usage has changed from my novice days, in the 70's, but also how some common nonsensical phrases have crept into usage in the last generation of hams - i.e. destinated, personal, working conditions, etc.  

But that is the nature of jargon.  Every hobby and profession has its own jargon-lexicon, which is constantly in flux.  Some of it is fine, because it becomes a common shorthand to speed up communication.  Other have crept in to make the adherents seem more intellectual or sophisticated because it sounds fancy, secret, or technical.  Other "new" jargon is harmless, but different, and the old timers have difficulty adjusting, because "it isn't the way I learned it, so it is wrong."  Old timers (and I am almost one of them) still use phrases and jargon that bear little relation to their original usage - LID (a poor operator whose "fist" sounded like they were sending code with a pot lid) or someone being QLF - sounding like they were sending with their Left Foot.  Or their "Ham Shack"  when most hams no longer must build separate sheds to house their equipment to keep the family safe from ozone and noise generated by spark gaps, or off-gassing from batteries.....

Burt, you are probably correct about the constant usage of the redundant "here."   That is just the standard format I was taught by my Elmers and from ARRL operator's guides I read in the late 60's and early 70's.  I am not suggesting that we should go back to the wooden, standardized format from my early days.  They were pretty sterile, especially on CW.  But I was reflecting as to how many old timers would react to some of the new "standards."  I admit, that I have a bit of a problem with a few of them.  I remember reading an article many years ago (about 40?) called "Losing your Novice accent."  It was about adopting more proper Amateur protocol and eliminating some of the other habits that were holdovers from 11 Meters, where many hams had cut their radio teeth before getting their Amateur ticket.  It was also about learning how to relax and talk naturally instead of trying to be "pseudo-technical" or "pseudo-intellectual."  It made a lasting impression.

As the son of two teachers, I had a difficult time adjusting to the common CW practice of not using complete sentences.  But I quickly learned the value of economy, especially at 5-10 WPM, which, by the way is why I call myself KEN instead of "Kenneth" (my full name) or "Kenny" (what my parents and everyone else called me until I became a freshman in HS and decided that "Kenny" was two juvenile and wanted to be "Kenneth." )

In February of my Freshman year I got my Novice ticket and quickly decided that it took far too much time to send "M-y   n-a-m-e   i-s   K-e-n-n-e-t-h" at 5 WPM!  I quickly shortened it to "Ken" for Ham Radio, and began using it everywhere else, too.  Ha!  It took my parents a long time to adapt, and those with whom I grew up, still call me "Kenny."

Small things turn a life in new directions.  

Well it must be getting late, because I am rambling with nostalgia.   

Ken - NM9P
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Dan -- KC4GO

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To funny, That why Dannie turned in to Dan (CW). Besides the fact that my mom gave me a girls name and my teachers said i couldn't spell it that way :)
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Charles - K5UA

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Post-process an entire contest. No typing in the log, just hit the ground running and don't look back. Type in everything after the contest.
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Barry N1EU

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CQ WW DX contest rule IX.9:

"Correction of logged call signs and exchanges after the contest, by use of any database, recordings, email or other methods, is not allowed."
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Joe Duerbusch

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I don't see it mention here, but Writelog has had the ability to record the whole contest.  Not only that but after the contest you can click on any qso in your log, and Writelog will bring up the audio for that QSO.  Pretty neat.  .

Joe K0BX