Rules for the 2018 CDXA FT8 Challenge:
Contact amateur stations in as many different 2 degrees by 1
degree Maidenhead 4-digit Grid Squares, using the FT8 protocol only.
Find any qrid square location
- - > here < - - .
0000Z Jan 1 to 2359 Dec 31, 2018
80-6 meters, excluding 60 meters
100 watts maximum power output.
Your WSJT-x ADIF log will be used as the basis for
calculating your score. You must state your output power in your log.
It's easy to do. When your QSO is complete, a log entry window pops up with a
“TX Power” field. See the sample log window in the Attachment for how it's
done. NOTE: Please also add your call and the submission date to the log file
name before submitting it. Simply make a copy of the log, change the name to “[YOUR
CALL][DATE in Mo. Day format]wsjtx_log.adi” and save it in a separate folder
before submitting it. (See the Attachment for details.)
Log entries without a power level will not be included in
your total QSO count, nor will any QSO made at greater than 100 watts. You may
also include QSOs made with other WSJT-x protocols in your log, but, again;
only FT8 contacts will count for the FT8 Challenge.
If you have more than one QTH (whether permanent or
temporary) in different Grid Squares, each QTH will be counted separately
Since your Grid Square is part of the normal FT8 exchange, simply make sure
your Grid Square is set correctly for the QTH from which you're operating.
...is permitted, and encouraged, especially if you announce
an operation in advance. Rover operations will be scored the same as Portable
Remote operation is permitted. QSOs are scored for the Grid
of the transmitter site.
...will be based on the FT8 entries in your WSJT-x ADIF
log as stated above. Logs shall be uploaded in ADIF format to Drop Box at https://tinyurl.com/y7lynkn8. Directions on
the website are simple and self-explanatory. Logs will be accepted beginning
on the 5th of February 2018 for January logs. You are encouraged,
but not required, to upload logs monthly, because we will publish standings
monthly in the Pileup. To meet processing and publishing deadlines,
please upload your logs by the 5th of the month following the
operating month. Note that you may simply upload your entire WSJT-x log. The
location of WSJT-x logs is described in the attachment. Please remember to
include your TX power, and put your call and submission date in the log to be
uploaded, as described above in Logging. Your log will be processed by
a program, developed by W3OA, which will ensure that only FT8 contacts made at
100 watts or less after 0000Z Jan. 1, 2018, and only new band/Grid Squares are
Each new Grid Square will count for one point, and each Grid
Square can be worked for a point once on each of the 9 operating bands.
Final logs for the year will be due by 10 January 2019. The
total scores will then be determined. The scores will be announced in the
February “Pileup”. Prizes will be presented to the high scoring entries and
raffle winners, as described below, at the Hamfest Banquet in March, 2019.
At the end of the year, the participant with the highest Band/Grid
Square count is the Overall Winner of the 2018 CDXA Grid Square Challenge. The
Overall Winner will be awarded a $50 Amazon Gift Card. The second place
entrant will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card. There will also be a raffle which
will give all other participants with at least 200 Grid Squares a chance to win
one of five $25 Amazon Gift Cards. Certificates will be awarded for first and
second place, and to all entrants with greater than 300 Band/Grid Squares.
Just to put this in perspective, there are 488 Grid Squares in the contiguous
48 states, according to the ARRL.
ATTACHMENT to Rules for
the 2018 CDXA FT8 Challenge:
WSJT-x logs are easily located within the WSJT-x program by
going to FILE – Open log directory. In the log directory, you will see two log
files: wsjtx.log is a Cabrillo log file. wsjtx_log.adi is the ADIF version of
your log. Always, before submitting your log in ADIF format, copy the ADIF log
to a separate directory of your choice, and change the name of the file to
“[YOUR CALL][DATE in Mo. Day format]wsjtx_log.adi”. For example:
When a QSO is completed, the form on the right
“pops up” in WSJT-x. As described above under Logging, be sure to add your
power level to the form before clicking ENTER to log your contact.
If you don't want to reenter your power level at the end of
each QSO, click the “Retain” button next to the “Tx Power” field.
For a description of WSJT-x and to download the latest
version (v1.8.0), go to https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html
Be sure to reread the article on WSJT-x by Bill Turner,
W4WNT, in the September 2017 issue of the Pileup. ( http://www.cdxa.org/pileup/archives/cdxa1709.pdf
Here's another excellent article:
“...tips for HF DXers on Operating FT8”, by
Gary Hinson, ZL2IFB: http://www.g4ifb.com/html/ft8_tips.html
NOTE: Just because the maximum power permitted for the
challenge is 100 watts doesn't mean you should always use that much power.
Look at your signal reports. If you always have a “+” in front of your report,
you might try backing your power off a bit. Also remember that FT8 is an AFSK
mode (8 tones in a bit less than 50 Hz), so your transmitter is always on when
you're in Transmit.
Finally, here's a frequency chart you can use to get
yourself to where you can expect to find FT8 signals. With the quickly growing
popularity of FT8, you will probably not have much trouble finding plenty of
potential QSOs. FT8 is easy to recognize by sound, and the waterfall display
in WSJT-x will show you the signals. An FT8 signal consists of eight very
tightly spaced (about 50Hz total bandwidth) tones.