World Slow-Scan Television Club
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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to login in order to upload my log? What happens to my personal data?

Logging in provides YOU with an extra layer of security, and gives us an extra degree of confidence that it really is YOU who is uploading the log.

Your personal data, such as your email address is used by us to keep in contact with you, so that we can inform you of any errors in your uploaded log, and also to let you know when results are announced.

Your personal data will be used by us only for Contest purposes, and will NOT be used by, or given to, any third-party, or any person or organization not directly associated with the World Slow-Scan Television Club.

There are already enough ham radio contests - why do we need another one?

There are indeed many ham radio contests these days, and some hams would go so far as to say that there are already too many. But not everybody shares this opinion...

Contesting is a perfectly legitimate activity on the ham bands, and each contest aims to test the skills, preparedness and endurance of the participants in a variety of situations. The WSSTVC 15-Meter Spring and Fall Dash contests have the aim of encouraging operators to:

  • properly prepare and calibrate their SSTV station equipment to produce signals with optimum image quality
  • utilize possibly under-used portions of the ham radio spectrum
  • use a mode not normally associated with contests
  • contact rare or DX stations on SSTV which they might not ordinarily encounter
  • have as much fun as possible while disturbing as few others as conditions allow

So why the 15 meter band only?

Well, we can't use the WARC bands, and trying to squeeze many SSTV signals side-by-side in the 80, 40, or 20 meter bands would aggravate too many other users on those bands. And let's not even think about 160 meters...

So we're left with the 15 or 10 meter bands and, of the two, the 15 meter band seems to offer more reliable opportunities for DX. PLUS - and it's a big plus - there's plenty of room to spread out, especially in the top part of the band, which often does not get much traffic.

One of the big problems with other SSTV contests is that there are only one or two frequencies in each amateur band (for instance 14227 kHz or 14230 kHz in the 20m band) which are considered by many to be "designated" or "reserved" for analog SSTV transmissions. Hence most OMs are very reluctant to use any other frequency within a particular band, resulting in many stations competing for the same frequency - which is obviously bad for any station.

But in actual fact, SSTV is nothing more than another form of SSB transmission, occupies the same bandwidth as a SSB voice transmission, and can therefore be transmitted ANYWHERE inside a band where SSB transmissions are normally made. Thankfully, the 15-meter band has a lot of room at the top end of the band, so participants in these Contests should easily be able to find a clear frequency to make their calls.  SPREAD OUT - use the bandwidth!

Why is the Contest spread over two sections in any one year?

We've split the Contest into two parts, Spring and Fall, in order partly to offset seasonal variations in propagation, but also to help foster and sustain interest in SSTV modes throughout the year.

It also gives operators the chance to take part in at least one section of the Contest if, due to other commitments, they can't manage to take part in both.

My SSTV software does not have the fast BW modes. Can I still use "regular" modes like Scottie or Martin?

Yes, you can use any of the ham radio analog SSTV modes in your Contest QSOs, but the B/W (actually grayscale) modes like BW8, BW12, BW24, BW36, etc are the fastest of all SSTV modes. And the faster you can make a QSO, the more points you can score in the Contest.

The numbers in these particular mode names indicate the number of seconds taken to transmit the SSTV image; so, BW8 takes 8 seconds only to transmit an image. So, it's certainly possible to conduct a full SSTV QSO in less than a minute using the BW8 mode. Compare that with a figure of at least four minutes to conduct a QSO using the Martin 2 mode, for instance.

Of course, you may wish to take part in the Contest simply to make some nice DX contacts, and you might not have any desire to win anything, which is fine. In that case, take your time and have fun.

Be aware, however, that a Contest station calling in a fast B/W mode may not be prepared, or willing, to engage in a QSO with a station which does not have that mode available. The mode for the QSO is set by the station calling CQ.

So which SSTV software does have the BW modes?

Some of the most popular software packages offer at least some of the BW modes, as well as many other SSTV modes:

This is not a comprehensive listing, and you are encouraged to do some research to find the package which suits you best.

I'd like to take part, but I've never had a SSTV QSO. What do I need to do?

If you've already conducted some QSOs with PSK, or RTTY, or any other digital mode, then you already have some of the equipment and experience necessary for SSTV operation.

In any case, you will need some software (see above) or other means to produce SSTV signals - perhaps your current setup already has such capability. If in doubt, search for answers online (try for starters), or on the air - most SSTV operators will be pleased to give help and advice.

But mostly you will need to build up some experience - first in receiving, and then in creating and transmitting SSTV images, so that you will be ready for the Contest.

I took part in the Contest, but I only made a few QSOs. Is it worth sending in my log?

Yes, absolutely!

Every log we receive, no matter how few QSOs are recorded, helps us to check and cross-reference all the other logs received. Your log counts as much as any other. Besides, it gives you a record to beat next time around!

I took part in the Contest, but I don't have a logging program. How do I send in my log?

You can do this in one of two ways:

  1. Your SSTV software may offer the option to export details of your Contest QSOs in the Cabrillo format. You are advised to open your Cabrillo log in a text editor to check your header- and QSO-information are correct. Using Notepad is fine, but if you use Wordpad make sure you save the log in text format only (Save as type: Text Document (*.txt)). In any case, be sure to save the file as YOURCALL.LOG (Example: AA1ZZZ.LOG). Do NOT use a word-processing program like Microsoft Word.
    Then use the Upload Cabrillo File Form to upload your Cabrillo log.
  2. If you have recorded your Contest QSOs manually - i.e. on paper ("paper log") or using software without Cabrillo file export, you can use the Manual Data Input page to upload your station details, plus all your QSOs, directly into the forms provided.

In either case, you will be prompted to register a password in order to activate the upload forms. In this way, we can minimize attacks on the system and keep your data secure - we care about your data security!

How do I view UBN's or Certificates for contestants?

Anybody can view the UBN's ("a report from the contest committee showing errors and possible errors in the log ... submitted for a contest" or Certificates awarded to participants in the Contests.

Go to the Results listing page and choose the Contest of interest to you. Then, do one of the following:

  • to view a UBN: click on the callsign in the list - a new window opens and displays the UBN for that contester;
  • to view a Certificate: click on the ranking in the list - a new window opens and displays the Certificate for that contester.

I'd like to sponsor an award or trophy for the Contest. How do I do this?

We would be delighted to receive an offer to sponsor awards or trophies for any of the WSSTVC Contests.

Just use the Contact Form and choose the "Certificates or awards" option from the Subject dropdown list and give details of your proposal in the "Comment or Request" field. You will receive instructions as to how to proceed with your sponsorship.

Why do certain pages in this Site need cookies?

It can happen that certain pages in this Site will inform you that cookies are needed in order that those pages can function correctly.

These cookies are created and used only by this website, in order to keep track of a user's actions when he/she is entering data in certain scripts - for example, when he/she is entering Contest results. Without the information contained in these cookies, it will not be possible to accept Contest results via this website.

Information about users of this website, or their movements within the website, stays with the WSSTVC Club, and will NOT be given, or passed on, to any third party.