15-Meter SSTV Dash Contest - Rules
Spring and Fall Contests
Updated September 30, 2015
For amateurs worldwide to establish contacts with as many amateurs as possible within the Contest periods using fast analog SSTV modes on the 15-meter amateur band. Anybody can contact anybody for points or multipliers. The Contest should increase awareness of SSTV as a mode of communication, to encourage the use by radio amateurs of alternative transmission modes, and encourage more frequent use of the upper portion of the 15-meter amateur band - "use it or lose it".
The Contest is open to all amateurs licensed to transmit analog image data in the 15-meter amateur band.
The Contest will be held twice per year, once in the Spring and once in the Autumn/Fall:
Spring Dash - to be held in the first full weekend in April, from Saturday 00:00 UTC to Sunday 23:59 UTC. The following dates
will therefore apply:
- 2015: Saturday April 4 00:00 UTC, to Sunday April 5 23:59 UTC
- 2016: Saturday April 2 00:00 UTC, to Sunday April 3 23:59 UTC
- 2017: Saturday April 1 00:00 UTC, to Sunday April 2 23:59 UTC
Fall Dash - to be held in the first full weekend in October, from Saturday 00:00 UTC to Sunday 23:59 UTC. The following dates
will therefore apply:
- 2015: Saturday October 3 00:00 UTC, to Sunday October 4 23:59 UTC
- 2016: Saturday October 1 00:00 UTC, to Sunday October 2 23:59 UTC
- 2017: Saturday October 7 00:00 UTC, to Sunday October 8 23:59 UTC
The Contest takes place in the 15-meter band only. It is recommended that contestants only use frequencies between 21350kHz and 21450kHz in order to minimize interference with other users of the band.
Please do NOT call on, or use, frequencies within ±3kHz of the standard SSTV calling frequency 21340kHz for any Contest traffic.
Recommended modes are the BW8, BW12 or BW24 analog modes (also known as Robot BW8, Robot BW12, etc.) to facilitate rapid exchanges (the "Dash"), in order to achieve as many contacts as possible within the time frame of the Contest.
If contestants do not have access to these modes, any other analog SSTV mode will be acceptable: in that case, QSOs will of course be slower.
6. Operator Categories
Each participant station may enter one category only.
Single Operator stations are those where all operating, logging and spotting functions are performed by one person using one callsign only. Only one transmitted signal is permitted at any time.
- SINGLE-OP HIGH - Single Operator High Power: total output power must not exceed 1500 watts.
- SINGLE-OP LOW - Single Operator Low Power: total output power must not exceed 150 watts.
- SINGLE-OP QRP - Single Operator QRP: total output power must not exceed 10 (ten) watts.
- MULTI-OP - Multi-Operator, Single Transmitter: total output power must not exceed 1500 watts. More than one operator in a team, each taking turns to use one single transmitter, all operators using only one callsign. Only one transmitted signal is permitted at any time.
- CHECKLOG - use this category if you do not wish your entry to be included among the final results.
- WSSTVC members send callsign, RSV and "W" + membership no. (Example: "AA1ZZZ 595 W0247"). Please note that a WSSTVC Membership number must be entered in the form "W" + 4 digits (Examples: "W0123", or "W0009").
- Non-members send callsign, RSV and progressive serial number starting with 001 for the first contact (Example: "AA1ZZZ 595 013").
8. QSO Points
- One point per contact between stations in the same DXCC country or entity.
- Three points per contact between stations in the same continent, but in a different DXCC country or entity.
- Five points per contact between stations in different continents.
- One multiplier point for each unique DXCC country or entity contacted during the Contest.
- One additional multiplier point for each WSSTVC member contacted during the Contest.
For valid QSOs only (see Section 15), the final score for each station is the result of their total QSO points multiplied by the sum of their multiplier points:
11. Log Submission
All logs must be submitted ONLY in the CABRILLO electronic format - no text-on-paper submissions will be accepted. The
CABRILLO format has become the de-facto standard for such logs. For further information on the CABRILLO format, the ARRL
website http://www.arrl.org/cabrillo-format-tutorial can be
very helpful. See the Cabrillo Version 3 Format page at http://contests.wsstvc.org/cabrillo-format/3/
for details on the Cabrillo templates required for this Contest.
Logs may be submitted in one of two ways:
- Web upload of Cabrillo file: if you have used a logging program during the Contest, use the program to generate and export a Cabrillo file, then use the form at http://contests.wsstvc.org/submit-log/cabrillo/ to upload your log file.
- Manual data input: if you have no Cabrillo file - for instance, if you only have a hand-written paper log - you may enter your Contest log manually at http://contests.wsstvc.org/submit-log/manual/. Use the forms provided there to upload your data - please follow the instructions to be found there.
Logs may NOT be submitted via email.
Logs must be submitted before the deadline, which is fifteen (15) days after the end of each part of the Contest. Logs received after the end of the deadline will be treated as checklogs only.
Spring Dash - the following dates apply for log submission deadline:
- 2015: Monday April 20 23:59 UTC
- 2016: Monday April 18 23:59 UTC
- 2017: Monday April 17 23:59 UTC
Fall Dash - the following dates apply for log submission deadline:
- 2015: Monday October 19 23:59 UTC
- 2016: Monday October 17 23:59 UTC
- 2017: Monday October 16 23:59 UTC
13. Awards and Certificates
- All contestants may download their Certificates of Merit at any time after results are published.
- Special Trophies or Plaques may be sponsored by anybody willing to do so.
14. Additional Notes
- All stations may make use of web clusters and packet, but may not spot themselves, nor solicit contacts or QSOs by these means, or by email, telegraph, telephone, or any means other than a SSTV QSO conducted during the Contest and subject to Contest rules.
- The Contest is open to operators worldwide, and therefore images transmitted during the Contest must be of a content and standard to be considered inoffensive and acceptable to all parties capable of receiving them.
- Operators are strongly recommended to properly calibrate the software or devices used to generate their SSTV signals, in order to minimize or eliminate excessive slanting of the image signal. Calibration may be done against a standard time-signal such as WWV, or by asking a calibrated station to help - this should be done before the Contest begins. For further information on calibration, see e.g. http://www.g0hwc.com/slant.html
Recorded times between stations in a single Contest QSO must differ by no more than fifteen (15) minutes (this is also the time-difference used by the CQWW Contest checking software). Stations participating in the Contest should therefore synchronize their computer clocks, both before and during the Contest, with a time standard. Please note that a station with a poorly-synchronized clock can cause themselves and other stations to lose valuable points and multipliers! (see Section 15)
- QSO times should be recorded from the END of the QSO.
- All operation must take place from one operating site: in other words, remote operation is not permitted. Transmitters and receivers must be located within a 500-meter diameter circle or within the property limits of the station licensee, whichever is greater. All antennas must be physically connected by wires to the transmitters and/or receivers used by the entrant.
- The Contest organizers reserve the right to alter the Rules for the Contest at any time prior to the commencement of the Contest. Contesters must ensure that they operate using the latest Rules for the Contest available at http://contests.wsstvc.org/rules/.
15. QSO Validation and Penalties
The following rules apply to the validation of, or penalties incurred by, Contest QSOs:
- Each station may be contacted once only during each section (Spring or Fall) of the Contest.
- Duplicate QSOs (DUPEs) are not penalized, but score zero (0) points. Please do NOT delete duplicate QSOs from your log - your score will not be affected, and it helps the contest scoring software to cross-check results.
- QSOs recording errors in exchange lose points and multipliers for the QSO; an additional penalty is incurred, in points but not multipliers, of one (1) equivalent QSO.
- QSOs recording errors in callsign lose points and multipliers for the QSO; an additional penalty is incurred, in points but not multipliers, of two (2) equivalent QSOs.
- If the recorded times between stations in a single Contest QSO differ by more than fifteen minutes, then the QSO is declared as Not-In-Log (NIL) for BOTH stations. In this case, BOTH stations lose points and multipliers for the QSO, but no further penalties.
- Invalid QSOs cannot count towards the multipliers.
Entries may be disqualified for any of the following reasons, subject to the discretion of the Contest adjudicators:
- Unsportsmanlike conduct during the Contest
- Contravention of the current amateur radio regulations in the country/DXCC entity of operation
- Claiming credit for excessive numbers of unverifiable QSOs or multipliers
- Contravention of these Contest Rules
By submitting a log for the Contest, you declare that:
- You have operated according to the Rules of the Contest as laid out in this document.
- You have operated according to the regulations of your licensing authority.
- You agree that your log, or your log checking report (UBN) can be made public.
Make sure you have the latest version of these rules before you start the Contest!