30 Ham Radio Contest Tips — Send in your log


Send in the logThis month, I’m providing a ham radio contest tip-a-day (along with other posts) to help you trigger your own contesting activities.

Today’s tip: Send in your log.

It may seem obvious that if you participate in a contest that you should send your log, usually electronically, to the contest sponsors. But many hams don’t, and that’s a shame.

The reasons for not sending in the log varied, but all the reasons come down to two basic themes: not enough contacts to warrant turning in a log and not having the time.

With the advent of electronic submission of logs, I now dismiss the “not enough time” arguments out of hand. Electronically submitting your log takes less than ten minutes. While there are sometimes issues with the ‘robots’ that accept your submission, most of the time electronic submission is simple and fast.

The “not enough contacts” to justify sending in a log is usually based upon a contester not thinking that what he or she has done is important for the contest — it’s only three contacts, so who cares? — or not thinking that it matters to the contest committee.

But sending in your log is significant for several reasons:

  1. Logs are used to cross reference other logs to validate contacts. Your three or three hundred contacts are thrown into the mix and help the contest sponsors validate what happened in the contest.
  2. Your log reduces the “uniques” count in other logs. If all you do is go into the contest and work ten stations without submitting a log, you created ten “uniques” for other stations. Uniques, while not taking away points, are a flag to contest sponsors. By submitting your log, you validate those contacts and reduce the “uniques” in the contest.
  3. You may win an award. There are many examples of logs submitted in some categories that are unique and your 300 contacts will win for that division. You may not feel it’s deserved…but the paper on the wall will give you bragging rights.
  4. Completion of the contest. Sending in the log closes out the contest portion of your participation. Closed loops are a good thing.

Sending in your log after the contest is the right thing to do. Even if you have ten contacts and think they mean nothing, send in the log and help the sponsors validate what happened during the contest. Every contact counts — and the way it counts is by sending in the log.

Scot, K9JY

  • I am new to HAM radio and very familiar with this conundrum. I live at a high lattitude (68N) and have a little pistol station (IC-706MKIIG and a dipole). The conditions up here are generally somewhere south of bad but I love HAM radio in general and contesting specifically. I contest as often as I can hear anyone, and I always submit my log. It may contain as few as 2 contacts or as many as 47 (a personal best) but no matter what I always submit. I may never win a pice of paper or a plaque, but I always have fun and it makes me feel like a member of the community to see my callsign listed on the results pages.

    Wally, VE8DW

  • I once sent in a log of 5 Q´s in CQ Oceania 40m single band and to my surprice won my category in Sweden and a nice award.

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