Hints and tips for the Worked All Europe WAE Contest

The WAE RTTY Contest and QTC’s - What are they all about?

Each year, the WAE RTTY Contest comes along, and there are many of us who keep saying “SRI NO QTC” because we simply do not understand what they are all about.

QTC traffic is quite simple, really, and very easy to handle with the right software.

In WAE RTTY, everyone can work everyone, unlike the CW and SSB legs of this contest.

A “QTC” is simply a list of ten contacts made by one or other station, showing the time, callsign worked, and the serial number exchanged. Once a batch has been sent, it cannot be sent again.

There is very little to understand, except that you can only exchange them with someone from another continent, and the batch cannot contain a QSO sent between the two stations doing the exchange. For example, if my 10th QSO in the contest is with AA5AU, and I send him some QTC, I cannot send him that 10th contact, as it contains the QSO made between the two of us.

QTC traffic is normally sent in batches of 10 contacts, and each line contains the time, callsign and serial number of that contact. Each batch is numbered in the format 001/10 meaning the first batch containing 10 contacts.
Although there is no absolute requirement to send or receive a batch containing 10 contacts, this is the default for most contesting software, and is the easiest to handle.

To make life easy for me, I usually aim to get about 100 contacts in the log before I start bothering to send QTC’s, as this would give me 10 batches, but you can receive from the outset.

Don’t bother trying to exchange them with that weak ZL, whose exchange you only just got after several attempts, as you will end up re-sending them time and time again. Far better is to wait and go for that UA9 with the S9++ signal, or maybe the 5B4 or EA8. Later into the contest, there will be plenty of W’s and VE’s with good signals that will readily exchange QTC traffic with you.

So, how is it going to happen?

First of all, you will call someone and exchange the usual contest report with them, and one of you will send “TX/RX QTC??". Assuming the answer is yes, then one of you will send, and one will receive. How you decide who will do what is up to you. Some folk use a buffer for each option, and some will tell you what is going to happen. It really doesn’t matter who does what, as both parties get the same points for the exchange of QTC’s.

For now, I will assume you will be on the receiving end.

He will send QRV? To which you reply QRV, and then he will start sending.

You are looking for the batch number, so watch out for that first. Next comes the actual traffic, and will most likely be one contact per line, unless propagation screws it up.

So, you will end up with something like this:

0012 G3URA 049

etc for ten lines.

Whether there is a space, a dash or a slash between the fields depends on what software is being used to send the data, and is not important.

If you have all the data and the calls look OK, then simply send QSL TU, and let him get on with the contest.

If you have one line of garbage, then just ask for “07 AGN PSE” and he will send line 7 again. If there is more than one line, do it one line at a time, as this is less confusing all round. Too much garbage, and you can ask for ALL AGN PSE.

Once you have all the data, you will need to store it, and how you do that will depend on your software. Some methods of doing this will be explained later.

If you elect to send, then the first batch of 10 QTC’s you send with your contest software will be your first 10 contacts. The second batch will be the next 10, and so on. Once a batch has been sent, it cannot be re-sent, so please do make sure the other guy has all the data correctly before ending the QSO and closing the QTC box.

Now you have handled QTC traffic, what does it mean to you?

Let’s use a simple example, as this will make it clearer.

Suppose you have worked 100 contacts in the contest, and there are 30 mults in that total.

This would give you 30 X 100 as a final score, ie 3000 points.

Now, if you received 50 QTC’s from 5 different contacts, you score will now look like this: 30 X (100+50) = 30 X 150 = 4500 points.

This represents a 50% increase in your score, and is well worth the extra points.

Handling QTC traffic with MMTTY

MMTTY is not able to handle QTC’s directly, but as many of you will be using MMTTY anyway, I have given some thought as to how you might be able to do this task.

You will NOT be able to send any QTC, but it doesn’t really matter whether you send or receive, as 10 points are given to both sender and recipient.

You will need to think about whether you want to create buffers to aid you in this.

It might be useful to have one that says CAN YOU SEND ME QTC? and maybe one that says QRV, and another for QSL AND TU at the end.

If you need a repeat, I would suggest simply doing that on the fly.

Within MMTTY there is a text capture facility, and you could use this to simply receive the QTC traffic, and then save it as a simple text file by the batch number.

Go to FILE| SCREEN TEXT TO FILE and then save the screen text as 001-10.txt or whatever, but please remember to save the callsign of the person that sent them to you.

When you come to sort out your final score, simply add the number of QTC’s to the number of QSO’s and then multiply by the number of mults, but do remember to take into account the bonus points for the various bands.

At the end of the contest, simply use ‘cut & paste’ to copy all of the QTC data to one text file.

When you submit your log, include the QTC file with the rest.

This is not an ideal method, but then neither is using MMTTY alone for contest work. I can only suggest that if you enter contests on a regular basis that you invest on one of the major contest programs such as Writelog or RCKRtty. Although you could use WF1B, please note that the rules have changed since this software was last updated, and it will not score your log correctly.

Handling QTC Traffic with Writelog

Writelog is well suited to handling QTC traffic, and is a delight to use.

Before you start the contest, you must ensure that you have the correct buffers set up, as the software uses specific positions in the buffer that you may generally use for other things. You cannot change these buffer positions, so it is vital that you put the correct messages in the right places.

These buffers are in Shift+F8, Shift+F9, Shift+F10 and Shift+F11.

When you start the QTC procedure, you press ALT+R to receive and ALT+S to send. This brings up the right QTC dialogue box that has buttons to send QRV/QSL etc, depending on whether you are sending or receiving.

These buttons are the ones that send the text stored in Shift+F8 to F11, so you must program them in the right order.

When you receive, the RTTY receive window shows the lines, and they change colour when complete. At that point, you can click anywhere in the line to save it to the dialogue box. Do this for each complete line, and then click SAVE once you are happy that you have all the data correct.

When sending, you simply click on the box to send the data. If the other party asks for a fill of a particular line, use Alt+1 to send line one, Alt+2 to send line two etc. Then, once the QTC exchange is complete, simply click the SAVE button and go look for some more QTC’s.

There is plenty of help in the Writelog help files, but don’t try looking for QTC in the index! Go to the CONTENTS at the beginning, and you will see a list of the supported contests. As it may depend on which version of the help file you have, I won’t mention the page number, but look for WAE contest in the Contents.

Handling QTC Traffic with RCKLog

Thanks to Walter DL4RCK.

To use RCKLog in the WAEDC RTTY Contest with all the features of QTC-Exchange it is recommended that you have a play first, and try a "Test-Log" well before the contest.

When you start the WAEDC RTTY Contest, two additional buttons for QTC send/receive become visible in the RCKLog-Digi-Window. In RTTY mode, these two buttons open the QTC-Exchange-Window. But before using the buttons, the callsign of the other station must be entered in the callsign field.

A special feature of RCKLog is to detect the QTC-number when receiving callsigns in the receiving window and mark those calls.

Example: "CQ CQ CONTEST DL4RCK (10 QTC) DL4RCK (10 QTC) CQ".

It is also recommended that you switch on the option to "Save received text on hard drive" so that you have a backup after the contest and to prevent errors.

Sending QTCs:

Enter the callsign of the other station in the callsign field in the main window of RCKLog.

Click the TX-QTC button in the Digi-Window of RCKLog. The QTC-Exchange window opens with the QTC data to be sent.

Click the button QRV?, the text "QRV?" will be sent to ask the other station if they are ready.

After confirmation click the button Send All. All QTC's will be sent, along with the QTC batch-number.

If the other station has not received one QTC correctly, they will ask you to repeat only this QTC like "AGN 3 3 3". This means you must send QTC #3 again. Press the button QTC #3 to repeat and send only the third QTC.

The button QTC x/x sends just the QTC batch number.

If the other station confirms receipt of the QTC's, press the SAVE button to save all on the hard drive. The QTC window will then close. Finally, don't forget to save your QSO after you have finished the QTC-exchange.

Receiving QTCs:

Enter the callsign of the counterpart station in the callsign field of the main window of RCKLog.

Click the button RX-QTC in the Digi-Window of RCKLog. The QTC-Exchange window will open, showing the QTC data fields.

Click the button I am QRV to tell the other station you are ready to receive.

The other station will now send the QTC-group-number and the QTC's.

All received data can be saved automatically by a single mouse click (NOT DOUBLE CLICK) from the DIGI-receiving window to the QTC-window.

First click the QTC-Group-Number. This will be saved in the GRP/NUM field in the QTC-window and the curson-focus will move to the QTC#1 data-field.

After receiving QTC#1 completely, save it by a single mouse click, and then the cursor will move to the QTC#2 field. Repeat the process with QTC#2, QTC#3, etc.

If you receive a QTC wrong, leave it for now. Click the mouse in the next QTC-field of the QTC-window and carry on.

At the end, click on the button next to the missing QTC number, and it will send "AGN 3 3 3" to ask for QTC #3.

Click in the QTC place, and when it is received corretcly, click on it and it will fill that field.

Once you have all the QTC correctly, click on the "ALL OK TNX" button to send exactly that, and then you can click on the SAVE button to save it all to disk.

If you have many errors in the QTC traffic, you can send ALL AGN.

Handling QTC Traffic with MixW

This info was supplied by Klaus DL1DTL.

Please check the MixW website for a full explanation of handling QTC traffic.

I have no idea as to how MixW handles QTC traffic, so cannot make any comments, other than to provide some basic help here.

Click HERE to go to the MixW website.

To set up MixW 2 for the WAE RTTY contest:

Delete existing QTCTX.log and QTCRX.log files from MixW directory (if needed).

Set up contest mode with StatsWAE.dll.

To record QTCs from the other station, enter its callsign in the WAE dialog, then select QTCs in RX window, right-click the selection and choose "Add to statistics" from the menu.

To send QTCs, enter the other station's callsign in the WAE dialog, then press/click a button with STATS:GENERATEQTC macro. Use STATS:REPEATQTC macro to repeat the last QTCs.

To generate logfiles, go to File - Search in logfile menu. Then select the WAE contest from the drop-down menu and click Display.

Select all found QSOs and click "to Cabrillo" button.

Answer "Yes" when the program suggests generating logfiles in WAE format.

Then you will get the following files:

WaeRtty.sum - summary sheet.

WaeRtty.all - all contacts in chronological order.

WaeRttyXXm.txt - contacts for band XX.

QTCTX.log and QTCRX.log - QTCs.

Handling QTC Traffic with WF1B

It is some while since I last used WF1B for RTTY contesting, so I will only give you a brief understanding of how to work the QTC’s with this software.

As mentioned before, WF1B has not been updated and will not score the log correctly, so it probably isn’t the best program to use.

To get access to the QTC boxes, you have to use Ctrl+S for the SEND QTC box, or Ctrl+R for the receive box.
If you are receiving, then you have to click on EACH field as it comes in, and make sure you click on them in the right order, as trying to change what you have entered is not the easiest thing. When you have all the data, it can be worth winding the squelch up on the radio to stop further lines being decoded, or the QTC data will scroll off the screen!

WF1B prefers to see spaces between the fields, and if you get slashes, then you might find you have to start entering it all by hand. In theory, you can use the right hand mouse button to click on the whole line, BUT ONLY if it is in the right format.

It is possible to edit the entire QTC data after the transmission has ended by typing EDIT SQTC to edit sent QTC, or EDIT RQTC to edit the received QTC into the callsign field.

If this all sounds as though it is hard work with WF1B, then maybe it is! Although I got used to it, and did manage it for many years, it was only when I started using Writelog that I realised how easy it could be with the right software.

Handling WAE QTC Traffic with N1MM

Here is some assistance for using N1MM in the WAEDC, written by Claude VE2FK. PLEASE NOTE that the original text was in French, so I have had it translated into English as the following:

How to manage the WAE RTTY QTC with N1MM.

Each year during the WAE RTTY contest, some contesters don’t see the advantage to exchanging QTC. You get – “SRI NO QTC”!

First I suggest reading the contest rules. Always read the rules!…

You will notice that it is very advantageous to exchange QTC's.

Basic points are: X4 on 80m, X3 on 40m, 10-15-20m X2 and multiplied by the number of DXCC / WAE (see list) countries.

QTC's then exchanged are each worth one extra point. It is permissible to exchange a maximum of 10 QTC with the same station, one way or another. It is also permitted to exchange several times. If you exchange 6 QTC first time, you can later return to that call and exchange the remaining 4.

In the second attempt, you do not have to log the callsign, or an exchange, just the QTC's.

So, a “QTC” is a list of 10 contacts previously made that contains the time, call and contact number: 2345/VA2UP/349

A group of QTC’s can be transmitted only once, but no problem, the software will manage everything for you.

In WAE RTTY you can contact everyone, but QTC exchange is permitted only with a station on another continent.

You understand that it is advantageous to transmit the QTC group of 10 although this is not a requirement. Each group is identified by QTC number, eg QTC: 10/07 here it is indicated that the group is # 7 and it Includes 10 QTC. Each QTC is transmitted on a new line.

At the beginning of the contest it is suggested to accumulate some contacts, I accumulate normally about 60 to 100 contacts before providing QTC. However I always accept QTC's if conditions allow.

In summary, you call a station with the normal exchange of the competition - 599 001 and the one who is in RUN asks DO YOU WANT or HAVE QTC?

If you answer YES, you will be asked QRV? You click CTRL-Z, (which says you are QRV) in the new window for receipt of QTC, and the exchange will begin.

Its transmission will include a group number (very important) because it is part of the QTC group, the QTC follows thus:

QTC: 12/10 QTC: 12/10
For a total of 10

Then you click first on the QTC group: 12/10, and the cursor will move automatically to the correct box. You then click on the next line,

1200/GU0SUP/234 and so on as they appear.

If everything is OK at the end click SAVE QTC in the reception window of QTC and “QSL” will be sent to the station and stored in your QTC log.

If there had been an error on a line, the software will indicate in red to draw your attention. The software provides a macro SEND AGN # by # SEND AGN software clears the error and clears the space ready for the correction.

It is also possible to use the macro ALL AGN PSE.

See the effect of these trades on your point total. Suppose you had 100 contacts and 30 multipliers logged. This gives you 30 X 100 for a result of 3000 points. If you add 50 QTC from five different stations, your total is 30 x (100 +50) = 4500 points. An increase of 50%.

QTC exchange with N1MM

N1MM is specially designed for the WAE QTC and exchange is easy and interesting.

Before using N1MM it is important to schedule the program in:
Setup / settings / WAE RTTY Configuration
(for receiving QTC’s):

All Again = {ENTER} PSE ALL AGN {RX}
AGN = {ENTER} AGN QTC: $ $ $ {RX}
(for sending QTC’s)

Send All Heading = {ENTER} {QTC} {QTC} {RX}
Send All Ending = {ENTER} QSL ? {RX}
QTC Spacing = {ENTER}
Default number of QTC to send = 10
Clear all data for That QTC = YES

You will need to program your macros to the main screen (main entry window) and learn how to use ESM and Right Click. (Recommended)

Info: Digital screen, Setup
RtClick = Return not menu = YES
Enable Digital Call Stacking = YES
Info: Config: ESM = YES
config/configure/Functions Keys/work dupes = YES

Here are my macros for the Entry window with the NOW option.

F2 EXCH = {TX}599 {EXCH } {EXCH} {CALL} {RX}
F5 HIS = {ENTER} !
F12 CL? = {TX}{ENTER} {CALL} ? {RX}
F2 EXCH = {TX}{ENTER} ! TU 599 {EXCH} {EXCH} {RX}
F3 TU = {TX} ! TU de * {RX}
F4 * = {TX}{ENTER} * * {RX}
F5 HIS = {ENTER} !
F9 NR? = {TX}{ENTER} NR NR? {RX}
F12 CL? = {TX}{ENTER} {CALL} ? {RX}

During the competition the macros in the "Entry Window" are rarely used directly but mostly via ENTER and ESM mode.

During the competition I prefer to use the digital screen macros system, they are closer to the screen receipt and 24 are available. It is very important to have macros for all situations.

The most important are those to request QTC or offer to send. You can have one to ask for a repeat of the Group Number only. Instead of using the CTRL-Z to open the RX or TX windows you can have a macro doing it = {DIGQTCR} to open RX or {DIGQTCS} to open directly the TX window. Obviously the macros and information here are personal and may be modified to your choice.


The macros {DIGQTCR} and {DIGQTCS} can be used alone or inserted into other macros - eg:

If by chance you have missed the number of the Exchange Group at QTC by mistake or if you did not put the station callsign in the Entry Window and the information is known, take notes on paper and it is possible to manually correct the file on Cabrillo.

There are several useful bits of information around on how to use N1MM in the contest, so do not wait until the day before the contest to experiment!

Check the manual.

During normal contest operation it is nice to have good copy, if not the error will be broadcast during an exchange of QTC.

If you copy a row (garbage) click anyway and ask for a correction, using AGN # so that all are in the QTC order.

N1MM tells you the number of QTC Sent / Unsent / Available.

Do not wait too late in the contest to submit your QTC you could restrict your options.

From an idea by Phil/GU0SUP

Corrected May 22, 2012

Claude VE2FK http://contestgroupduquebec.com

My thanks to Claude VE2FK for this, I hope it helps you with N1MM!
Good luck, and see you in the contest!
73 de Phil GU0SUP



Any comments or suggestion, please send to

phil (at) gu0sup (dot) com