Re: Errors encountered with CQ WW RTTY - N3FJP

Larry Krist

You have to add your  CQ Zone and ITU Zone on QRZ, it does not automatically fill in. Hamqth does and I tried using that for lookup, but it did not work either. I just filled in the CQ Zone (CQz) before logging the contact and it transferred to the N3FJP correctly .It was the CQs (State) that did not work at all for USA stations, worked for canadian stations.

Larry  N8CWU

On 9/30/2019 1:31 PM, Michael Black via Groups.Io wrote:

You could add a QRZ XML lookup -- though users would have to subscribe to the XML subscription on QRZ to use it.

I noted your QRZ detail page doesn't show the CQ/ITU Zone -- I though it was automagically figured our from address or grid square but perhaps not?

Trying to figure it out from the callsign will work in a majority of cases and is a good fallback for the XML lookup failing to return CQ Zone or by itself if no subscription.

de Mike W9MDB

On Monday, September 30, 2019, 09:11:22 AM CDT, Dave <w1hkj@...> wrote:

I'll try to respond to each issue independently.  For this paragraph:

Not all cq zones in USA returned the correct number. I think this has something to do with the cty.dat file. If the call was in the file, it returned the proper cq zone, if not it defaulted to 5. Not sure how to deal with this except to enter the proper number manually (the correct answer, dictated by the following)
CQ Zone data is obtained from the cty.dat file, either the one hard coded when the fldigi binary was created or the one installed by the operator.

cty.dat file format is specified as:

CTY.DAT Format

CTY.DAT is the format for CT Version 9. It includes more information than the .CTY files for previous versions of CT. This allows CT to calculate, in real time, beam heading and sun times. It also means that a single file can be used for all DX contests. The format is as follows. Note that the fields are aligned in columns and spaced out for readability only. It is the “:” at the end of each field that acts as a delimiter for that field:

Column Length Description
  1     26    Country Name
 27      5    CQ Zone
 32      5    ITU Zone
 37      5    2-letter continent abbreviation
 42      9    Latitude in degrees, + for North
 51     10    Longitude in degrees, + for West
 61      9    Local time offset from GMT
 70      6    Primary DXCC Prefix (A “*” preceding this prefix indicates
              that the country is on the DARC WAEDC list, and counts in
              CQ-sponsored contests, but not ARRL-sponsored contests).

Alias DXCC prefixes (including the primary one) follow on consecutive lines, separated by commas (,). Multiple lines are OK; a line to be continued should end with comma (,) though it’s not required. A semi-colon (;) terminates the last alias prefix in the list.

If an alias prefix is preceded by ‘=’, this indicates that the prefix is to be treated as a full callsign, i.e. must be an exact match.

The following special characters can be applied after an alias prefix:

  (#)    Override CQ Zone
  [#]    Override ITU Zone
  <#/#>  Override latitude/longitude
  {aa}   Override Continent
  ~#~    Override local time offset from GMT

A short excerpt from the cty.dat file for United States entity:

United States:            05:  08:  NA:   37.53:    91.67:     5.0:  K:

All United States calls will default to CQ zone 5, unless a call override exists.

Start fldigi and configure for internal logging and the CQ WW RTTY contest.  Enter W1HKJ as the call:

The CQz will default to 5.  My QTH is Toney, Alabama, clearly in CQ zone 4, but my call does not appear in the override list.

Enter W2VJN:

and the CQz is displayed as 3 vice the default of 5 because George is located in Veneta, Oregon, and is listed in the cty.dat file as an exception: =W2VJN(3)[6]

A bit of Googling turned this up regarding both CQ zone and ITU zone:

Although there are exceptions (like Montana, Wyoming and West Virginia), generally speaking, neither of these zones split countries or states but rather follow borders. The demarcation lines are not straight lines like latitude or longitude.

CQ Zones are listed here:

As far as ITU zones, here are two lists broken down by callsign prefix. I am sure there may be other listings. (These are just two I came across doing a Google search)

Here is the link to AC6V's "mega-list" that shows the CQ Zone, ITU Zone, latitude and longitude (of the center of country I think) and the year that entity was added to ARRL's DXCC country list:

For the United States, you have to scroll nearly to the end since they are listed under the WAA-WZZ listing.

Another site is: They just list the CQ and ITU Zone. The states are listed under W0, W1, etc. "

The CQ magazine site provides this information:

Worked All Zones Award Rules

Section 8. WAZ Zone/Country/Entities List

Zone 1. Northwestern Zone of North America: KL (Alaska), VY1 Yukon, VE8 the Northwest and VY0 Nunavut Territories west of 102 degrees (Includes the islands of Victoria, Banks, Melville, and Prince Patrick).

Zone 2. Northeastern Zone of North America: VO2 (Labrador), the portion of VE2 Quebec north of the 50th parallel, and Nunavut Territories east of 102 degrees (Includes the islands of King Christian, King William. Prince of Wales, Somerset, Bathurst, Devon, Ellesmere, Baffin and the Melville and Boothia Peninsulas, excluding Akimiski Island, Bear Islands and East Pen Island in Hudson Bay).

Zone 3. Western Zone of North America: VE7 (British Columbia), W6, and the W7 states of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Zone 4. Central Zone of North America: VE3 (Ontario), VE4 (Manitoba), VE5 (Saskatchewan), VE6 (Alberta), VY0 Akimiski Island, and Bear Islands, and Fox Island and East Pen Island in Hudson Bay. The W7 states of Montana and Wyoming, W0, W9, W8 (except West Virginia), W5, and the W4 states of Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

Zone 5. Eastern Zone of North America: 4U1UN, CY9 (St. Paul Is.), CY0 (Sable Is.), FP (St. Pierre Miquelon), VE1 (Nova Scotia) and VE9 (New Brunswick), VY2 (Prince Edward Is.), VO1 (Newfoundland) and the portion of VE2 Quebec south of the 50th parallel. VP9 (Bermuda), W1, W2, W3 and the W4 states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and the W8 state of West Virginia.

Bottom Line

CQ zone / Call pairing is not assigned based on geographic, political, or call prefix / area, but what appears to be the whim of the contest organizer CQ. If there is a light at the end of this tunnel, it is most certainly the train and not the clear light of day.

This is clearly a programing arena in which I could use help.  I've been a ham for 62 years and have never participated in a contest or sought a "worked all" certificate.  On the other hand I would be very happy to rag chew at any CW speed up to 30 WPM.  Age and arthritis have worked wonders to make my code very QLF, so I will be using fldigi for keyboard generated CW.

73, David, W1HKJ

Note: QLF - sending with left foot

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