Poisson d'Avril Contest

If it's not fun, why do it?

56th Annual Poisson d’Avril Contest

0000 – 2359Z April 1, 2010


Since K1DG has won this contest every year since its inception, and is expected to win for at least the next three years, we are announcing the 2010 rules in 2007 to give everyone a chance to install the necessary hardware and software to compete.



All bands, all modes. If we get new bands or modes between now and 2010, they will count. There will be two types of competition in the 2010 event: Traditional and Modern. Detailed descriptions are included below.  Please note that the Modern category does not require the actual transmission of a radio signal (it is permitted, but optional).


III. TYPE OF COMPETITION (choose at least one):

A. Traditional:

The Traditional category is based on the legacy operating modes and sub-categories of single-op, multi-single, multi-2, and multi-multi, using human operators operating conventional radios on the amateur bands, and stations consisting of equipment and antennas located within a 500-meter radius. Since K1DG has swept this category every year and will probably continue to dominate the field, there is really no point in anyone else entering. Even miscreants who attempt to cheat using traditional cheating means such as using packet and not claiming it, self-spotting, entering a different category thatn the one use din the contest, using illegally high power, or even using a second operator on site and claiming single-op can continue cheating in this category. They still won’t win. So there.

B. Modern:

The Modern category answers the need for a category that encourages innovation and the application of 21st-century technology to radio contesting. In addition, we have taken every precaution to detect and prevent cheating, although we recognize that some small percentage of entrants will still try. Go ahead. Bring it on.

Modern Sub-Categories:

1. Unassisted, Real Man®: This category is way obsolete. With the average age of contesters in the low 60s, there is no way anyone can actually operate for 24 hours without frequent breaks and a nap or two.


2. Assisted, Human, and Multi-operator, All Human: Since there are only a handful of contesters really competing, it is nearly impossible to find a human to assist. This category is also obsolete.


3. Human Operator, Remote Station: Recognizing that the price of real estate in areas with favorable propagation and low man-made noise is prohibitive, in an effort to "level the playing field", the Pd'A Committee has created the Wireless Human Operator Remote-Execution Station ("WHORES") category. This category allows for either operator-owned or guest-operated stations rented for the event. Remote stations are defined as:

 a. All transmitters, receivers, and antennas MUST be located at least 500 km away from the operator

 b. Multiple receivers are permitted, but only one transmitted signal at a time (time is hereby defined as a requirement for a time difference of at least one nanosecond between the decay of the first transmitted signal to 10% of its peak output to the point at which the second transmitter's output rises to 10% of its full output power).  Signal is defined as a single conveyance of a solitication of a QSO, transmission of an exchange to a single station, or acknowledgement of an exchange from a single station. Violation of the single transmitted-signal rule will cause an entry to be reclassified as Multi-Operator, Remote Station, Extended ("MORSE"). Who says code is dead?

c. A remote site using software-radio technology to share wideband multi-signal transmitting and receiving facilities is allowed in this category. Station builders and coders must insure that multiple operators sharing a site are only allowed a single signal at a time (see above) and cannot interfere with each other using "bullet" or denail-of-service attack software, since some sleazy hacker/contester will undoubtedly try it.

d. The use of spotting networks is allowed. A second radio used to chase spots must also be remote, and at least 500 km from the primary remote station. The TTT self-spotting detection service has been licensed by the Department of Homeland Security to sniff every entrant's IP streams to detect self-spotting.  

e. The use of Internet-based ionospheric simulation is permitted, removing the requirement that an actual radio signal is used to make a QSO. Your friends and neighbors can't figure out why you still use a radio instead of the Web anyway, so what the heck - we thought we'd allow it. LIMITATION ON SIMULATED IONOSPHERES: Servers must be coded for conditions with solar flux less than 200, A and K indices that vary every 3 hours, and must include at least one sudden ionospheric disturbance. Random users will also be selected to receive auroral buzz, snow static, lightning, and QSB resembling antennas turning in high winds. Servers must also limit users to CW speeds of 100 wpm or less.


4. Non-Human, Single-machine:

This category is for single computers to operate alone. Local or remote stations are allowed but not simultaneously, and both real and ionospheric propagation are permitted, with the proviso that only human operators may be contacted via the ionosphere, and only in response to human operators calling CQ or similarly soliciting QSOs. Machine-operated stations may not call CQ via the ionosphere. We humans ain't gonna be calling no robot ops, no sirreee. We are still in charge here. Humans may be colocated with the machine, but may not offer any assistance beyond re-seating loose connectors or switching to backup power.


5. Non-Human, Multi-machine:

This category is for fully-automated stations. Remote or local stations are allowed and may operate concurrently, and the operating computers may be located anywhere.  No humans are allowed on site. However, these statons may only contact humans via radio wave, and may only contact other machine-category stations via Internet. Stations in this category are limited to a maximum speed of 100 Mb/s on the slowest link between any two machines. The use of "cut" IP addresses is not permitted. ALL MACHINES MUST BE SINGLE-PROCESSOR-EQUIPPED. MULTI-PROCESSOR MACHINES ARE NOT FOR RADIO CONTESTING! THEY SHOULD BE USED ONLY FOR CLIMATE MODELING OR CHESS.


6. Rover Category: This category has proved too hard to check (it was a real dog), with people claiming they are someplace they were not. Also, we don't want none of that "grid-circling" nonsense. No sirree.



599 and number for human-operated stations; IP address, including a ".599" subnet for machine stations.



States, provinces, DXCC entities, and Top-level domains per band/mode/connection.



There is no point. Only a counterpoint. Or is it a counterpoise?



All stations: the final score is the result of the total QSO points multiplied by the multipliers times the Pd'A Correction factor. Plus 42.



Many entrants in other contests have complained about the delivery of plaques. Here is the explanation. The Poisson d’Avril contest is the reason. Since K1DG wins every year, the plaque has to be bigger each year. The plaque for the 2006 contest included a map of the world…actual size. Producing the plaque took all the available plaque-grade wood and brass on the planet, and a team of engravers so large that no other radio contest plaques could be produced. The plaque is now finished, and the engravers are taking a short break before catching up on the CQWW, CW Q WPX, and ARRL DX contest plaques. Please stand by.



Postings to CQ-Contest, 3830, or any other real reflector do not count as log submissions. Logs are due within 15 seconds of the end of the contest. A 100-QSO-per-second penalty will be applied for late logs.



Not very good this year, but should be pretty good by 2010.



We will disqualify any entrant who does not fufill the expectations of the Pd'A Committee regarding operating practice, manners, personal hygiene, or attempts to influence the results of the contest by gifts to the Committee member (just to be clear, the practice of attempting to influence the outcome by giving gifts is ENCOURAGED).

Actions and decisions of the Poisson d’Avril Contest Committee are arbitrary and unlikely.


The Committee's favorite Dead line is "Too much of everything is just enough", from the song "I Need a Miracle". It seems fitting in these days of multi-multi construction, remote stations, and so forth. Whatever happened to the good old days? A radio, SB200, tribander, shorty forty and some wires used to be enough to have fun. The Pd'A Committee are generally not big fans of the Dead, preferring Classic Rock such as the Beatles, DC5, The Who, Clapton, Hendrix, and even blues bands like Fleetwood Mac (before they let the girlfriends in).