Cabrillo Specification – QSO Data.

Each QSO in the log is specified using the QSOtag. Some columns with data in this row will be different for each specific contest in terms of the received and transmitted exchanges.
Each line must start with the QSO: tag, followed by a space. Each data element (or in other words, a data field) of the QSO is specified in a specific column. There must be at least one space between the fields. If there is no space between the different fields in the row, then such data will be treated as a single column. Conversely, if the data that should be specified in one field is separated by a space, then in this case they will be perceived as two separate columns. The order of the fields in the QSO string must be strictly observed, otherwise this data will be perceived as erroneous.
The data in the QSO string should follow in the following order:
  • frequency (band)
  • mode
  • date
  • time
  • callsign transmitted
  • exchanges transmitted
  • callsign received
  • exchanges received
  • the number of the transmitter (if necessary)
Exchanges, both received and transmitted, can consist of two or more fields, depending on the requirements set by the sponsors.
Example of QSO lines:

QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
QSO:  7011 CW 2013-03-16 1205 UA8AAA    599 CB   RL3A      599 MA   0

Description of the data fields of the QSO line.

Frequency (band)
ДFor HF bands, the frequency is specified with an accuracy of up to kHz:
  • 1800 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 3500 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 7000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 14000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 21000 or actual frequency in kHz
  • 28000 or actual frequency in kHz
For VHF in MHz:
  • 50
  • 70
  • 144
  • 222
  • 432
Correct example of specifying a band in the QSO line:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
Examples of incorrect band indication:
QSO: 14.145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
QSO: 20M    PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0

The value for this field according to the Cabrillo format specification can take one of the following values:
  • CW
  • PH - for SSB
  • FM
  • RY - for RTTY
  • DG - for other digital modes
In the case of cross-mode QSOs, indicate the transmitting mode.
In some digital contests where different types of PSK can be used, in addition to the Cabrillo specification, it was agreed to use the following values:
  • PS - for BPSK31
  • PM - for BPSK63
  • PO - for BPSK125
Correct example of specifying a mode in the QSO line:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
Examples of incorrect mode indication:
QSO: 14145 SSB 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0

The UTC date in the following format yyyy-mm-dd, where yyyy is the year, mm is the month, and dd is the day.

Correct example of specifying a date in the QSO line:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
Examples of incorrect date indication:
QSO: 14145 PH 16-03-2013 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
QSO: 14145 PH 2013/03/16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
QSO: 14145 PH 2013.03.16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0

The UTC time is specified an accuracy of up to a minute in the following format hhmm, where hh - hours, mm-minutes.

Correct example of specifying a time in the QSO line:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
Examples of incorrect time indication:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 12:00 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 12:00:00 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0

Callsign transferred and callsign received
In the Callsign transmitted, Callsign received fields, only the characters A-Z, 0-9, and / are allowed. The use of other symbols is not allowed.
The Callsign transmitted field indicates the callsign that was used by the participant during the contest. And for all QSO lines, this value must be the same. The value of the transmitted callsign in the QSO lines must also match the callsign specified in the CALLSIGN line of the log header.

Exchanges transmitted and exchanges received.
Each contest has its own requirements for filling in and formatting the exchange fields. As a rule, the exchange consists of at least two columns, but in some contests it can be three or even four columns. It is the incorrect filling in of the exchange fields that becomes the main problem for participants when forming logs. Carefully study the requirements of the sponsors and check your log before sending them for compliance with these requirements. For contests and competitions in which logs are accepted through the site You can find examples of the correct format of QSO strings in the contest rules, which are always available on the site Most often, errors in the format of exchanges occur if the contest is not supported by your software, or your settings in this program are not made correctly. Some programs do not correctly generate logs in the Cabrillo format if there is no RS(T) in the exchanges. Very often in such logs there is an extra column in the exchange, where the program additionally inserts a column with RS(T) in addition to the exchange.
For example in RAEM International HF Contest:
Correct example of specifying exchanges in the QSO line:
QSO:  7033 CW 2012-12-23 0005 UA8AAA    001 57N95O  UA5GGG    004 53N40O  0
Examples of incorrect indication of exchanges:
QSO:  7033 CW 2012-12-23 0005 UA8AAA    599 001 57N95O  UA5GGG    599 004 53N40O  0
QSO:  7033 CW 2012-12-23 0005 UA8AAA    599001 57N95O  UA5GGG    599004 53N40O  0

More information about the correct format for specifying exchanges for various contests will be described in a separate section of the site.

Transmitter number
Used to identify RUN/MULT, RUN1/RUN2 stations in one- or two-transmitter categories. Not used for M/M (Multi-Op/Multi-TX). Also in the specification of the Cabrillo format, it is indicated that this field is not used for Single-Op, but in contests where there is a separate score for Single-Op/Two-TX, some sponsors may require the indication of the transmitter identifiers. It is a single digit of 0 or 1. The use of other values is not allowed.
The presence of an identifier in the QSO line, if the contest conditions do not provide for its indication, is not an error and is simply ignored by the sponsors.
Correct example of specifying the transmitter numbers in the QSO line:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  0
QSO:  7011 CW 2013-03-16 1205 UA8AAA    599 CB   RL3A      599 MA   1
Examples of incorrect indication of transmitter numbers:
QSO: 14145 PH 2013-03-16 1200 UA8AAA    59  CB   PA0ADT    59  001  1
QSO:  7011 CW 2013-03-16 1205 UA8AAA    599 CB   RL3A      599 MA   2