Operating

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Contact

Ed Parish, K1EP
k1ep@arrl.net

Introduction

Radio amateurs participate in a wide variety of causal conversations, nets, and competitive contests as well as other operating events. Nets meet daily to facilitate handling radiogram traffic,  weather reporting, on-air club meetings, or simply “rag chewing.” Others are attracted to the fun and camaraderie of radio direction finding–also known as “fox hunting.” Major contests, QSO parties or special events operations can be found almost any week of the year. Contests are great fun and participation can lead to increased operating proficiency. Some have said  that operating CW (Morse code) in a single radio contest can increase a beginner’s code proficiency two- or even three-fold. And voice contests can lead to an increase in tactical communications skills, which could come in handy during an actual emergency event.

ARRL Sponsored Operating Events

Some major events sponsored by the ARRL include:

to name but a few. There are many other national and international on-air events and contests sponsored by various organizations.

Logbook of the World

Logbook of the World logoLogbook of the World (LoTW) is an online service that enables you to:

  • electronically submit contacts (QSOs) for confirmation
  • view your submitted QSOs and resulting confirmations online
  • view your DXCCVUCCWASWAZ and WPX award progress online
  • electronically submit confirmations for credit toward DXCC, VUCC, WAS, WAZ and WPX awards

As stated in LoTW’s Mission and Objectives, membership in the ARRL is not a requirement. To use LoTW, download the free TQSL application and direct it to request participation. You’ll be issued a unique Callsign Certificate, and provided with access to an LoTW Account via the world wide web.

After you’re registered, you can submit QSOs to LoTW by either using TQSL to digitally sign those QSOs and convey them to LoTW via the internet, or by using one of the many logging applications that provide this capability.

If the information in a submitted QSO matches the information submitted to LoTW by the your QSO partner, the LoTW Accounts of both you and your QSO partner will show the submitted QSO as confirmed.

A Callsign Certificate authenticates the source of each submitted QSO, and no operator is permitted to see the information submitted by other operators. This combination maintains the integrity of the QSO verification process that has long been the hallmark of ARRL awards.

Via your LoTW Account, you can submit a confirmed QSO for credit in one or more of the DXCC, VUCC, WAS, WAZ, and WPX award programs.

There is no fee for obtaining a Callsign Certificate, submitting QSOs, or using one’s LoTW Account to view submitted QSOs, confirmed QSOs, or award progress. A fee is only charged when submitting confirmed QSOs for Award Credit.

When the processing of a WAZ or WPX application made from LoTW is complete, your LoTW confirmations will be conveyed to the CQ WAZ or CQ WPX Award Manager, respectively. You can then apply to CQ for awards, placques, or pins.

If you’re not yet using LoTW, here’s how to get started.

[ARRLWeb]

Operating Events in Eastern Massachusetts

ARRL Field Day 2018 logoA number of on-air events draw many participants from Eastern Massachusetts and New England.  The most popular event is the annual ARRL Field Day. Dozens of local radio clubs set up portable equipment in parks, fields, and emergency operations centers to demonstrate their emergency communications preparedness. Field Day is not just a social event, it’s a great place to learn new operating skills and make new friends.

Other local and regional operating events include:

NN1MF booth at Marshfield Fair, 2016
NN1MF booth at Marshfield Fair, 2016

Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Geographically centered in Massachusetts, the Yankee Clipper Contest Club (YCCC) “is a special purpose amateur radio club devoted to the pursuit of operating and technical excellence.”  Their goals are:

  • To promote the fun, satisfaction and competitive thrill of radio contesting
  • To assist members in the development of their operating and technical skills
  • To win the club competition of the major amateur radio contests

YCCC boasts over 300 members from Maine to New York City.

See Also

Charts and Maps:  Frequency Allocation & Band Charts  ❖  Maidenhead Grid Square Locator Map

 

Tutorials:  Contest Tips 2017 (YCCC) ❖   Setting Up Logbook Of The World