The Yankee Clipper Contest Club will hold its fourth in a series Special Interest Group presentations on RTTY contesting online on Thursday, July 9, 2020 from 7:00-8:30 PM for its membership. Previous SIG presentations have addressed CW, SSB, and FT4/8 modes.
Contest University USA 2020 will be held on-line via Zoom on Thursday May 14, 2020. CTU 2020 is free.
The CTU course outline is posted here https://www.contestuniversity.
Connection details to the CTU Zoom bridge will be posted on the Contest University one week ahead of CTU.
CTU 2020 will be recorded for easy viewing any time after May 14 and the slide decks will be posted on the CTU website as well.
At the end of CTU 2020 Dave, K3ZJ from CQ Magazine will present the 2020 CQ Contest Hall of Fame awards – live on the Zoom bridge.
Contest University Chairman
Dennis Egan, W1UE, writes on the YCCC reflector:
Here’s the meeting info for Saturday, [April 11]. A new meeting ID was generated for this meeting, so don’t try and use the old one! As a reminder, we may be limited to the first 100 ops that show up on the website, and we will be opening the meeting several minutes before the 1pm time. All members should make their screen name to be “Your Name, Call Sign” so that we can promptly let you into the meeting.
Topic: YCCC April General Meeting
Time: Apr 11, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 292 320 985
Password: (contact Dennis Egan, W1UE at <email@example.com> for password information)
Short Business Meeting
Election of Officers
Dave K1ZZ- “3B8M”
Randy K5ZD- “WPX Contests”
Paul K1XM/Charlotte KQ1F- “Several Extra weeks in Paradise”
Tom N1MM+- “New and Review of things in N1MM+”
Jim Idelson, K1IR, writes on the YCCC mailing list:
Great online meetings are no accident. With some planning, our meeting tonight [March 31, 2020] can be a lot of fun for all. Here’s what it takes to make our on-line meeting a success.
Plan to join and participate! More participants means more content and more value to the club.
Get setup for Zoom in advance. I will be in the Zoom room 30 minutes ahead to help people get going. When the meeting is underway at 7, we want to focus on WPX, not Zoom.
Bring interesting content – something for the group to see or hear. Start with a short story to tell. Add a picture of your shack. Show how you have your logger screen setup. The antenna project that generated some extra points. An audio clip of a great experience in the contest. Tell me in advance, and we’ll make sure you can share it ok.
Videoconferencing is more than just a phone call. Done well, an online meeting can be even better than an in-person meeting.
The official 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship documentary is now available for viewing online at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwf-2f0cbjk&t=807s>. It is narrated in German and contains English captions. You’ll want to download this and show at a future club meeting.
“Many thanks to DM6WAN and his team for producing this beautiful piece of documentation of an unforgettable event,” writes WRTC 2018 President Chrisian Janen, DL1MGB.
According to YCCC member Jack Schuster, W1WEF, the Yankee Clipper Contest Club achieved first place among US Club scoring in the CQ WPX CW. “We had 92 entries and 166 million points versus the number 2 Potomac Valley Radio Club with 143 entries and 144 million points.” Kudos to YCCC members for their achievement.
While Field Day is officially an “Operating Event” and not a “Contest,” we still have “Points” to score.
Clubs and ARES teams operating in Field Day can collect points for making contacts of course, same as any Contest. But there are some points specifically available for ARES/NTS/RACES related activities at Field Day.
Specific rules and points vary from year to year, so check the annual Field Day rules download, usually available early in the new year at http://www.arrl.org/contest-rules. Look for the “Bonus Points” section and see what is on offer this year. Some Bonuses are available to all stations, others only to Club and EOC stations, others to those on specific kinds of emergency or natural power.
Contacts and “Multipliers”
The basic points are the count of stations contacted, per band, per mode, multiplied by “the Multipliers.” Multipliers are a common concept in Contesting but for the casual conversationalist or public-service operator: Multipliers are conditions which increase the points per contact by a multiple.
Bands – So the first way to get multiple points for a near-by, easy to work station is to plan to work then on every band open on the day.
Modes – And then recontact them on each of Voice, Morse/CW, and Digital text. (Note: all voice modes are considered equivalent. On HF below 10m, this isn’t an issue, since we wouldn’t use AM for efficient context or emergency operation, so it’s SSB. (But it’s important to remember that at 10m and up, FM Voice and SSB voice count the same and would be duplicates if the same station is worked both ways.) Likewise all non CW/Morse digital contacts are considered a single mode for contest and duplicate purposes — working the same remote station on both PSK31 and RTTY on the same band would dup, but on different bands would be OK. (Contest Branch will probably have to rule how simplex digital voice counts, as that should have good range, but is it Voice or Digital?)
(Providing positive control of count of Transmitters and simultaneous band use is the subject of a separate article.)
Traditionally, Morse Code (“CW”) contacts count 2x in a context compared to Voice contacts because they take longer to make. (No, not because the whitebeards value them more, this dates from before the Code Wars.) Modern Digital has also been a 2x multiplier to encourage its use, and as it can be slow if hand typed. So adding some Digital modes to your Field Day stations is good too.
Power The other Multiplier is the Power Multiplier. Stations operating at medium or low power are rewarded by scoring more points per contact, compared to the QRO home stations with the max legal linear amp. (Typically, 1x for power > 150W; 2x for upto 150W; and 5x for upto 5W., but check the annual rules and score sheet for latest.)
One point of advice: Do any Bonus contacts such as “Alternate/Solar/Natural Power” contacts early in the operating period, as your site’s regular, likely higher power stations will work the strongest nearby stations fairly quickly as they open each band, and a Duplicate contact on same Band/Mode likely won’t count, so “have dessert first”. A Satellite QSO isn’t as urgent, as long as a single satellite station is a Free station and treated as a separate band. They count as QSOs normally as an extra band and a big bonus for doing at least one! (Note: Must be Earth-Sat-Earth exchange, not just a packet download. Limit one QSO per single-channel FM sat to avoid congestion.)
Move them Up – HF stations and VHF stations should have easy reference to a list of what other bands and modes are (a) being worked now and (b) possible at this site, in case a station contacted asks — and if they’re not in a hurry, you can ask them what else they have, and refer them.
VHF+ Agility If your VHF+ station has a multiband multimode radio and antennae, you can move a 2m FM/SSB contact down to 6m SSB/CW/FM and up to 440 SSB/CW/FM, and where else both stations have available. Just be sure you don’t have two stations on FM and SSB on the same band at once!
(Remember, no points for repeater contacts. Check detailed rules for “spotting” and “sked” rules.)
How many bands can you support? If there are 900MHz or 1.2GHz repeaters in the area, the mobile rigs and HTs can also be used for Simplex for Field Day. If you set up a good antenna and base, other nearby hilltop stations will be able to work you. If a really good hilltop, get that one club member that does the microwave contest to bring the 2.4/5/10 GHz hilltopping kit, and plan to meet other microwave-capable hilltop clubs on e.g. 440 SSB or FM Calling.
NTS Traffic Handling
One of the usual activities at Field Day involves exercising formal message handling skills for both ARRL and ARES liaison, using the National Traffic System (NTS) formal message format. The NTS team shared a post in 2018 on that; and do check for newer posts.
Section FD Message(s) – This has typically included originating a message from the FD site to the ARRL Section Manager (SM) and/or to the ARRL ARES Section Emergency Coordinator (SEC) noting your location, number of participants, and number of ARES-enrolled operators attending.
Handling – Some years, there are additional points available for “handling” formal traffic (other than your station’s SM/SEC message above) — this can be originating third party greetings traffic from visitors, or relaying traffic from one NTS net to another NTS net, or delivering messages to the final recipient. This is particularly easy if the SM or SEC is visiting your site at net time: collect their messages for them from the NTS Net and hand them a stack of hard copy!
(Note that the above messages must enter and leave the Field Day site on Amateur Radio Radio-frequency — Internet access to the NTS Bulletin Board via commercial provider does not count.)
W1AW Bulletin – Another kind of message handling is copying a bulletin transmitted by W1AW (and K6KPH west-coast) as a “Code Practice” and reception test bulletin. The transmission schedule will be in the annual information packet. Copy (transcribe) the bulletin off-air and provide a copy with your scores packet.
ARES & PIO Functions
Various things your club’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services team would practice in a Simulated Emergency Test are valuable to Field Day as a more public demonstration of emergency capability too, and thus in the gamification of the Operating Event as a quasi Contest, are awarded points.
Organizing the Field Day committee for both planning and execution according to the National Incident Management Standard (NIMS) will allow the ARES team to practice their training and nomenclature between Public Service events and may remind the committee of things that need to be covered).
100% Emergency Power bonus applies if all transmitters are on emergency or natural power. Typically this only applies to the transmitters; running lights and computers and the coffee pot on commercial power is usually acceptable. (In most years, a town or agency EOC operating in Class F can also claim this bonus if the EOC has a big enough generator that the town tests on a weekday but won’t let the EOC use for a voluntary ham drill on the weekend.)
Site Visitation – Visits by Elected town officials and/or a representative of a local Served Agency (whom the club or local ARES team has a relationship with) “as a result of an invitation”.
Note that the police patrol does not qualify, unless the patrol officer is also town Emergency Manager, was invited, and is patron recipient of ARES/RACES services. (Alas it specifically says Elected, so hired, professional Town Managers only qualify if there’s a ARES/RACES relationship.)
Also, ARRL Leadership & Staff visits also don’t earn points; we encourage those for reasons other than points!
Safety Officer – You’ll want a Safety Officer anyway, but if they complete the Field Day packet’s Safety Check List, they earn points too!
Public Information Officer / PR
Your Club Public Information Officer (PIO) can provide Public Relations help for Field Day, and can get ARRL handouts through the Section Public Information Coordinator (PIC). See Public Information section for more information. Typically the Government Liaison gets a Proclamation or two; if the Section Manager brings them by, get photos of them at your site!
Public Location (a requirement for Class A operation, bonus also available for B and F) – The intent is for amateur radio to be on display to the public. So be welcoming the public with signs that look inviting. Take photos for both later publicity and to document that it was public.
Public Information Table: The purpose is to make appropriate handouts and information available to the visiting public at the site. A copy of a visitor’s log, copies of club handouts or photos of the display and folders is sufficient evidence for claiming this bonus. It’s good to have a club Public Information Officer staffing the table or at least on lookout for wandering public too.
Media Publicity – Getting the announcement of the national Field Day exercise into local press/media is important — so important that attempting it is rewarded. Save a copy of the your press release. Obviously, a clipping or video clip from the news or local TV magazine is even better!
Useful things the PR/PIO team can do to support the above –
- Get Press Release carefully edited — to attract a newspaper or TV News editor’s attention! — and released early for Calendar section lead-times.
- Push message origination at Booth, since it’s good for points (see under NTS heading) as well as public outreach.
- Guided tours
- PR or Central table whiteboard might be used to list States Worked, running tally score, Bonus’s scored, next scheduled event. PR or Central table signboards show what bands are in operations and current & authorized # of TX’s.
- “Public Welcome” sign may need to be BIG if located in a remote corner of a larger parks: some FD sites wind up looking like a private event.
Outreach / Education / Licensing
Clubs often help prospective new hams earn their license with classes and/or VE exams, help hams upgrade by same, and help lapsed hams re-install their gear, renew their license, etc. See also Licensing/Education/Training and Youth sections.
GOTA – Get On The AIr The larger (A and F) stations get one free extra station called GOTA that operates with a second callsign, should they so choose. This station is for non-Ham guest operators to make contacts supervised by a control operator and for Hams to make contacts on bands/modes not within their license with a control operator or not within their usual operating practice or home station capability. The number of contacts per guest operator and points for each varies year to year, so check current rules. The GOTA station must have a GOTA Coach / Control Operator both for legal operation and for the terms of the bonus.
( Guest operators are permissible (with a control operator if not licensed for the band) on the main stations too, once they’ve achieved their GOTA quota, there’s just no specific bonus reward for those contacts. )
Youth Participation – Youth Participation bonus is per Youth completing one or more contacts, apparently on either the GOTA or main stations. (They may be the control operator of the station or a guest operator.)
Educational / Demonstration – Varies per year – Demonstration of certain modes not eligible for QSO credit has been a bonus in prior years; more recently, a formal “Educational Activity” has been the bonus. See the annual packet for latest details. One local club has a seminar in the classroom of the building they get lights&coffee power from and use the restrooms in; another had a Soldering class.
There hasn’t been a bonus for holding a public VE exam session at Field Day but some clubs do it anyway. Whether that makes sense or not depends on your staffing and facilities! But be sure to invite visitors to classes and exams and exam and class participants to next Field Day, as they can GOTA even before they get licensed. (And if you’re having one, let the EMA FD Directory know, as we list the time each year for you.)
Hudson amateur Paul Young, K1XM, plans to operate in the CQWW CW contest from YB9/ Indonesia the weekend of November 24-25, 2018, according to YCCC president Dennis Egan, W1UE. Paul will operate Multi/Single, Low Power. “This will be a tough one to work!” adds Egan.
Three YCCC members will operate on Roatan Island (NA-057) for the ARRL DX SSB contest in February, 2019.
“This will be a [Multi-operator, Multi-transmitter] operation, probably as HQ9X,” writes Paul Young, K1XM. He, along with Charlotte Richardson, KQ1F, and Marty Sullaway, KC1CWF, will make the trek to the Caribbean island, situated 40 miles off the northern coast of Honduras. They’re looking for one more operator.
Paul plans to combine his DX/contesting with a few days of scuba diving. “The villa is a nice place and suitable for non-hams,” he writes.
Dennis Egan, W1UE, Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, and Rich Assarabowski, K1CC, represented the Yankee Clipper Contest Club at the 2018 LRMD (Lithuania) Hamfest held on July 27-29, 2018.
The event was held in Miego Klinika, a rural resort on a small lake in the middle of a forest in the northern part of Lithuania. Dennis, Fred, and Rich traveled to LY-land following the 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship in Germany. (See also: https://ema.arrl.org/2018/07/06/yccc-well-represented-at-wrtc2018-july-12-16-2018/)
“The tradition of summer radio amateur meetings in Lithuania goes back to 1989. This was at the end of the Soviet occupation, when the country was a republic in the Soviet Union. This year, Lithuania is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence right after the First World War. This was a turning point for many European nations. It looks like the Lithuanian Amateur Radio is going through a very active and successful period right now.”
For the complete story, visit https://dxnews.com/lithuanian-hamfest-2018/.
[The 2018 World Radiosport Team Championship is being held in Germany, July 12-16, 2018. WRTC is held every four years; in 2014, the event was hosted in New England.]
YCCC will be well represented at WRTC2018. Members participating:
That makes 25 total. Did I miss any one else?
I’d appreciate your help in publicizing the upcoming New England QSO Party on May 5th and 6th. Please mention it at your next club meeting and in your newsletter.
The NEQP is a great time to check out antenna systems and offers a moderately paced opportunity to work new states and countries. You’ll find a wide variety of participants, from newcomers to experienced contesters, all interested in making contacts with New England stations.
We’re working to make sure that all of the New England counties are active again this year and would appreciate your help. Get on for at least an hour or two and join in on the fun. Please let me know if you can put in any time at all so we can work on activity from the rarest counties. Will you be QRV? Let us know which county you’ll be on from with a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh yes, the NEQP is also lots of fun when mobile. Every time you cross a county line the action starts over again. It’s amazing what a 100w radio and mobile whip can do.
The QSO Party is 20 hours long overall, in two sections with a civilized break for sleep Saturday night. It goes from 4 PM Saturday until 1 AM Sunday, then 9 AM Sunday until 8 PM Sunday. Operate on CW, SSB and digital modes on 80-40-20-15-10 meters. For each QSO you’ll give your callsign, a signal report and your county/state. Top scorers can earn a plaque and everyone who makes 25 QSOs and sends in a log will get a certificate.
Last year we had logs from 177 New England stations and 460 more from around the country and world.
The full NEQP rules can be found at http://www.neqp.org/rules.html.
The 2017 results are posted and the results since 2002 are also available at http://www.neqp.org/results.
It’s just about a month until the 2018 NEQP. Please make some QSOs even if you don’t want to send in a log.