Founded, January 2006
14,269 members strong
as of 3-Aug-2015
The SKCC WES aims to bring together operators with different skill levels in a regularly scheduled, informal operating event lasting 36 hours. The event starts at 1200 UTC on the Saturday following the 6th of each month and ends at 2359 UTC on Sunday. Participants can operate for a total of no more than 24 hours.
Some events focus on a theme or activity. Three popular themes that repeat each year are Homebrew Keys, QRP, and Boat Anchors. Themes tend to have special rules and scoring.
SKCC members who participate in the WES must use straight keys, sideswipers (cooties), or bugs. Waivers from this policy are possible. For details, see the club's policy on approved keying devices here. Because this event aims to include newcomers to CW as well as experience brass-pounders, operating speed should be adjusted accordingly.
The sprintathon also has an entry category for shortwave listeners, who are cordially invited to join the fun. Non-members are invited to take part as well.
WES results are posted for bragging rights. Certificates are issue to recognize participation, including a certificate recognizing QRP participation. See the bottom of this page for details.
Ham radio may be the only context in which the word cootie has a positive meaning: typically, a single-lever paddle an operator uses, but not with an electronic keyer. Instead, the operator must form each dit and dah as the lever moves side to side against each of the cootie's two contacts. Think "bug" with no spring for repeat dits; you have to form those yourself, in addition to the dahs. And for August's Weekend Sprintathon, operators who use cooties will be worth bonus points.
For this event, we're going to bend the concept of cootie a tad. A cootie can be, well, a real cootie -- bought or homemade. If you lack one of those, you can rewire an iambic paddle so that you have to form the dits and dahs individually with your sideswiping action. Only sideswiping devices built or wired so that the operator must form each dit and dah individually, while manually controlling character spacing and weight, qualifies as a cootie for bonus purposes.
If you are using a cootie, please reveal that as you give your name: yourname/co, where /co means cootie operator. If you are using anything else, please use yourname/nco, for non-cootie operator. Giving this out prevents someone from having to ask for information about your sending device.
You earn 15 bonus points for each contact you make with a cootie operator. When one cootie operator works another cootie operator, each of the operators in that QSO can claim 30 points for the exchange. Multiband contacts for bonus points are permissible.
This event runs from 1200 UTC Aug. 8 to 23:59 UTC Aug. 9
The SKCC's Weekend Sprintathon is open to all licensed amateurs, as well as shortwave listeners. All active participants must use a manual key (straight key, sideswiper, or bug) unless you qualify for an exemption, as stated here.
Participants may sprint on 160-6 meters, excluding the WARC bands (60, 30, 17, and 12 meters). Suggested frequencies are on or around the SKCC calling frequencies: 1.820, 3.550, 7.055 and 7.114, 14.050, 21.050 and 21.114, 28.050 and 28.114, and 50.090 Mhz. K3UK's sked page or other spotting tools are permitted for this event. Where two frequencies are listed for the same band, score as one band.
The minimum exchange must include RST, QTH, operator name, and SKCC number. If you are not a club member, please send "none" for SKCC number. Please give a realistic RST, not a perfunctory 599 or 559. If you don't get a signal report, please ask for it. For QTH, US and Canadian stations should use their two-letter state or province abbreviation. Stations outside the US and Canada should use their IAAF country codes. You can find the country codes here.
This is an informal event, so if you are not an SKCC member, take a moment to visit our home page and apply for a number. It's free! And if you are a member and have completed the required exchange, hang around and chat for a bit with non-members. It's good PR!
-- Each unique QSO counts as one point. You may count contacts with the same station on multiple bands, but only once per band. You earn one multiplier point for each state, province, or country worked, but you can count a state, province, or country only once per WES.
-- You earn bonus points for working Centurions and Tribunes. You can work the same C, T, or S on multiple bands for QSO points, but his or her C, T or S counts once per WES for bonus points. Each C is worth 5 points, each T is worth 10 points, and each S is worth 15 points.
-- You receive an additional 25 bonus points for each band on which you contact the special sprint station, K9SKC, when it is active. Extra bonus points may be offered as part of a given sprint's theme. If none is offered, enter 0 in the appropriate box on the submissions page.
You must copy at least one side of a WES QSO for a QSO point. If you copy both sides of a WES exchanges, that counts as 2 QSO points. You can count the same station more than once only if you copy that station's QSO on a different band -- one QSO per band. Note that some WES themes may not allow SWL entrants to claim the theme-related bonus.
Please use the submissions page, reached by clicking on the "Submit Your Score" link at the top of this page. The link will appear when the submissions page is activated for each event. Between events, the link will not appear on the page.
As you enter your contact information on the submissions page, the page calculates your score automatically by multiplying the total number of QSOs by the total number of multipliers, then adds the total C, T, and S bonus points. If the event has a theme-related bonus scheme as well, you will need to calculate the theme-related bonus yourself and enter the total in the appropriate field on the submissions page.
Your Total = (QSO x Multipliers) + C, T, and S bonus points + theme-related bonus, if any
Logs are not required unless the WES manager requests them. The deadline for submitting or correcting your entry is 2359 UTC on the Sunday following the event. If you are correcting your entry, you must resubmit all your information, not just the item that needed the correction. If you are not a member of the SKCC, use "none" in place of SKCC number on the submissions page. If you are an SWL and have a unique SWL club ID, use that in place of a call sign. If you don't have a club ID, make up a unique, one-word ID to use.
Participation certificates are sent to qualifying WES entrants after each month's event. These certificates are quality wallpaper that any SKCC member would be pround to display.
Four types of certificates, in pdf format, are regularly emailed after each event to:
These certificates have an orange border with a J-38 key watermark in background.
These certificates recognize a member's entry in multiple WES events (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.). These certificates have a red border, with a different key as the watermark for each level. For example, the certificate for 5 DX entries has a J-38 key watermark; for 10 DX entries, the certificate has an E.F. Johnson Speed-X Semi-Automatic Bug watermark; for 15 DX entries, the certificate has a watermark of an NT9K homebrew key crafted in corian; for 20 DX entries, the certificate has a Vibroplex Deluxe key watermark.
These certificates recognize multiple entries in monthly WES events (5, 10, 15, 20, etc.). These certificates have a green border, with the same pattern of watermakers used for DX certificates.
These certificates recognize SKCC members residing in the contiguous 48 US states for entering mulitple WES events (10, 25, 50, 75, etc.). These certificates have a blue border, with the same pattern of watermarks used for DX certificates.
Certificate recipients for DX, QRP, and regular US recognition levels are noted on the General WES Statistics page. The WES manager will, upon request, send new or replacement certificates to those who achieved a qualifying participation level but did not receive a certificate, or to those who have misplaced their certificate. The manager's email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Ron Bower, AC2C, and Pete Spotts, N1ABS, for their help in designing and producing the certificates.