Founded, January 2006
13,901 members strong
as of 21-Apr-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.
Here at WES Central, we get occasional emails from members asking if we can have a WES that includes more than the perfunctory exchanges. Well, here we go:
This month marks the 155th anniversary of the first Pony Express runs on April 3, 1860 -- one westbound and one eastbound. To mark this event, two short messages will be sent out, each originating with an anonymous volunteer. To earn bonus points, your task is to collect both messages though on-air exchanges between you and other participants.
Each message will carry a two letter code noting its direction: WB for westbound and EB for eastbound. The body of each message will be three random words long, with no punctuation. Once the event ends, I'll post the messages on the WES's main page so you can see how you did.
And the messages are: WB - lophobranch diclinous sacque; EB - longicorn dicrotic safranine. And yes, they're all in the dictionary!
For each correct message, you will earn 1,000 bonus points -- 2,000 total points possible.
The implication, of course, is that you will be sharing the messages as well as receiving them. So once you have finished the basic WES exchange, the station originating the QSO should either ask the other station if they have messages or if they need messages: A simple "hve msgs?" or "need msgs?" will work.
The other station should reply accordingly: "Hv WB" (or EB), "Need WB" (or EB) , or "None" if you haven't copied any at all yet or don't need any. Even if you have or need both, the exchange should involve no more than one message each way; you may not copy both EB and WB messages from the same SKCC member during the event, even if that station has both messages.
If neither station in a QSO has or needs the messages, feel free to wrap up the QSO and move on. These messages will be short, so requests for fills may be few. But please respect such requests if they come your way.
Yes, this will slow the pace of the event a bit. On the other hand, no saddle sores! And lots of opportunities to send for clarity as well as for QSO points. Now, which saddlebag is holding the carrots?
(A tip of the Stetson to Dick, K2RFP, and his CW Fun Event for the inspiration for this one.)
The event runs from 1200 UTC Saturday, April 11 to 2359 UTC Sunday, April 12.
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.
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 bonus points you enter, based on the bonus-point scheme for the event. Because this scheme varies from event to event, you'll need to canculate your bonus totals.
Total = (QSO x Multipliers) + bonus points
Please use the submissions page, reached by clicking on "Submit Your Score" link at the top of this page. 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 a non-member, 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, which is updated after each WES. Gene Buck, KL7GLL, WES awards 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. Gene'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.