Founded, January 2006
14,031 members strong
as of 25-May-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.
The 100th Weekend Sprintathon is coming up in May. This event will be a different in two ways.
To commemorate the event, the club will raffle off two LNR Precision SKCC straight keys -- one to a US SKCC station and the other to a DX SKCC station.
The "price" for entry into the raffle? Your participation, at whatever level you can muster between 1200 UTC on May 9 and 2359 UTC on May 10. Each participating SKCC member*** will automatically be entered for the drawing. Shipping is on us. The DX winner? Shipping also is on us, but customs duties, if any, are on you.
For the purposes of the drawing, we'll be departing from the typical DXCC listings by including Alaska, Hawaii, and US possessions or territories as "US."
Each participating member will be entered into the proper category and assigned a number: 1 through the maximum number of participants in each of the two raffle categories. We'll seed a computer's random-number generator and let it "tumble the cage" for us. The members whose numbers the computer picks win the keys.
***You must submit your results using the event's submissions page to qualify. The For this raffle, current members of the SKCC board and members of the club's support team, as listed on the club website, are ineligible.
From 0000-2359 UTC May 9, the US Islands Award Program is holding its first "One-Day Getaway." Hams will be operating portable and mobile stations from fresh- and salt-water islands around the US. Both activators and chasers will be trying to bag islands for the program's awards. Any SKCC member operating from a qualifying island for three hours or longer during the overlap in our two events (1200-2359 UTC May 9) will be worth major bonus points. If you are activating and island, please try to post your island and the approximate times you'll be operating from it on the SKCC's Yahoo email list.
The islands from which you operate must meet the US Islands Program criteria, as described here.
If you are activating an island but the island doesn't appear on the USI Program's official list, you can have the fun of garnering the QSOs needed to make it official. You can see the list here.
If you are activating an unlisted island, please let Ted Sarah, W8TTS, know before May 9 so he can verify that it qualifies and assign it a number. Anyone activating any island should also let Jay Chamberlain, NS4J, know so he can include it on the publicized list of islands available for the event. You can reach Ted at QM@usislands.org. Jay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Copy and paste those email addresses.)
Note that an island can be connected to the mainland by a bridge or narrow causeway, as long as the island is the right size and far enough away from the shore (no peninsulas need apply). Be sure to look over the US Islands Program's list of already-qualified islands. You may find they are closer and easier to reach than you think.
WES participants who work SKCC-activated islands will earn a one-time bonus of 500 points per island -- one time as in, once during the WES. Similarly, SKCC "island activating" stations conducting an SKCC-island-to-SKCC-island QSO can claim 750 points apiece, but only once per island.
The typical CQ for island activators is CQ Islands. SKCC members who activate an island should call CQ WES/USI.
If you are an activator, feel free to post a screenshot of an APRS map showing your location or just a photo of your set-up so that all may marvel at your seamanship, lakemanship, or rivermanship skills. Remember to give out your SKCC number as well as the island number during your QSOs, which for WES purposes must meet the usual SKCC requirements for valid exchanges and sending devices.
SKCC members operating from islands should respond to all stations wanting to contact the island, not just SKCC stations. USI groupies will be just as eager to snag your island as SKCCers will be to snag the bonus points (and, perhaps, islands toward their own USI awards).
This does imply that for members whose schedules don't allow them to operate May 9, there will be no opportunity to earn bonus points that month. I hope you won't let that dissuade you from participating in May's WES. The key raffle still dangles in front of you, as does the opportunity to wrack up additional QSOs for SKCC achievement awards.
And for those intrigued by the prospect of a day-long island getaway, don't forget the sunscreen!
Queue Jimmy Buffett!
May's WES will run from 12:00 UTC Saturday, May 9 though 23:59 on Sunday, May 10.
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 email@example.com
Many thanks to Ron Bower, AC2C, and Pete Spotts, N1ABS, for their help in designing and producing the certificates.