Founded, January 2006
12,594 members strong
(as of 7/21/2014)
It's time to dust off the boat anchors and get them on the air again. For the June WES, which runs from 12:00 UTC June 7 to 23:59 June 8, here's the bonus drill:
If you are running a boat anchor (loosely defined as any radio, store-bought or homebrew, using tubes), you receive an automatic 100 bonus points for all tubes or 50 bonus points for a hybrid (solid-state front end with tubes as finals, for instance). Your boat anchor could be twins, a tube receiver, a tube transmitter, or a tube transceiver. Count your tubes, including any used in your power supply, because...
...the number of tubes in your rig, including any in the power supply, are the bonus points others will earn for working you. Just affix the number of tubes to your name during your exchanges, thusly: Pete/4.
If you are hunting boat-anchor stations, please add 0 to your name so no one has to bug you for a tube number.
You bonus total equals boat-anchor points (100 or 50), if any, plus the total number of tubes you "collect" as you work boat-anchor stations. You may work a BA station on multiple bands for bonus credit on each band, but only once per band.
Now, where did I put that anchor chain?
The info's been up for months (see below), and now it's here: The assault of the one-tube wonders. Members who have put together one-tube transmitters since the first of the year and who use them during this weekend's WES will be worth bonus points.
If you are using one of the one-tube rigs, please tout this by following your name with a /T1 during exchanges, as in Pete/T1. Each unique T1 contact will be worth 50 bonus points, with multi-band contacts permitted. T1 stations earn 100 points for each unique T1-T1 contact, multiband allowed.
A few operating suggestions are in order, because most if not all of these transmitters will be rockbound and will typically be running a few watts of output.
-- Bonus stations are strongly encouraged to use the K3UK Sked page to
announce their frequencies.
-- In cases where more than one crystal-controlled transmitter is using
the same frequency, be sure to give others a chance. Communicate via
the sked page's personal-message function if you need to in order to
hand off the frequency from one crystal-controlled station to another.
Be nice; share.
-- Bonus stations may want to consider operating split, with your
receiving frequency 1 or 2 Khz above or below your transmit frequency,
+/- for QRM. Make like a rare DX station! If you do, be sure to
post the split on the sked page as well.
-- For us VFO types, as you settle on a frequency for calling your own CQ's, please check the sked page for bonus station frequencies, even if you have done due diligence listening before you start sending. Weak bonus station + propagation can = unintentional QRM.
-- Finally, since these stations are running low power, contacts with them qualify for the club's QRP awards as long as your exchange contains all of the information those awards require.
Ladies and gentlemen, warm up your 6L6s!
++++++ Background behind the May theme ++++++
Note: The theme has been expanded to those to bult rigs but not on conjunction with the challenge below.
For May, anyone putting on the air a one-tube transmitter built as part of a challenge conceived by Curt Nixon, KU8L, SKCC 5380T, and sweetened by Cory Sickles, WA3UVV, SKCC 5863, you and your ham band-warmers will become an integral part of the bonus scheme for that month's Weekend Sprintathon.
For background on the challenge and Cory's pot sweetener, here's a reprint of Cory's message to the group on the SKCC's Facebook Page:
"If you'd like to join in the fun of building such a transmitter and the possibility of showing off your handiwork to a larger audience, I'm willing to devote space in my May 2014 'Off the Air' column in CQ Plus (formerly WRO) that discusses the more 'interesting' rigs, pictures and -- of course -- talks more about SKCC. If there are enough suitable submissions, I might even extend this to a second column.
"Many of us built and used such rigs during our Novice experience and continued to, long after that. Others are discovering the simplicity and sheer fun of QSOs accomplished by virtue of a glowing glass envelope and empty-state technology. If you are new to this old tech, perhaps a discussion with more-senior members of your radio club are in order - to Elmer you into this project.
"In addition, Josh Benson was laying out a regen[erative] receiver, as posted in one of his comments. Here too, I'd like to encourage such designs and feature them similarly. Again, let's keep this 'thermatron oriented' and leave solid state designs for a later time.
"So, if you'd like to accept the challenge, please submit a brief write-up, well-focused and lit pictures (possibly with your favorite key in the shot), plus links to any YouTube videos (steady camera shots, please) you may have - no later than 17:00 EST on February 28th.
"I hope to see an enthusiastic and wide-ranging set of responses. Please email them to WA3UVV (at) gmail (dot) com. TNX!"
So there you have it. A chance to hearken back to the days when scrounging parts and repurposing them to get on the air was common. If you find useful sources for parts, please share them with the group.
For background on CQ Plus, see http://www.eham.net/articles/31428.
Potential publicity in a major on-line ham-radio publication, plus bonus points for using the rigs? What's not to like??
This month, we're acknowledging members who also have been elected to the ARRL's A1 Operators Club. At last count, the SKCC has 552 A1 Ops among its ranks. For information on the A1 Operators program, you can read all about it here.
If you are an A1 Op, please add /A1 to your name during your WES exchanges. Each QSO between an SKCC member who is an A1 Op and another participant who is not an A1 Op is worth 5 bonus points to the member who isn't an A1 Op. If two A1 Ops exchange information, the QSO is worth 10 bonus points to each op. Multiband contacts with the same A1 Op may be counted for added bonus points. And thank you, Urb, W1UL, for the theme idea.
A reminder: You need to calculate your own bonus total. The submissions page does not do that for you because the bonus scheme varies with the monthly theme. If you contact 3 A1 Ops, don't put 3 in the bonus field on the submissions page. Put 15. If your bonus total ends in anything other that 0 or 5, follow the lead of that female voice on your car's GPS: "Recalculating."
St. Patty's Day looms in the middle of this month, a day when everyone is Irish, or so they say. We'll advance the St. Patrick's Day schedule a bit by basing bonus points for this month's WES on Ireland's eight counties-corporate, basically a handful of cities or towns that once were counties unto themselves. To wit:
Carrickfergus - 1325 A.D.
Drogheda - 1412
Dublin - 1548
Waterford - 1574
Cork - 1608
Limerick - 1609
Galway - 1610
Kilkenny - 1610
Use letters from the call signs you log during WES to spell out as many of these counties as you can. A letter from each call sign can be used only once. Each county is worth 25 bonus points for a maximum of 200 points. Only fully spelled counties count.
This next step is all or nothing: Use the numbers from the calls as well to build the years in the list. Again, you can use the number from a call sign only once. Build all eight years and match them with all eight counties-corporate you've built from call-sign letters and you nail a pot of gold (PoG): 200 bonus points added to the 200 you earned for building all eight county names. You must nail all eight counties before you can try to apply the numbers in call signs to the years. And you earn the PoG only if you build all eight years.
Thus, the maximum number of bonus points this time around is 400, and any bonus you enter on the submission page must end in a 5 or 0. If your bonus total ends in any other number, you've shortchanged yourself!
For February, let's welcome the SKCC newcomers! If my third-grade math still serves, we added 230 members to the SKCC ranks in January. So for the next WES, we'll reprise a bit of December, but with an exclusive focus on our newest members.
For most members, a QSO with a member sporting an SKCC number of 11576 or higher is worth 25 bonus points, with multiband contacts permissible, but only once per band.
For the newcomers, if you contact another member whose number falls within the range above, you can count the bonus points twice. For instance, if member 11576 contacts member 11577, each station in that exchange can claim 50 bonus points for the exchange. Pull the same feat off on a second band, and you can claim another 50 bonus points, again only once per band.
February's Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC Feb. 8 to 23:59 UTC Feb. 9.
K3Y this month celebrates the club's anniversary, so this month, the club's Weekend Sprintathon celebrates those who founded the club or joined it during its inaugural year, 2006. Any member whose number is 2545 or lower is worth a one-time bonus of 25 points, in addition to any C, T, or S attached to the number. For example, a QSO with W7GVE, 729T, would be worth 25 bonus points, in addition to the T you can claim on the number.
And since the Sprintathon is overlapping the K3Y celebration, do we have a deal for K3Y stations! The time you spend operating as a K3Y station during the WES counts toward the Sprintathon's 24-hour operating limit. But if you contact a station during WES as K3Y/#, you may contact the same station again during the event as a non-K3Y station and claim its SPC multiplier for both QSOs. For instance, if K3Y/2 contacts N1ABS and later, as K2DUH, contacts N1ABS again, that operator can count one MA for each contact. You can count only the SPC mulitplier twice. Additional QSOs with N1ABS would count for QSO points only. This double counting is available only to stations taking shifts as K3Y/# during the Sprintathon.
Many thanks to those first 2545 members who poured the foundation for SKCC! And many thanks to the volunteers this year serving as K3Y stations!
January's Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC Jan. 11 to 23:59 UTC Jan. 12.
For earlier themes, please click here.