Founded, January 2006
11,449 members strong
(as of 12/03/2013)
Call it Veterans Day, Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day, Nov. 11 holds a special place in the pantheon of annual national holidays -- a time to honor all of those who have served in their countries' armed forces. At least 20 countries around the world celebrate the day. This month's Weekend Sprintathon is designed to do so as well.
Veterans, please add a /V to your names during the normal exchange. In addition, please add the number of years you served to the V. If you served four years, you would send /V4. All others are asked to send a /C for civilian.
For this event, a veteran is someone who has served in uniform: Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard or its equivalent, as well as reservists or members of the National Guard. Because the day also commemorates the end of World War 1, any SKCC member outside the United States who has served in his or her country's military also is invited to use the /V# designation as well.
For this event, bonus points fall into two categories:
For non-vets: You earn a bonus for each unique veteran contacted. Only one QSO per veteran-member counts; no multiband contacts with the same vet for bonus points, although such contacts will, as always, count toward your basic QSO total. Your bonus is the sum of the years served for the veterans you contact. For example: If you contact two veterans, and their combined years of service equals 12, that's your bonus score.
For veterans: Your bonus for a contact with another veteran is the combined years of service in the QSO -- yours and the other member's. If you served 5 years and the other member served for 11, you get 16 bonus points for the contact. As with non-vets, no multibands for these bonus points.
The event runs from 12:00 UTC Nov. 9 to 23:59 UTC Nov. 10.
Here in the US, major-league baseball playoffs are in full swing. During this month's WES, you're invited to step up to the plate for bonus points.
Like the sandlot days of yore, we need four bases: Maine, Washington state, southern California, and Florida. For the purposes of this event, southern California is defined as all of the state below the northern borders of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino counties.
Reach any of those bases, in any order, on any combination of non-WARC bands, and you earn 50 points per base. For a home run (all four bases on any combination of bands), add another 100 points to the total. That's a maximum of 300 bonus points for a home run: 200 for all bags, plus the 100-point home-run bonus.
Finally, as you log calls, use the letters to spell out the complete name: Carl Yazstrzemski for an additional 100 bonus points.
With fall on our doorstep, it's a good time to leaf-peep SKCC style.
This month, you can snag bonus points for contacting Canadian provinces and territories, with extra points if the station you contact is in a provincial capital. In addition to bonus points, these contacts also count toward the club's Canadian Maple Award, with its many-hued levels of achievement. For information on the award, visit its Rules page, listed in in the navigation column at left under Awards.
All of the bonus points for Canadian contacts are one-time bonuses; as in once during the Weekend Sprintathon. A QSO with a station in a provincial or territorial capital counts for the province or territory, as well as for the capital.
Here's the breakdown:
Provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan. One-time bonus of 10 points each; plus 100-point bonus for a sweep. Capitals: Halifax, St. John's, Quebec City, Charlottetown, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Victoria, Fredericton. One-time bonus of 20 points per capital; plus 200 points for a sweep.
Territories: Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon. One-time bonus of 30 points each; plus 90 points for a sweep. Capitals: Yellowknife, Iquluit, Whitehorse. One-time bonus of 40 points each; plus 120 points for a sweep.
Others: St. Paul Island and Sable Island. One-time bonus of 50 points each; plus 100 points for a sweep.
For capital points, the station must be within the capital's city limits, not in a suburb. If a Canadian member living outside a capital wishes to operate portable in the capital, perhaps in a park, that's cool. Be sure to identify the city during the exchange; otherwise a station's location as listed in the club roster will determine QTH.
The event runs from 12:00 UTC 9/7 to 23:59 UTC 9/8.
A big tip of the leaf rake to Roger, KC4HCH, SKCC 7688T, for the theme!
No, not those cooties! The Morse code types!
Any participant using a sideswiper (a.k.a cootie) key is worth a bonus of 10 points per band to participants who contact them. How will you know who is using a cootie? Cootie operators should identify themselves with a /co after their names during the standard WES exchange. Those who are using anything else, please add /nc (no cootie) to your name so the other operators won't have to ask if you're using a cootie.
One goal here is to encourage hams who haven't tried a sideswiper to give it a shot. Typically, these are single-lever paddles. But for this event, you will be allowed to use an iambic paddle -- if you rewire it to serve as a cootie. Run a jumper between or otherwise connect the dit terminal to the dah terminal and you're good to go. You, the operator, must form and determine the length of characters, as well as spacing. No electronic-keying circuits may be used.
And for those of you who have taken the time over the years to build a cootie from scratch and are using it, or you throw one together quickly for this event, take a one-time bonus of 50 points in addition to the bonus points you earn by working other cootie owners.
Cooties -- they're not just for eeyew anymore!
Independence Day 2013 in the United States has come and gone. But we can still celebrate. July's WES, starting at 12:00 UTC July 13, aims to recognize all the major players: the 13 original colonies, plus Britain and France.
For this event, the colonies include: GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, PA, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, and NH. Maine was part Massachusetts until 1820. So for this event and this event only, either ME or MA count as MA.
For bonus points:
A QSO with a member based in one of the 13 colonies is worth 25 points -- only one QSO per colony counts toward the colony-bonus total. Multiband QSOs can still count for QSO points, but not for colony bonus points.Contact any station in the UK and France for a one-time bonus of 125 points each. A clean sweep of the colonies allows you to multiply your colony total by 2 (no multi-band sweeps). Sweep the UK and France, and you can multiply that total by 2.
Your bonus total is the sum of your colony points and your UK/France points. This represents a maximum possible bonus of 650 (colony sweep) + 500 (UK-France sweep) = 1150. Note: If your bonus-point total ends in anything other than a 5 or a 0, crunch the numbers again!
**A big tip of the tri-corner to the Original 13 Colonies Special Event for the inspiration for this one.
It's time once again to turn vintage rigs into bonus points for the SKCC's Weekend Sprintathon this month. The event runs from 1200 UTC June 8 to 2359 June 9.
If you are using an all-tube transmitter, receiver, "twins," or transceiver, give yourself 100 bonus points. Include any tubes in an outboard power supply if your radios use them. If you are using a hybrid radio, mixing tube and solid-state circuits, give yourself 50 points. Also, be sure to count the number of tubes in the radios you are using, including any tubes in an outboard power supply.
For all participants, during your exchange please add the following after you send your SKCC number: a T and the number of tubes your gear is using. If your gear is all solid state, send T0.
For boat-anchor users, your total boat-anchor bonus is either 100 or 50, plus the total tube count from all of your QSOs. For everyone else, your boat-anchor bonus is your total tube count from all QSOs. Note that if you work the same station on multiple bands, you may include the tube count for each QSO with that station.
Tube rigs are not just for anchoring skiffs or canoes anymore!
The SKCC's Weekend Sprintathon is coming up this weekend. And for this one, grasshopper(s), seek balance between the yin of CQ and the yang of S and P in your quest for bonus points.
During your contacts, note which QSOs come from you calling CQ and which come from you searching and pouncing on CQing stations. When you're finished, total up each category.
To determine your bonus points, divide the smaller number by the larger, then multiply that by your QSO total. Round off the result to the nearest whole number. That becomes your bonus total.
For instance, I contact 15 stations (busy weekend). Five contacts result from me calling CQ; 10 were S and P contacts. I divide the smaller by the larger (5/10) and get 0.50. When I multiply that by my QSO total, I get 15 x 0.50 = 7.5 bonus points. Scoring gets really crazy with fractions, so round off to the nearest whole number; 7.5 becomes 8.
Note that the closer you come to a balance between CQs and S and Ps, the higher your bonus total becomes given your QSO count.
And an early heads-up: June's theme will be a perennial favorite -- boat anchors, which means tubes somewhere in the transceiver, transmitter, receiver, or power supply.
P.S. Anyone remember that two-tube, two-band, xtal-controlled transmitter on a square cake pan that appeared in Electronics Illustrated in September 1964 -- "The Scrounger"? Ten watts input for $5. An 80-meter xtal would allow you to operate on 80m and 40m.
This month marks the 210th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. With the stroke of a pen and cool $15 million to Napoleon Bonaparte (in 1803 dollars), the size of a young US virtually doubled. Nice going, Tom!
To mark the anniversary, the green-eyeshade types at WES headquarters decided to award bonus points for QSOs with members from 15 states that grew -- whole or in part -- from that real-estate deal will be worth bonus points. QSOs with members in France, Alberta, and Saskatchewan also will earn you bonus points.
One QSO with any member in any of the 15 states...
Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Wyoming, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana
...will be worth 10 points apiece per band. But only one QSO with that state. As for France and the two Canadian provinces, you can earn another 10 points per band for a contact each of these three entities.
That's 180 possible Louisiana Purchase bonus points per band, propagation willing. And note the word "members." We welcome non-members as participants in the event. But you may claim a Louisiana Purchase bonus points only for QSOs with members.
Finally, if you pull off a sweep of all 18 entities, give yourself a 180-point sweep bonus.
The event runs from 12:00 UTC April 13 to 23:59 UTC April 14.
Laissez les bons temps rouler!
P.S. A tip of the shrimp etouffee bowl to Rick, N5RB, for the idea!
You're invited to throttle back the power for March's Weekend Sprintathon, coming up March 9. And this month, it looks like New England is in the clear for blizzards for next weekend (insert sound of knuckles rapping on wood here). So W1AW will be the event's special bonus station.
This month, the bonus scheme works thusly:
W1AW is worth a one-time bonus of 500 points. [Clarified] Anyone operating QRP or QRPp throughout the event also is worth bonus points to all participants: 5 points per QSO per band for anyone contacting a station running 5 watts or less (QRP); 10 points per band per QSO for working anyone contacting a station running 1 watt or less (QRPp).
If you operate at QRP or QRPp levels, please use a /QRP or /QRPp at the end of your call on the air. And include the power level you are using after you send your SKCC number. The meat of your exchange should look something like this:
559 Pete MA 4853T 5w (or 500mw in a QRPp example)
If you are taking part in one of these Sprintathons for the first time and are not a member, replace the SKCC number (4853T in the example above) with the word none.
Note: When you submit your scores, you needn't use /QRP or /QRPp as part of your call on the submission form. You will automatically be listed in the QRP or QRPp section on the results page when you enter the power level you used.
Again, the event runs from 1200 UTC March 9 to 23:59 UTC March 10. During that period, you may operate for no more than 24 hours.
Let the Peanut Whistle chorus begin!
With Valentine's Day coming up, let's tip our caps to romance during February's Weekend Sprintathon, which will run from 1200 UTC Feb. 9 through 23:59 UTC Feb. 10.
Whether you are of the XY or YY chromosome set, when you send your name during the normal exchange, follow it with a / and the number of years you have been married or have enjoyed the companionship of your current main squeeze. Use 1 for a year or less. Your bonus total is the sum of the years you gather up during your QSOs. You may use a member's year designation only once for bonus points, even though you contact that member on several bands for QSO points.
In addition, fully spell out Valentines Day with the letters from the call signs you gather in your log for an additional 50 points.
Oh, yes: No flowers or candy were harmed in producing this event.
With January's Weekend Sprintathon coming up next week, let's toast the Ts, with an additional tip of the hat to K3Y stations operating during the Sprintathon.
For non-K3Y stations, Ts you work are worth bonus points, in addition to the usual multipliers you receive for working Cs and Ts. The point system is based on the Tx# endorsement a Tribune has.
As part of the QSO exchange, Tribunes are asked to add T# as a separate part of the usual exchange, using the numerical value assigned to the endorsement on their basic T award -- do not use band endorsements.
For instance, if KA8OOM has a Tx5 endorsement on his or her basic award, the usual exchange should end with SKCC number, 20000T, and T5, for the endorsement.
If you are a Tribune but haven't snagged any endorsements yet, you are still worth a bonus point, T1.
All participants' bonus totals equal the sum of all the T numbers. Note: As with the use of Cs or Ts as part of your basic WES scores, you may claim a member's endorsement number only once during the event.
A tap of the straight key to Randy, KX1NH, for the idea.
For K3Y stations operating during the Sprintathon, you may take credit for S/P/Cs you collect as K3Y/# and for the ones you collect as a "civilian" station -- even if some are duplicates. For instance, if you work MA as a "civilian" operator during WES, then again as K3Y/8, you may count both MAs toward your S/P/C total. If you contact more than one MA as K3Y/#, you may include only one of them. You also may claim the Tx# bonus points you collect, following the approach that applies to the rest of the participants -- no duplicates.
That twist was based on a suggestion from Drew, AF2Z.
During the Sprintathon, you may contact a K3Y/# station more than once and count it toward your Cs and Ts -- as long as each QSO is with a different SKCC member using that call. So keep track of SKCC numbers. That's your key to telling one K3Y/5 from another.
To recap: For all participants, the bonus is the sum of the T endorsement numbers you collect from each unique Tribune. For K3Y stations, you are entitled to take the T bonus, plus the unique S/P/Cs you collect when operating as K3Y.
Between K3Y, WES, and the North American QSO Party CW event this weekend, the bands should be singing with dits and dahs!
Finally, (will this ever end??) response to extending the window for participating in the Weekend Sprintathons was overwhelmingly positive, based on comments in last month's results-page comment section as well as here on the list. But that could have been a fluke. So we'll try it again to see if the enthusiasm holds. You may operate for up to 24 hours of your choosing within a 36-hour window beginning at 1200 UTC Jan. 12.
For earlier themes, please click here.