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as of 19-Aug-2018

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WES Themes for 2018


Doing it the hard way.

The August WES runs from 8/11/18 at 12:00 UTC to 23:59 UTC on 8/12/18

This month, QRP stations are where bonus points are. Each contact with a QRP station (running between 1 and 5 watts output) is worth 50 bonus points. A contact with a station running less than 1 watt (QRPp) is worth 100 bonus points. These points accrue to the stations contacting the low-power stations. Multiband contacts with the same QRP/QRPp station also qualify for bonus points.

If you are running a QRP/QRPp station, for each contact with another QRP/QRPp station you may claim the sum of both stations' bonus values. For instance:

QRP - QRP is worth 100 points for each station in the QSO.
QRP - QRPp is worth 150 points to each station.
QRPp - QRPp is worth 200 points to each station.

If you like to be outdoors in the beautiful August weather, set up a portable station. Portable QRP stations using temporary portable antennas where the complete station is outside are worth an extra 100 points. As an incentive to set up a portable station, you also get 100 extra bonus points for QSOs with other QRP or QRPp stations. So, for portable stations only, the points would be as follows:

QRP - QRP is worth 200 bonus points for each station in the QSO.
QRP - QRPp is worth 250 bonus points to each station.
QRPp - QRPp is worth 300 bonus points to each station.

Operators running QRP or QRPp should indicate their power class during the exchange by adding /QRP or /QRPp to the end of their names during an exchange. Operators running outdoor portable QRP stations should add /p to the end of their call as well as QRP or QRPp to the end of their names. Only portable QRP stations running 5w or less count for bonus points. Portable stations running over 5w do not count for any bonus points.


For July: Tour the 13 Colonies

The July WES runs from July 7th at 12:00 UTC until July 8th at 23:59 UTC.

July's WES was a popular one last year so we will do it again this year with just a few changes. The July WES aims to recognize the major players in the United States' Revolutionary War**; the 13 original colonies, plus Britain and France.

The original colonies include: GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, PA, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, and NH. For this event and this event only, either ME or MA count as MA. Likewise, VA and WV count as VA. Although it is not part of MD, Washington DC was born of a chunk of MD so for this event only, Washington, D.C. can be counted as MD.

A QSO with an SKCC member in each of the 13 colonies is worth a one-time bonus of 25 points apiece. Contact any member in the UK (not just England) and France for a one-time bonus of 100 points each. Sweep all 13 colonies, and you can multiply your colonies bonus by 2. Sweep the UK and France, and you can multiply the UK/France total by 2. Your bonus is the sum of your colony points and your UK/France points. This represents a maximum possible bonus of 650 (colony sweep) + 400 (UK-France sweep) = 1050 for the colonies, UK/France. However...if you can spell the names (full names) of the original 13 colonies listed above, United Kingdom or France using call signs from the stations you work in those colonies, the UK or France; you can have 100 points for each colony name you spell out (ie Delaware, not DE). So, the maximum bonus you can claim for this sprint is 2550 points. Note: only the call signs of stations located in one of the 13 colonies, UK or France can be used for spelling the names. The letters in each call sign can be used twice (ie AC2C is worth 2 letter As and 4 letter Cs).

The event runs from 12:00 UTC July 7th, 2018 through 00:00 UTC July 8th, 2018.

Praise Morse and pass the RF!

** With a deep bow and sweep of the tricorner hat to the Original 13 Colonies Event for the inspiration for this theme.


For June 2018: Boat Anchor Regatta

The June WES runs from June 9th at 12:00 UTC until June 10th at 23:59 UTC.

One again, it's time for the annual Weekend Sprintathon Boat Anchor Regatta. If your rig has tubes, you're worth bonus points. Tubes, as in the sum of the tubes in your transceiver or transmitter-receiver pair, and power supply. And if your transmitter's frequency is set by a crystal instead of a VFO, you're potentially worth mucho bonus points.

Here's how it works:

Count up the number of tubes in the rigs you are operating and attach that number to your name during your WES exchanges. If you have five tubes, send YOURNAME/5. If you are operating using crystals, add an X to the number. Send YOURNAME/5X.

When the event ends, add the number of non-X points you've logged. That's a bonus subtotal.

Then calculate the points you've earned for working stations using crystals. You do this by **squaring** the number of tubes for each station you've worked that was using crystals: 2X is worth 4 bonus points, 3X is worth 9 points, and so on. This means that if a station sends 14X because the operator is using a 12-tube Hammerlund receiver and a 2-tube, crystal-controlled transmitter, that's 14x14, or 196 points for that QSO.

I can hear the question now: What if I have an old solid-state transmitter that is crystal controlled. Can I offer any bonus points for that? For which the answer is: 0 (no tubes) x 0 = 0.

Your bonus total is the sum of non-crystal bonus points and crystal-control bonus points.

If both stations in a QSO are using boat anchors, each station in the QSO may claim the sum of both stations' tubes, scoring them as outlined above.

So as you operate, be sure to hunt for the folks using crystal-controlled transmitters. You may need to listen to one or two exchanges to be sure. But the nice thing about that is that unless that station has a bucketful of crystals, it won't be QSYing any time soon. If you find one, spot it on the SKCC Sked Page. And if you are operating a crystal-controlled transmitter, it would be in your interest to advertise your presence via the SKCC Sked Page.


For May, 2018 it's a Home BrewsKEYhaha!

The May WES runs from May 12th at 12:00 UTC until May 13th at 23:59 UTC.

This month we will be awarding points to those that use a home brew key of any kind. The only requirements are that no part of it can be from a commercially made key and it must conform to the SKCC key guidelines (even if it doesn't look like a cootie, bug or straight key).

Scoring will be simple. Every QSO you make with the home brew key is worth 10 bonus points. To figure your score, multiply your total QSOs made with the home brew key times 10. If you have 75 QSOs with it, your bonus is 750 points. If you have 200 QSOs with it, your bonus is 2000 points.

If you use your non-dominate hand (the hand opposite the one you usually use) you get 15 bonus points per QSO made. (100 QSOs with your non-dominate hand gets you 1500 bonus points, etc.).

Bonus bonus points.

If you submit a picture of your home brew key when you submit your results, you can claim 100 extra bonus points (or 200 if you are in the picture using it).

So, the scoring summary goes like this:b>

*Use a home brew key and get 10 bonus points per QSO made with it.
*Use a home brew key with your non-dominate hand; get 15 bonus points per QSO made (with your non-dominate hand).
*Submit a picture of your home brew contraption with your results gets you 100 bonus points. If you submit a picture with you using it (yes, someone else will have to take it), you get 200 bonus points (submit as many pictures as you like but only one picture bonus is allowed).

So, pretty simple. Use a home brew key get 10 points bonus per QSO or, if you use your off hand 15 points per QSO. Submit a picture of the key get 100 bonus points.
Submit a picture of the key with you using it get 200 bonus points.

NOTE: Only one picture bonus is allowed so if you want the 200 points, submit one with you using the homebrew key.

So, grab a cold beverage and get to work on that special key. I can't wait to hear it.


For April: Happy Easter!

The April Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC April 7th to 23:59 UTC April 8th - a total of 36 hours.

I know that Easter is past but it's never too late to have a little Easter fun. It brings out the kid in all of us. This month we will have a good old fashioned Easter Egg Hunt. There will be several Easter Eggs hidden around the countryside. The unique thing about these eggs is that once found, the Easter Bunny hides them again. You know how those bunnies like to "Hop" around. They may be hidden on a different frequency on the same band or on a different band. That Easter Bunny is a sneaky little thing. So, here's the way it goes. There will be several stations designated as Easter Eggs (EE). When they call CQ they may call CQ WES/EE or something similar…or they may not. This is 2018 and they are an independent bunch so it is up to them. They can operate whenever they want on any band they want. There are no rules about where or when they operate. The only rule is that once found, they only have ten minutes and the Easter Bunny will hide them again and make them call CQ somewhere else. They don't have to wait ten minutes either. The Bunny can re-hide them after three minutes if he wants to so if you see them spotted, you better hurry before someone else gets to them first and uses up precious time. If you work an EE, you get 100 bonus points for that QSO. You may only work each one of them one time per band for bonus points. Work them on multiple bands and you can count each QSO (once per band per EE) for bonus points. The SKCC Skimmer and Sked pages will be your friends this month because every time they get moved, they are allowed to post their hiding place (one time per hiding place) when they are on frequency and ready to call…but they don't have to. It is totally up to them.

Scoring example: You work 8 of them on 40m = 800 points - You work 6 of them on 20m = 600 points - you work 3 of the on 80m = 300 points - Your total bonus is 800+600+300 or 1700 points. IF you work all ten of them (sweep) on any combination of bands you can claim an extra 500 points but you can only claim the sweep bonus one time. So, 1700 points plus the sweep bonus would give you 2200 bonus points. Since there are ten Easter Eggs and seven bands, you could earn a maximum of 7500 bonus points. So, good luck and happy hunting!

The following stations will be our Easter Eggs this month. Find them and get your bonus points! Oh, one more thing, use of the sked page and skimmer during the event are OK but no early skeds allowed!

           N9EEN - Dave
           W3NP - Dave
           K4UYQ - Don
           ON8WR - Ward
           K0NIA - Mark
           F6HKA - Bert
           KD2E - Dave
           N2BR - Bob
           NM1W - Jim
           AA9OM - Darrell
           G0RDO - John


For March, we are going to have a plain old simple sprint. You have been working hard with the themes and I think you should rest up and refresh a little for the April sprint.

The March Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC March 10th to 23:59 UTC March 11th - a total of 36 hours.

There is no special theme for the event this month and there are no bonus points to chase. However, if you can find time for some radio activity, please join the fun!!! (And please, submit your results. More submissions may encourage more participation).
Please pass on reminders about the WES so we can get more members involved. I would also welcome any thoughts and ideas you might have for a WES as well as reviews of a theme. Did you like it? Was it too difficult? I would really like to hear from you. Your input makes the WES more fun for everyone.


For February 2018, Welcome and Thank You

This event runs from 1200 UTC Feb 10th to 23:59 UTC Feb 11th.

The SKCC recently had a milestone event. We hit 18000 members! That is an average of 125 new members every month for 12 years and an average of over 4 per DAY! That is an incredible growth rate. This month, let's say welcome to our newest members and Thank You to our original members. We are very happy you have joined us and hope that you will participate in and enjoy the many events sponsored by the SKCC.

This month's theme will also help our newest members start the year off with a taste of how great, how friendly and how helpful this club is. Hopefully it will encourage them to enjoy the camaraderie of this great club on a regular basis.

Here's how it works. Every QSO you have with a member whose member number is 16000 or higher will get you bonus points. A member number that starts with 16 (16xxx) is worth 30 bonus points. If their member number starts with 17 (17xxx), that gets you 40 bonus points and, if the member number starts with 18 (18xxx), you guessed it, you get 50 bonus points. QSOs between two members that both have numbers starting with 16 (16xxx), 17 (17xxx) or 18 (18xxx) get to count both numbers for bonus points. Multiband contacts are OK but you can count the bonus points only once per band.

We don't want to forget the members that built the foundation for the SKCC. Without the hard work and dedication of those members during the first year the club operated, we would not have the best club out there now. So, if you work a member with number 2545 or lower, you can claim 25 bonus points.

           Members with number 2545 or lower: 25 bonus points each
           Members with numbers starting with 16 (16xxx): 30 bonus points each.
           Members with numbers starting with 17 (17xxx): 40 bonus points each
           Members with numbers starting with 18 (18xxx): 50 bonus points each

For a little extra incentive, if you can spell "Welcome and Thank You" from the letters in the call signs you collect you can add 100 bonus points to your score. As usual, you can only use the letters from each individual call sign once no matter how many times you work them.

Finally, as a thank you to our newer members, if your member number is 16000 or higher, you get 100 bonus points just for participating and submitting your results.

So please, let's encourage all of our newer members to join us in this month's Weekend Sprintathon so we can show them how much fun SKCC events are (and help them get a jump start on earning some awards). Please remember that some of our newer members may still be working on their CW skills so don't forget to QSY for those that aren't as fast as you are.

If you know someone that has never participated (or hasn't participated recently) in a WES, please encourage them to try it. Finally, please be sure to submit your score. No logs are required and score submission is very easy. Even if you have only one QSO (or tried but didn't get any), please submit your results. It is very important to all of us.

Note: I always welcome comments and suggestions for themes. If you have an idea, please send it to me. We can work on it together and you can have the credit for the idea. Keeping the WES themes fresh will encourage participation.

Send your ideas to:wes-manager@skccgroup.com

For January - 2018... Happy New Year and Happy Anniversary SKCC

From 1200 UTC 13-Jan to 0000 UTC 15-Jan

It's hard to believe that 2017 is over. It sure has gone by fast. I hope everyone has enjoyed the many opportunities the SKCC offers to help us get on the air and have a good time. I know I enjoy them.

Since we are all tired from the busy holiday season, we will keep this month's theme a little simpler. As you know, we are celebrating the 12th anniversary of the SKCC this month. The K3Y event lasts all month so look for those K3Y stations. There are 19 total areas (K3Y/0 through K3Y/9 plus KH6, KL7, KP4 and six DX continents).

The theme this month will help us celebrate the SKCC 12th Anniversary. For each K3Y celebration station you work during the WES, you get 100 bonus points (each area only counts one time for K3Y area bonus points). If you are lucky enough to work all 19 areas, you can claim an extra 500 bonus points. The maximum bonus points you can claim for K3Y stations would then be 2400. For more information about the K3Y celebration stations, visit the K3Y Home Page here.

If you want to be a K3Y special event operator, you can contact one of the coordinators listed on the K3Y home page. Try it; it's a lot of fun!

NOTICE! Just released! Special Bonus opportunity!!!

If you can spell "Happy Twelfth Anniversary SKCC" from the call signs you work, give yourself another 100 points for each word completed. The letters from each call sign you work can only be used once. You won't need many K's or Y's so be sure to get the operators personal call for the word challenge. Multiple QSOs with K3Y stations in the same call area can be counted for QSO points IF IT IS A DIFFERENT OPERATOR so I recommend you log the operators call and make a note that it was a K3Y/x station for counting K3Y bonus points. If you can spell all four words (SKCC is a word for this challenge), give yourself a 100 point word sweep bonus (for 500 total word bonus points). The maximum total bonus points you can claim this month is 2900 points.

To help you track your points, Jerry, K6III has created a spreadsheet for the January WES. If you would like a copy of the spreadsheet, please email Jerry at Jerry.Bliss-at-gmail.com (be sure to replace the -at- with the @ sign). Thank you Jerry!! Your spreadsheets are a huge help for scoring bonus points.

Finally, I would like to thank the bonus station operators that helped make last month's WES successful. They took time out of their busy holiday schedule to make the sprint more fun for all of us and did a great job doing it. Thank you!!!!

     Steve, KE4OH SKCC# 13651S
     Dave, W3NP SKCC# 3182S
     Keith, W4AFB SKCC# 7196S
     Brian, KF6C SKCC# 3398T
     Duc, F5UQE SKCC# 13468T
     Dave, NM5Z SKCC# 17215T
     Randy, N8KQ SKCC# 8934S
     Peter, NN9K SKCC# 13940S
     Mark, K0NIA SKCC# 16396T
     Randy, KB4QQJ SKCC# 3508T

WES Themes for 2017


For December: Ho Ho Ho - Merry Christmas!

From 1200 UTC 09-DEC to 0000 UTC 11-DEC

The December WES will be a little different. In preparation for The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, we will have some very special operators out there just looking to fill your WES stocking with bonus points. This month, we will have Santa, Rudolph (his most important Reindeer) and his original elves operating as bonus stations. Some say there were six original elves, some say twelve and some say more. But, for the purpose of this WES, we will be using eight. So, the very special operators this month are:

>Santa - We all know who he is.
>Rudolph - The most famous reindeer of all.
>Elf Bernard - Santa's head Elf
>Bushy Evergreen - The inventor of the magic toy-making machine.
>Shinny Upatree - Santa's oldest friend and cofounder of his secret village.
>Wunorse Openslae - He designed Santa's sleigh and maintains it for top performance. He also cares for the reindeer.
>Pepper Minstix - The guardian of the secret of the location of Father Christmas's village.
>Sugarplum Mary - Head of the Sweet Treats, and assistant to Santa's wife, Mrs Claus.
>Alabaster Snowball - A very important elf. He is the Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list.
>Snowflake - Alabaster's assistant

     * Santa - Steve, KE4OH
     * Rudolph - Dave, W3NP
     * Elf Bernard - Keith, W4AFB
     * Bushy - Brian, KF6C
     * Shinny - Duc, F5UQE
     * Wunorse - Dave, NM5Z
     * Pepper - Randy, N8KQ
     * Sugarplum - Peter, NN9K
     * Alabaster - Mark, K0NIA
     * Snowflake - Randy, KB4QQJ

Here's how it works. You get bonus points for each "Special Guest Operator" you work. All of the bonus stations are worth 50 points. Together, that adds up to 500 bonus points. BUT, if you work all of them, you get 500 extra bonus points for a total of 1000 bonus points. It doesnt end there though...if you can spell their names (full names as listed) using letters from the all of the call signs you work in the WES (any call, not just the bonus stations), you can claim an extra 100 points each for a total possible bonus of 2000 points (you do not have to work bonus stations for the spelling points). Each letter of the call signs you work in the WES can be used twice so if you work KB1BE, you will have 2-Ks, 4-Bs and 2-Es to use toward spelling their names. For clarification, the names you have to spell are (ignore the spaces when spelling them):

     Santa Claus
     Rudolph
     Elf Bernard
     Bushy Evergreen
     Shinny Upatree
     Wunorse Openslae
     Pepper Minstix
     Sugarplum Mary
     Alabaster Snowball
     Snowflake

These very famous and rare (they are only around once a year) guest operators will be operating when they can so they may not be around all the time or all at once. They have a ton of work to do in preparation for Christmas but have very graciously agreed to participate in our Dec WES this year. There are no promises for next year so you better try to get them now. Since they are so busy, they are probably going to be extremely tired (and Rudolph is having a real hard time with his new Bug) so for this sprint, let's try to keep our speeds around 15 wpm. This will make it easier for them and it may encourage newer CW operators to jump in and enjoy the sprint too. If you have never participated in a SKCC WES, consider trying it. It really is great fun and SKCC OPs are all very patient and will QRS whenever needed. So please, give it a try. You may find that you like them!


For November: Honoring Our Veterans

Veterans Day, Nov. 11th is a day to honor those who have served in their countries' armed forces. Many countries around the world celebrate Veterans Day. This month's Weekend Sprintathon will do so as well.

Veterans, please add a /V to your names during the normal exchange. Then include the number of years you served. 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 is recognized internationally, 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.

Bonus points fall into two categories (and work differently than last year):

For non-veterans: You earn a bonus for each unique WES participant you work who is a veteran. Multiband contacts with the same vet count toward both your basic QSO total AND your bonus points (for example, if you work a veteran on 20m and he had four years of service and then you work him again on 40m, you get to count his four years of service again for a total of 8 bonus points, etc.) so, work em often. 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 equal 12, that's your bonus score. If you work the same two veterans on two bands, your bonus score is 24.
For veterans: Your bonus for a contact with another veteran is the combined years of service represented in the QSO -- yours and the other member's. If you served 5 years and the other member served for 11, you each get 16 bonus points for the contact. As with non-vets, multiple bands count again.

Since the WES is actually starting on Veterans Day this year, every QSO with a veteran (or another veteran) between 12:00z and 23:59z on Saturday the 11th is worth 5 extra bonus points. Work 50 veterans on Saturday between 12:00z and 23:59z, you score 250 extra bonus points. QSOs after 23:59z Saturday DO NOT get the 5 extra bonus points.

Finally, all participants can earn additional bonus points by using letters in the call signs from stations you work to spell out the last names of the lead signatories of the Treaty of Versailles:

     * Wilson
     * Lloyd George
     * Clemenceau
     * Sonnino
     * Saionzi
     * Muller
b>

You get 50 points for each fully spelled name. Letters from a given call sign can be used only once. For instance, if you need two Ls and one call has two, you can use both from that call, but only once. If you need another L, you will need to contact another participant with an L in his or her call sign for the additional one.
Your bonus total = QSO bonus points + name-spelling points.


October

Change it up Challenge


Sometimes it's not easy to work the same station on multiple bands. This month, it will be worth the effort.

This month's theme is the "Change it up Challenge!" The idea is to work a station on as many bands as you can because each time you do, the bonus points grow. As usual, the SKCC Sked page and the SKCC Skimmer are permitted in the WES so use them and score big.

Here are the available bonus points:

     * Work the same station on two bands = 50 bonus points
     * Work the same station on three bands = 150 bonus points
     * Work the same station on four bands = 500 bonus points
     * Work the same station on five or more bands = 1000 bonus point

The idea is simple. Here's how it works... You work WE1BE, that's worth one QSO point. Work him on two bands, that's 50 bonus points. Work him on three bands, that's 150 bonus points. Work him on four bands, that's 500 bonus points. If you work him on five or more bands, you earn 1000 bonus points. Now, the bonus points are not cumulative so you only get to claim the bonus points for the highest level you achieved with that station (all other scoring rules still apply). It's not too early to plan your strategy or your skeds so get to work on those ideas. Most of all, have fun! If you know someone who hasn't participated in a sprint for a while (or ever), invite them to join us and have a good time. Please remember that not everyone can work as fast as you do so please, slow down to their speed so they can enjoy themselves too. We want every Ham that hears us to feel welcome to participate in our activities and join the club. It's good PR, good sportsmanship and good for the hobby.

Just a reminder - There may be some frequencies in use for emergency communications after the hurricanes and earthquakes of late. Most of the time they use the sideband frequencies but they could be in the CW portions of the bands. Be careful so we don't interfere with any emergency traffic.


For September: C'mon Fall !

The September Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC September 9 to 00:00 UTC September 11 - a total of 36 hours.

Even though it's not officially Fall yet, Labor Day marks the "Unofficial End of Summer" so it must be the "Unofficial Beginning of Fall"! In the spirit of the Fall season, this month's WES theme will be an Autumn Word Search using the call signs of the stations you work in the WES.

Here's how it works. Use the letters in the call signs to spell out the words related to the Fall season. You can use any individual letter from a given call sign only once. For example: You contact KE1BE. You can use both Es and the B for Breezy and the K for Pumpkin, or spread the B, K, and Es out between multiple words like Bonfire, Harvest, and Jacket. It doesn't matter where you use them but you can only use those letters from that call once even if you work the same station on multiple bands (you still get the QSO points on each band). Need another E? Wait for another call with an E in it.

The Fall Words are:
     - Pumpkin
     - Halloween
     - WeenieRoast
     - HarvestMoon
     - Autumn
     - Bonfire
     - Cornucopia
     - Frosty
     - Breezy
     - Thanksgiving

Each completed Fall/Autumn related word from the list is worth 100 points; for a total of 1,000 bonus points. If the word consists of two words, they count as one word. For example: WeenieRoast is really two words but is considered one word. If you complete all 10 words, you can claim an additional 500 points for a sweep. Maximum possible bonus: 1,500 points.


For August: Another K.I.S.S. WES

For August, the automatic theme generator is in for repairs so let's just keep it as simple and easy as we can.

There is no special theme for the event and there are no bonus points to chase. However, if you can break away from the beach, fun in the sun, or yard chores for some radio activity, have some fun !!!

The August Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC August 12 to 00:00 UTC August 14 - a total of 36 hours.


For July: Tour the 13 Colonies

July's WES aims to recognize the major players in the United States' Revolutionary War**: the 13 original colonies, plus Britain and France.

The original colonies include: GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, PA, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, and NH. For this event and this event only, either ME or MA count as MA. Likewise, VA and WV count as VA.

A QSO with an SKCC member in each of the 13 colonies is worth a one-time bonus of 25 points apiece. Contact any member in the UK (not just England) and France for a one-time bonus of 100 points each. Sweep all 13 colonies, and you can multiply your colonies bonus by 2. Sweep the UK and France, and you can multiply the UK/France total by 2. Your bonus is the sum of your colony points and your UK/France points. This represents a maximum possible bonus of 650 (colony sweep) + 400 (UK-France sweep) = 1050.

The event runs from 12:00 UTC July 8 through 00:00 UTC July 10. Praise Morse and pass the RF!

** With a deep bow and sweep of the tricorner hat to the Original 13 Colonies Event for the inspiration for this theme.


For June: Boat Anchor Regatta

One again, it's time for the annual Weekend Sprintathon Boat Anchor Regatta. If your rig has tubes, you're worth bonus points. Tubes, as in the sum of the tubes in your transceiver or transmitter-receiver pair, and power supply. And if your transmitter's frequency is set by a crystal instead of a VFO, you're potentially worth mucho bonus points.

Here's how it works:

Count up the number of tubes in the rigs you are operating and attach that number to your name during your WES exchanges. If you have five tubes, send YOURNAME/5. If you are operating using crystals, add an X to the number. Send YOURNAME/5X.

When the event ends, add the number of non-X points you've logged. That's a bonus subtotal.

Then calculate the points you've earned for working stations using crystals. You do this by **squaring** the number of tubes for each station you've worked that was using crystals: 2X is worth 4 bonus points, 3X is worth 9 points, and so on. This means that if a station sends 14X because the operator is using a 12-tube Hammerlund receiver and a 2-tube, crystal-controlled transmitter, that's 14x14, or 196 points for that QSO.

I can hear the question now: What if I have an old solid-state transmitter that is crystal controlled. Can I offer any bonus points for that? For which the answer is: 0 (no tubes) x 0 = 0.

Your bonus total is the sum of non-crystal bonus points and crystal-control bonus points.

If both stations in a QSO are using boat anchors, each station in the QSO may claim the sum of both stations' tubes, scoring them as outlined above.

So as you operate, be sure to hunt for the folks using crystal-controlled transmitters. You may need to listen to one or two exchanges to be sure. But the nice thing about that is that unless that station has a bucketful of crystals, it won't be QSYing any time soon. If you find one, spot it on the K3UK Sked Page. And if you are operating a crystal-controlled transmitter, it would be in your interest to advertise your presence via the SKCC Sked Page.


For May: A K.I.S.S. WES

For May, let's just keep it as simple and easy as we can.

There is no special theme for the event and there are no bonus points to chase. However, if you can break away from Mother's Day festivities for some radio activity, have some fun !!!

The May Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC May 13 to 00:00 UTC May 15 - a total of 36 hours.


For April: Pursuing Peanut Whistles

This month, QRP stations are where bonus points are. Each contact with a QRP station (running between 1 and 5 watts output) is worth 50 bonus points. A contact with a station running less than 1 watt (QRPp) is worth 100 bonus points. These points accrue to the stations contacting the low-power stations. Multiband contacts with the same QRP/QRPp station qualify for bonus points.

If you are running a QRP/QRPp station, for each contact with another QRP/QRPp station you may claim the sum of both stations' bonus values. For instance:

QRP - QRP is worth 100 points for each station in the QSO.
QRP - QRPp is worth 150 points to each station.
QRPp - QRPp is worth 200 points to each station.

Operators running QRP or QRPp should indicate their power class during the exchange by adding /QRP or /QRPp to the end of their names during an exchange.

Please note: The QRP Amateur Radio Club International is holding its Spring QSO Party at the same time the SKCC is holding its Weekend Sprintathon. Bonus points apply only to contacts between SKCC members. To help avoid confusion for folks from either group hunting contacts, please use SKCC when you exchange SKCC numbers, as in SKCC 4853S.

The Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC April 8 to 00:00 UTC April 10.


For March: March Madness

It's that time of year, when college basketball rules the sports scene. This month, you can earn bonus points by spelling the names of the mascots representing the universities whose men's and women's basketball teams made 2016's Elite Eight.

A twist: During your exchange, also send the name of your city or town, which is not usually part of a WES exchange. Draw the letters you need for the mascot names from the names of the cities you log. Each letter in a city or town name may be used only once from that name. If you need two Es and a town has two, use them both. If you need three, pull the third E from another city or town name. Each fully spelled mascot name is worth 50 bonus points.

If you work another WES participant whose city is a state capital, you can earn another 100 bonus points for that QSO, but only once during the event for that capital. For this event, state capital is defined as the city itself, plus any community within 40 miles of a capital. If you work another station from the same capital, you earn no additional bonus points. If each participant in a WES QSO is operating from a state capital, each can claim 200 points for that QSO. If you operate from one of these communities, please put a /c after your name in the exchange, as in Pete/c. Your total bonus is the total number of complete mascot names x 50 (up to 800 points), plus your state capital bonus.

Here is the list of mascots:

Men's Women's
KansasJayhawksConnecticutHuskies
MarylandTerrapinsMississippi StateBulldogs
MiamiHurricanesUCLABruins
VillanovaWildcatsTexasLonghorns
North CarolinaTar HeelsSouth CarolinaGamecocks
IndianaHoosiersSyracuseOrange
Notre DameFighting IrishOhio StateBuckeyes
WisconsinBadgersTennesseeVolunteers

The event runs from 12:00 UTC March 11 to 00:00 UTC March 13.


For February: Meet the New Sked Page

As you may know, board has opted to adopt the K7MJG Sked page as the club's page (see the postings on Facebook and on the Yahoo group for a more fulsome explanation). To encourage folks to kick the site's tires, the bonus scheme for this month's Weekend Sprintathon will work thusly:

You can claim 100 points for every hour you spend using the new site, http://sked.k7mjg.com up to 10 hours (1,000 bonus points, max). Using both sites simultaneously is permitted, but to qualify for bonus points, use the new site as your primary posting site during the time you claim. You also may earn bonus points by using letters from the call signs of stations you work to spell out the following items related to winter-sports gear:

Auger (ice fishing)
Binding (skiing)
Blade (ice skates)
Crampons (ice climbing)
Runner (Luge)
Shovel (clearing your driveway ;-) )
Stays (ice sailing)
Stones (curling)
Twenty-two (biatholon)
Webbing (snowshoes)

You can use any letter in any call sign only once. If you need two Es and one call has two, you can use them both. Need three? Look for the third in another call sign. Each fully spelled item is worth 50 bonus points. The maximum possible bonus is 1,500 points if you use the new sked page for 10 hours and are able to gather the letters to spell all of the winter-sport-related items.

The event runs from 12:00 UTC Feb. 11 to 00:00 UTC Feb. 13.


For January: First Members' Weekend

This month, we're celebrating the club's 11th anniversary, so this month, the club's Weekend Sprintathon celebrates those who founded the club or joined it during its inaugural year, 2006. You can earn 25 bonus points for a QSO with any member whose number is 2545 or lower. These are the folks who kicked things off in 2006. If one inaugural-year member contacts another inaugural-year member, each can claim 50 bonus points for the QSO. You can claim bonus points for an inaugural-station contact once per band.

Contacts with K3Y stations count, but once a K3Y operator is off duty and operating under his or her original call, be careful of dupes. A contact with K2HUH on 20 meters after working K2HUH as K3Y/2 on 20 meters is a dupe. In keeping track, SKCC numbers are your friends.

Many thanks to those first 2,545 members who poured the foundation for SKCC! And many thanks to the volunteers this year serving as K3Y stations, herding those volunteers, or ensuring that K3Y runs smoothly!

January's Weekend Sprintathon runs from 12:00 UTC Jan. 7 to 00:00 UTC Jan. 9.


For earlier themes, please click here.