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SKCC Weekend Sprints

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:16 pm
by NT9K
With the end of K1Y coming soon what will we do for an encore? It hasn't even ended yet and I'm already wanting more. My observations of K1Y have been that weekend daytime and evening events are where the numbers are.

I would like to see a 12 or 24 hour event on the weekend similar to a qso party. Short exchanges would be nice to entice the beginners on the air and allow for some competition for the more experienced ops. Something for everyone. I'd like to see an event like this every month.

I can already hear people say, how would you schedule it around other events. Well, I believe that the size the SKCC has grown to will allow us to set our own schedule and people will just have to choose to operate in our event or another. Same as the NAQCC issue.

Pulling off an event like this wouldn't be anymore difficult than our sprint with the exception of alot more participants. We could even use the same format.

So, what do you all think?

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:32 pm
by N6WK
I like the idea Bill. I had a wonderful time using the K1Y call and I also look forward to the Sprints each month.



Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:54 pm
by kc9gmn
I like the idea of a QSO Party, great idea !! The k1Y station has been a great success and I have enjoyed running K1Y/9.

SKCC 2297

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:15 pm
by K4VD
Very cool idea. Maybe just 24 hours for the first QSO party.

There is something that I wish we did with the Sprints but it never flew. Maybe an SKCC QSO Party would be a place for it. For variety, how about creating a theme for the exchange... a different theme each time. Instead of the same RST, NAME, STATE maybe we could drop name and add favorite color, Elmer's name or cat's name or something like that. (If you don't have a cat, make up a name.)

I'm sure we could find a day on the weekend that won't interfere with most others. How close should it be to the end of our Anniversary Event? Are people too burned out for another event or do you strike while the iron is hot?

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:30 am
by NT9K
The Fists winter sprint is Saturday February 10th 1700 - 2100z. That's the second Saturday. What if we picked up after the Fists sprint? We might get some of thier leftovers and maybe some new members. 24 hours is good. If we decide to do this monthly, I think a theme is a great idea to keep the event fresh. Maybe the first one should be standard SKS sprint format that most members are used to?

What could we call this event? skcc qso party, skcc 24hr run, skcc marathon? Maybe some of the others have better ideas?

I like being able to discuss topics in this format, I hope others will join in.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:47 am
by NT9K
The only bad thing I can see, would be the added workload for Gordon. He would be swamped with new Centurions.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:18 pm
by K4VD
A monthly QSO Party might be a bit much especially if it is 24 hours long. Most QSO Parties are once a year. Maybe a summer and winter party? It depends on the tolerance level of our members.

The sprints have been going along nicely with just the email certificates. I'm not sure that an extra prize is required. The coffee cup and the CD were nice prizes (and surprises) but I'm not sure people are making a decision to join in on the Sprint because of them.

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:40 pm
by NT9K
It doesn't have to be 24 hrs. I was looking for an event that would be during daytime weekend hours when we might be able to get on the higher bands. I did have an alterier motive. I have a hard time staying awake for the sprints and seeing all the weekend daytime K1Y activity, thought it might be the same for this type of event.

Maybe 4 hours is more suitable? Or maybe just add another monthly sprint but on a weekend day. We need some member input on what the masses want and not what I want. hi..

Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:53 pm
by K4VD
I understand now. Yes, a daytime event on the weekend may attract a good crowd.

Would you pattern it after the Sprint? I could help with some background information and the PDF certificates. Do you have Corel Draw?

Try this out... SKCC Weekend Warrior. Submit your list of SKCC QSOs worked during the event. Maybe you could run it for the whole weekend but not as an intense contest. Just work as many SKCC members as you can over the selected weekend?

Another theme that might be interesting... not counting the total number of QSOs but the total length of time. Three or four 1-hour QSOs over a weekend might be more fun than 10 or 20 30-second QSOs. Just total up your time in all your weekend SKCC QSOs.

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:43 am
by NT9K
Now those are some good ideas! Being the Ted Nugent fan that I am, I also like the SKCC Weekend Warrior. My original thought was to pattern it exactly like the sprint but a longer timeframe.

I liked what you said here:
Try this out... SKCC Weekend Warrior. Submit your list of SKCC QSOs worked during the event. Maybe you could run it for the whole weekend but not as an intense contest. Just work as many SKCC members as you can over the selected weekend?

Yes, exactly! it wouldn't have to be an internationally publicized event. More so, a way to rack up new numbers for Centurion. (forgive me Gordon). The whole weekend was my first thought but that may be too much. I'd settle for 4 hours during daylight hours.

I don't have Corel Draw. I use Photoshop/paintshop pro..

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:49 am
by N6WK
NT9K wrote:The only bad thing I can see, would be the added workload for Gordon. He would be swamped with new Centurions.
I can handle my end ok. You guys are all helping more then you know.

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:28 am
by K0DBK
I like the idea of some sort of QSO party also. Something over a weekend during the day would be great. 4 or 8 hours is a good length. I'm one of those folks that works still and has little time during weekday evening hours so a weekend event is a nice addition.

The K1Y event has been such a success that I have already volunteered to be a 0-land coordinator for the next one and will even do it for K0Y like was discussed a couple of days ago. I am planning on requesting to operate using the club call after the special event has concluded.

Brad, K0DBK
SKCC #24

Re: SKCC QSO Party

Posted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:26 am
by Arnold
A "daytime" event would improve the chance of intercontinental fun. I like the idea!

Arnold OE1AGB
SKCC #301

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:38 am
by N5BO
I like the idea of a possible sprint during a weekend...maybe 8 hours in length? Might provide an opportunity to some of our fellow members who can't make it during the normal sprints.

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:29 pm
by ai4re
I like Bill's idea of keeping the length down - like 4 - 6 hours - so you're getting everyone together.

I see on the main SKCC page that we're supposed to be having a monthly straight key "night" on the first of every month, but I never hear anybody talk about it? Does anybody make an effort to do that, or do we have so many SKCC members now, that you can pretty much operate any time and find folks. It seems to me if that's still in effect, we already have a 24 hour event.

I think the idea here has a two-fold purpose:
1) Get SKCCers to concentrate on getting on in a limited, define time frame so there's a good density.
2) Try to get some activity in the underutilized day time since we already have evening sprints, and many people operate more in the evening anyway.

I see several advantages of 2)
2a) Open areas of propagation to SKCCers that are not normally open to them in the evening hours (and try to get SKCCers on at that time in those areas).
2b) Utilize some of the those day time bands that people don't seem to be trying to use, especially making use of the WARC bands. 17m should be open most of the daylight hours, and even 15m for a few hours.
2c) Help SKCCers work on 5BWAS and such.

On the downside, I, personally, am going to have a difficult time operating any more radio events, so may have to pick and choose from month to month. I'm kind of looking forward to the K1Y thing to end, getting back to my normal operating practices and say, "That was fun. Maybe again next year," and I'm not even one of the ones working really hard on it

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:33 pm
by K4VD
Now that is an interesting issue. I don't know if the monthly SKN has a real proponent or leader. Maybe NT9K can adopt it and develop it further possibly incorporating his QSO party ideas into it.

I would love to see the monthly SKN become more than just a general idea and turn into a real event.

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:32 am
by NT9K
John said alot in his post, much to consider. Using the monthly SKN is a definate possibility. I think John also hit on something about that event. It was before my SKCC time, but wasn't the purpose of SKN to concentrate the members because there were not that many back then. Now, SKCC is all over the place. Since it's not so hard to find skcc members anymore, maybe it's time to revamp SKN. I wonder who started it? I wouldn't want to step on anyones toes by trying to alter thier plan. I would have to know this before I commited.

My only real problem with the idea, is the timeframe of 1st 24 hours of the month. That negates from the original idea of a "weekend daytime event". Like John says, during daylight hours we can use the upper bands helping alot of people with thier centurion and endorsments.

Another issue would be the 24 hour period. Most that have replied to this thread have said they prefer a 4 hour event. Maybe we could work this into it somehow. Say a 4 hour window within the 24 hour period. Like a sliding slot. The east coast guys may choose a different slot that the west coast etc. They submit thier counts from thier choice of a 4 hour block from thier log.

A different group of people would be able to participate, even DX. How many people don't have 40, 80 or 160 meter antennas or work and can't get on in the evenings. What about the new guy's getting HF priv's. The techs get 10 meter cw soon. We should be there to welcome them into the folds.

Things I'd like to see in this event:
Change SKN to the first Sunday of the month starting at 0000z or a
4 hour slot anytime during weekend daylight hours.
Same format and exchange as in the sprint.
Monthly event themes that change.

I would like to stop here and say thanks. This is a great way to flesh out an idea. I hope many more members will chime in with thier thoughts.

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:51 am
by nn8b
How about a little like the old Novice Roundup where you could work for so many hours out of a month or something like that.

Say we could work any 4 hours out of the 24 hours of SKN for a sprint score, but could still make QSO's for the other guy's score for the remaining 20 hours. Each area could pick their best operating time for propagation.

That is if your thinking of combining the SKN and Sprint.

Are there enough EU guys to organize an EU sprint? Their kind of left out.

Don, NN8B

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:18 pm
by Arnold
nn8b wrote:...
Are there enough EU guys to organize an EU sprint? Their kind of left out.
The European SKCC-community is growing slowly but steadily. I like the idea of an European sprint, at least untill condx improve.

How do other SKCCers in and around Europe think about that?

vy 73,

Arnold OE1AGB
SKCC #301

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:57 pm
I'll add my voice in support of a QSO Party event. I agree with those who say it should be held on a weekend afternoon/evening, and should be short. Personally I think somewhere between 6 and 12 hours would be a good length. It should be long enough to give participants a shot at getting good long-distance propagation at some point in the contest.

The contest should be open to non-SKCC members (perhaps they would be worth fewer points) and of course all QSOs need to be done with a straight key. That should make the contest more interesting to anyone who likes CW but can't handle the high speeds of regular CW contests.

One person suggested using the WARC bands. I think that is a bad idea. There's a gentlemen's agreement in place that the WARC bands are not to be used for contesting, and it would give the SKCC a bad reputation if we ignored that.

Greg Shoom
SKCC #1657

Proposal - Weekend Warrior SKS

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:20 pm
by NT9K
Weekend Warrior
Straight Key Sprint Rules
Version 2.0 - April 27, 2007

Summary: Call CQ SKS. Work stations once per band using a key which meets the requirements for SKCC membership. Exchange NAME, SPC and SKCC# (or power for non-members). The final score is (Total QSOs * SPC multiplier) + Centurion Bonus + Tribune Bonus + Club Bonus. The use of spotting networks is NOT permitted. Asking for a QSY to another band after a valid contact IS permitted.

Sliding contest slot: The event will be 24 hours, you may pick any continuous 4 hour log window during the event to come up with your entry. Submit a total number of QSOs for the 24 hour period and your 4 hour contest scores. Working outside of your chosen 4 hour window is encouraged to help others to achieve higher scores and spread out the fun. The purpose of the sliding slot window is to allow more on-air flexibility in all our busy lives. Another advantage of the slot window is the ability to work our DX members.

Eligibility: All CW operators using manual keys meeting the requirements for SKCC membership may participate in the monthly Straight Key Sprint. See for membership details. You do not need to be an SKCC Member to participate.

Date and Time: The monthly weekend, Straight Key Sprint will be held on the second Sunday of each month from 0000Z to 0000Z. Schedule changes, if required, will be posted to the SKCC mailing list and forum.

Frequencies (+/- 10 KHz): 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters using the SKCC suggested frequencies found on the SKCC home page. WARC bands are not used.

Members (must have SKCC# prior to the start of the contest).
Non-members (must use eligible manual keys, see the SKCC home page for requirements).
QRP (if 2 or more QRP entries are recieved a seperate catagory will be created.

Call & Exchange: Call "CQ SKS". Members exchange NAME, SKCC# and SPC. Centurion members follow SKCC# with ‘C’. Tribune members follow SKCC# with ‘T’. Non-members exchange NAME, SPC and POWER followed by ‘W’. (SPC is State, Providence or Country).

Entries to submit:
Total number of QSOs for the 24 hour period.

Points, Multipliers and Bonus for the 4 Hour Sliding Slot Window:

One QSO point for each station worked per band.
One multiplier for each SPC worked per Sprint.
Ten bonus points are awarded for each Centurion per band.
25 bonus points are awarded for each Tribune per band.
25 bonus point are awarded for working the SKCC club call per band.

Scoring: (QSO points * SPC multiplier) + Centurion bonus + Tribune bonus + Club bonus

Submissions: Logs are not required unless requested by the contest manager. Submit scores via the web at or by email to Scores must be submitted no later than the next Sunday evening following the event. The following information is required for each submission:

SKCC number (if applicable)
Total QSO's (24 hrs)
QSO points
SPC Multipliers
Centurion/Tribune Bonus
Claimed score
Power used (for statistics only)
Soapbox comments (optional but desired)

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:01 pm
by K4VD
The rules look good. Keep in mind, it will take a few sprints to finalize the rules so make sure everyone knows that the first few are trial runs with the possibility of quick rules changes.

I'll be happy to help with the certificates or provide you with the template I use if we keep the number of certificates issued pretty low. I'm always worried that I'll spend more time in front of the computer than on the air. It is in Corel Draw X3 format.

I don't have a script for totalling the scores. The online form simply emails me the results. From there, I copy them over to an HTML document for posting. Eventually, I would like to make something that does automatic entries and calculations but I've not gotten around to it. I'll be happy to share my PHP scripts with you or provide any other kind of help you need in this area.

Anything you can do to bring our DX members into the event would be great. We have a few active DX members in the forum and hopefully they will chime in with some ideas.

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:10 pm
I would suggest changing one thing - I think that requiring participants to submit their scores by the next Friday evening is just not enough time. At a minimum I think they should have at least until the next Sunday evening, and perhaps even more time.

The reason? For guys like me that have full time jobs, it is often difficult to find time during the week to take care of things like this. I often have to leave tasks like this for the weekend, and I'm probably not the only person in this boat. And guys who use manual logging might also need the extra time to put their entries together.

Greg Shoom, VE3LXL
SKCC #1657

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:44 pm
by Larry W2LJ

I'm sorry; but I have to plead to stupidity, here. For some reason the 24 hour/4 hour time slot thing isn't getting through my thick skull.

Basically, you can operate all 24 hours of you wish; and then submit the best 4 continuous hour window for your entry?

Could you please clarify this for this addle brained op from NJ? Again, I apologize for being ignorant on this.

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 9:45 pm
by NT9K
Good suggestion Greg, I changed it to the following Sunday evening following the event. It could be longer, but the timely posting of the results should be considered too. Think 7 days is enough time?