ARRL November Sweepstakes

Discussion of upcoming radio events.

ARRL November Sweepstakes

Postby W1GEK » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:41 am

ARRL Affiliated Clubs
Sweepstakes Bulletin – 2011

Larry Hammel, K5OT – Sweepstakes Contest Manager

Clubs are always looking for operating events and opportunities that excite and motivate their members to be active, especially on HF. This year’s ARRL November Sweepstakes certainly fits the bill and – for the first time in years – the bands will have plenty to offer Technician license-holders, too! Sweepstakes – or “Sweeps” among friends – is a contest in which modest stations can do very, very well. There’s no need for giant towers and antennas or legal-limit amplifiers – a backyard dipole or vertical and a “barefoot” HF rig will do just fine. In fact, SS is one contest in which antennas can be too high!

Because Sweepstakes brings out so many US and Canadian operators, it is very popular for friendly “contests within a contest” between clubs and between club members. A club contest to work the most sections, make Worked All States, or ring up the highest score is a nice way to wrap up the season with awards being presented at the year-end meeting. Many clubs have a friendly competition with other nearby clubs for local bragging rights. Even small clubs can get into the action on a national scale in the Local category of the ARRL Affiliated Club Completion.

College clubs can participate in two ways. The first is to submit a score in the School Club category of the main competition. With its 30-hour time limit, the shared-operating nature of the category fits right in with the busy fall semester. Give the Phone weekend (Nov 19-20) a try before heading home for Thanksgiving break! The second is to participate in the Collegiate Championship, sponsored by Ken Harker, WM5R. Ken has compiled a long list of yearly winners for each of the NCAA Division I Conferences – has your school’s club participated? The website is currently being updated with the 2010 scores and we need some help sorting out the current conference assignment for the record-holders - any volunteers? Finally, for a relaxed “practice” opportunity, try the ARRL’s School Club Roundup from Oct 17-21.

Did we mention the opportunities for Technician licensees? Techs have a large chunk of 10 meters available to them on both Phone (28.3-28.5 MHz) and CW (28.0-28.2) but in recent years, there hasn’t been much activity due to quiet solar conditions. Lately, the solar flux has been kicking up to 120 and higher, meaning that 10 meters opens up coast-to-coast and beyond! If your club’s Techs have been wondering what all the fuss is about 10 meters, be sure to encourage their activity during Sweeps. Perhaps one of those intra-club challenges we were talking about?

If you’d like to know more about Sweepstakes, download the Sweepstakes Operating Guide – there are simple explanations of the rules and a list of resource articles and websites to help you get the most from your Sweepstakes weekend. Maybe you’ll even bring home the coveted “Clean Sweep” coffee mug!

CQ Sweeps!

73, Larry Hammel K5OT
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