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 <http://www.arrl.org/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 <http://collegearc.org/
> 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 <http://www.arrl.org/sweepstakes
> – 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!
73, Larry Hammel K5OT