WSJTGROUP NA Random Hour Proposal
- Thanks to the numerous notes and suggestions from many on how to improve
and increase participation in Random Hour(s). As many of you know the
concept began back in 2003 as a means of providing a focus for meteor
scatter activity. Saturday mornings was selected since most commented
that was the optimal time to have the activity period. The concept is a
simple one and has been fun for many and also a good training tool for
new ms operators. Like most amateur radio activities, some operators
have come and gone and some have been with RH from the beginning. It
gives the operator a chance to have the maximum opportunity to hear/see
and decode numerous pings.
Procedures were developed and adapted to allow multiple users to engage
in a QSO on the common calling channels. Some, in the more densely
populated areas, had local QRM but they overcame most difficulties by
coordinating transmit periods with their "close by" neighbors and/or use
the offset calling technique. We must keep in mind that RH is not a
contest nor is it the best method for trying to work long haul ms dx.
It is conceived to be a fun and learning time. Tip, WA5UFH, recently
commented that in it's own way, RH is "The MS Weekly Net" and certainly
as far as VHF goes, it covers more area than any other weekly two or six
meter organized activity. In addition, some develop the habit of
monitoring the calling frequencies at other times when in the shack.
Given the initial hours selected and density of WSJT users at that time,
RH tended to be more popular in the eastern and central US. Over the
past year or so, activity has slowly and steadily picked up in the
western US. The problem with 4 time zones needed to be addressed.
Thus, the group was recently asked for comments on how to improve RH and
two predominate themes were noted. Many commented that in the east, RH
was too late and the opposite in the west. Some suggested opening the
activity period for a longer session and let operators choose which ever
band they preferred during that time. Others noted we needed to retain
the band focus so as not to dilute our activity. The other prevailing
comment was to keep the hours at the same local time year round and
simply adjust the UTC times in the announcements to account for standard
and daylight time.
Based on the above, the following RH scheduling is suggested for a trial
beginning September 15th. We can try the proposal for a few weeks and
fine tune or scrap it as the group needs.
Eastern/Central Time Zones
2m hour from 0800-0900 Eastern / 0700-0800 Central
6m hour from 0900-1000 Eastern / 0800-0900 Central
Mountain/Pacific Time Zones
2m hour from 0800-0900 Mountain / 0700-0800 Pacific
6m hour from 0900-1000 Mountain / 0800-0900 Pacific
The hour shift in the east and central should increase both 6 and 2m
chances. It will certainly be possible for the Central and Mountain
participants to overlap. There is not much of a chance of Eastern zone
operators to work Mountain, or Central to work Pacific given the
distances for most and non-DX nature of RH. We will have to work around
Arizona not shifting to daylight time.
Single band stations can elect to run in the hour focused on their band
or both as they currently do. Those with both 6 and 2m are encouraged
to focus on the band for the designated hour to maximize the chances of
catching pings on the given band. RH reports from participants will be
vital to assess how we are doing, so please report to
n5six@... for the summaries, even if just earwigging.
Bruce, N5SIX and for Tip, WA5UFH