September ARRL VHF Contest MS Proposal from WSJTGROUP
In an effort to encourage more random meteor scatter qso's and aid those running unassisted during the upcoming ARRL VHF QSO Party, the WSJTGROUP would like to propose the following suggestions and schedules. First, the WSJTGROUP will conduct the normal Random Hour periods on Saturday September 13 from 1400-1500z for 2m (144.140) and 1500-1600z for 6m (50.270) prior to 1800z start of the contest. Secondly, the WSJTGROUP would invite those in contest to participate in an additional Random Hour on Sunday the 14th at same times. Procedures for message format setup for Random Hour may be found at:
http://www.qsl.net/wa5ufh/WSJTGROUP/randomhour.htm?B1=Manual+For+Random+Hour. In short, simply add your call (or %M in Setup window) at the BEGINNING of normal ST messages (this will make messages multi-tone if call is at beginning of message - or be sure to turn off "ST Msg" if you place your call after the default ST's messages). Example: RRR KD5IUG would be sent as ST since program sees RRR first where as KD5IUG RRR would go out as MT. Use your grid for report during the contest period. You may press F2 for setup and click on "NA defaults" to retsore nomal messages when random period is over..
For those looking to make more random contacts or running unassisted during the September contest the WSJTGROUP suggests the 1st 20 minutes of each hour be set aside for those wishing to run on calling frequencies for 2m and 6m using the same Random Hour procedures from above. Please do not use ST's during these times if on primary calling frequency as there many be more than one operator sending the same message. Single band operators should feel free to run at top of each hour. For those with 6m and 2m, use EVEN hours (UTC) for 6m and ODD hours for 2m. This will give those running unassisted a chance to connect with more. Be sure to monitor for a few minutes after stopping tx.
Except for the special Sunday Random Hour periods and 20 minute period each hour, the use of Uxx/Dxx from calling frequencies on CQ'ing during the contest is greatly encouraged. During the designated times, simplex operation on the calling freqencies is FB. If you are in more active area, feel free to use the Uxx/Dxx CQ method during the random times as well. It should only take 5-10 minutes of monitoring and calling at top of each hour to determine if there are others on in range.
If you should happen to have more than one respond, you can use and adapt the messages Tip suggests in the Unique Situations and Challenges of Activity Periods (contained in above link) for running with two at a time. DO NOT use ST's when trying to work two at once or if you use see MT's from the station working two. It is not at all difficult to set up the MT messages and is fun! Be sure to reset defaults messages when going back to normal operations off calling frequency.
As a reminder, it also helps unassisted operators trying to tail end a sked if the other stations would monitor for a few minutes when finishing a run. And please monitor calling frequencies when not in a sked - that is why we have them.
We have tried to work out the concerns expressed in early notes and hope this proposal will work out well for all. Any comments and suggestions are of course welcomed.
Submitted by WSJTGROUP moderators: WA5UFH, K1JT, N6ENU, WA3LTB and KD5IUG