Greetings, fellow CTRICG contesters! I have several items to cover in my first post as the club’s Contest Manager so please bear with me. First, a huge “Thank you!” goes out to Bill, W1WBB and the Keeper of the Spreadsheet, Ken, K3IU! Without their effort and enthusiasm the CTRICG Champions program couldn’t have continued. I hope to be able to follow in Bill’s footsteps in promoting contesting and informing the membership on contest-related news and events. Ken has graciously offered to keep maintaining the scores spreadsheet, which I am all too happy to accept. Another big “Thanks!” to John, W1XX for his retooling and revitalizing the club’s Intra-Club Competition. Through his efforts we’ve seen a significant increase in contesting activity, which is what we’re all about! And last but not least thank you CTRI members for all your hard work during the 2012-13 contest season. We finished with an aggregate score totaling almost 63,000,000 points!
Which brings me to my first item of business. In the tradition of setting goals for the coming contest season, I’d like to offer one that I think is obtainable – an aggregate club score of 70,000,000 points. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in our scoring, not just in the number of scores submitted but in their individual totals. There’s no doubt that it’s due in large part to some multi-op operations and significant single-op scores, but every score counts. This has to be a group effort, and with this season likely to be the beginning of the downhill slide toward the bottom of the sunspot cycle we’ll need everyone to pitch in. There are 21 CTRI Championship contests spread throughout the year, offering plenty of chances to participate. Whether you like HF, VHF, SSB, CW, or RTTY, domestic or DX contests, there’s something for everyone. You might even want to try a new mode, band, or category.
This month we get our first two chances to hit the ground running. This weekend is the ARRL September VHF Contest, which starts at 2 pm local time Saturday and ends at 10:59 pm (that’s right, NOT 11:00 pm) local time Sunday night. The rules can be found at http://www.arrl.org/september-vhf and I encourage everyone to review them prior to the contest. HELPFUL HINTS: you can enter in a single-band category (high or low power), single operators MAY NOT use spotting, and there is a Single-Operator, FM-only category that is restricted to the 6M, 2M, 1.25M, and 70cm bands. Log submissions must be sent not later than 11:00 pm local on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. If you don’t have a VHF antenna, you can always throw up a wire for 6M – when conditions are good you’d be surprised what you can work! The club had NO scores submitted for this contest last year, so we have a chance to do better right out of the gate!
Next is one of the “big ones” – the CQ WW RTTY Contest, taking place from 8 pm local time on Friday, September 27 through 8 pm local time on Sunday the 29th. The rules can be found at http://www.cqwwrtty.com/rules.htm Last year we had 11 stations enter, including a M2 at W1DX, and submitted combined scores of over 14 million points. Obviously this contest is a big factor in our club goal of 70 million points, so it’s critical that we get as much participation as possible! HELPFUL HINTS: The exchange is signal report, zone, AND state abbreviation (i.e. 599 05 RI). If you’re just out to have fun while maximizing your score, check out the Single-Op Assisted category. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can work stations by using spotting but make sure you verify the call sign before sending a report, as RTTY contesting is notorious for bad calls spotted. IMPORTANT! The log submission deadline for this contest is 7:59 pm local time, October 4, 2013. You only get 5 days to submit your log, so don’t forget!
One important reminder – when submitting your scores to the contest sponsor, please remember to post your score (including your category and power) to the club’s web site. We won’t chase members for their scores, but Ken makes it easy to post them by creating a place on the web site where you can do it. Posting scores there will make Ken’s job much easier and allow him to update the spreadsheet faster. You can also email scores to either Ken or me.
Here’s to a fun and successful 2013-2014 contest season!