Club is now ‘back’ from the Christmas hols and the last two weeks have been well attended. Last night we went to Africa with Tony – a really interesting Talk but not until we had presented the somewhat delayed Awards for the 2017 Worked All Postcodes competition.
The number of entrants was down on 2016 but some of the Overall winners ramped up the number of QSOs well above 2016. Clearly once the bug bites……
- The 10w section was again won by Chris AJA with 50% more QSOs than in 2016 – all CW too!.
- The 50w section was won by Viv IEP with 113 QSOs (Well done..perseverance pays off!).
- The 100w section was won by Andrew CJE with 76 QSOs, with Tony CPA and Jonathan ZGB taking the Autumn and Spring Awards respectively.
- The 400w section was won by Tony LDL with 41Qs and Paul PMV took the Spring award.
Well done to everybody!
We also took a few minutes to announce the 2018 Award which returns to the popular Worked All Squares format (looking for 4-characters… e g IO82) but with a couple of Rule changes for 2018 to “spice things up”.
- Those with Short Contest Callsigns (SCCs) can include QSOs made using them, but the entry should be made under your FULL Callsign
(So G4L can include QSOs made with that call but enters them in the online table under G4LDL)
- The RF Power category will be that set by your Licence.
So the 10w section is now exclusive to M3 and M6 Members, the 50w section is only usable by 2E Members and everyone else uses the 400w section
( …yip, we’ve removed the 100w section as very few people have access to linears and for a UK/EI QSO the impact is marginal. A decent aerial provides better gain!!)
- To allow the Autumn Period to go to the end of November, the submission deadline dates have been shortened after the end of each period.
- The Spring months are now dedicated to Qs on 160, 80, 40 and 30m (The LF months).
- The Summer months are now dedicated to VHF and up (6, 4, 2m and the cm bands).
- The Autumn months are now the HF months (20, 17, 15, 12 and 10m).
The months for each Period, the revised submission dates and the complete Rules for 2018 plus a check sheet for your own use and a ‘squares possible’ map will appear on the website soon.
Remember, the 2018 Award begins with the LF bands on 1st February, so you have only a week or so to repair your aerials after the recent winds!
Let’s see if we can see more members getting involved in 2018. In previous years some sections have been won with less than 10 QSOs, so we are not talking about staying up all night! Look for the UK/EI, the UKAC and the AFS contest dates to plan when an hour on the radio could net you a serious number of QSOs ! ….And, unless you are in a fast-moving contest, remember to tell stations you work why you want their Square details. Local non-members may think, “I would like some of this” and join us. That would help funds and benefit everyone.
Start planning, Start chasing the Squares – there about 53 in all.
See https://www.sdarc.net/worked-all-uk-ei-locators-2018/ for full rules, submission form and realtime league table.
UPDATE: January 27th 2018
Following lots of enthusiastic interest in the new Award for 2018 and some requests for clarification from members, we responded to those last Thursday evening and this email is a confirmation of the clarifications made – especially for anyone who missed it …and the excellent “Secret Wireless War” movie.
- The term “Squares” refers to the VHF-familiar Maidenhead Locator Squares system that involves (for practical day-to-day use) 2 letters + 2 numbers + 2 letters. Eg Pinetrees is IO91RF.
For the 2018 Award, we need only the 1st 4 characters (eg IO91)For CW use and as a spoken abbreviation, the Maidenhead system is often referred to as “QRA” Squares. Although the original OLD (and no-longer-used) system) has been superseded by Maidenhead, the “QRA” abbreviated name persists but is exclusively applied to the Maidenhead system.
- The “Power according to your Licence” rule was intended to provide “protected” categories for M6 and 2E Members and so encourage activity without QRM (!) from Full licensees.As “wrinklies” who did not come up the M6/2E/M0 ‘ladder’ we were unaware that those licences permit the continued use of the ‘lower’ callsigns. THAT was not part of our plan for this Award, so to clarify, your permitted power for this Award is your HIGHEST licence ‘class’.However, conceding that there IS a possible disadvantage where a Full licensee with no linear is chasing squares in the same power category as someone with 400w, we have re-inserted the 100w category so FULL licensees can now opt into either the 100w or the 400w category – and this is FLEXIBLE…. you could enter 400w in the Low Bands Spring months, 100w in the VHF and up Summer months and then either 100w or 400w in the Autumn HF months.
- The 3 periods and the Bands acceptable during these are confirmed. Whilst we concede that we do not all have farms and 100 ft towers littered with steerable aluminium (U.S. readers please note the CORRECT spelling!!), one of the aims of the 2018 Award was to encourage innovation. So if I don’t have an aerial – or the space – at home for an 80m aerial, my challenge is either to seek a /P location where I could string one up for a couple of hours OR see if I could make something tunable and reasonably efficient at home.
After all, it doesn’t have to work NZ … just IO82NZ !!
Hope this clarifies and encourages activity.
Den & Tony