Greetings East Bay Amateurs.
Many of you are aware that the ARRL is sponsoring a number of events for its 100th anniversary. More information on the overall Centennial QSO Party program is provided here.
One of the programs you may or may not be aware of is the Centennial Points Challenge. ARRL members can work other ARRL members and leadership for points. Different awards can be applied for at the end of the year, and the awards will be handed out in 500pt increments.
Different membership levels equal different point levels, starting with 1 point for ARRL members, to 300 points for the ARRL president. All Section Managers, including East Bay SM Jim Latham AF6AQ, are worth 175 points. All Assistant Section Managers, like me, are 35 points, VEs 5 points. Hopefully you get the picture. A complete chart and point matrix is available on the above provided link. All of the QSO’s need to be simplex (e.g. No repeater contacts), but they can be in the mode/band of your choice otherwise.
There are some thoughts I would like to pass along to arm you for success.
If you wish, you may keep simple records of your QSOs on your own paper or computer documents and score them yourself. If you do this, though, your score will not be published. If you’d like to get the maximum benefit from this event, here are two points to observe:
1. All of your QSO’s need to be logged properly with a program that can generate an ADIF file. There are plenty of logging programs out there that can do this; here are a couple of links to some.
a) N1MM logger
Probably the most comprehensive and well supported contest loggers, and the best part, its free! There are extensive support documents for this program, and comes highly recommended for this and most contests out there.
b) N3FJP logging software
I find N3FJP Softwares VHF contest logging software particularly well suited for VHF contests such as the upcoming January VHF sweepstakes. It is worth a look for sure.
Wintest is another popular logging program used by many, if you like the layout this one may be for you.
There are many more out there, but this is a good start. Check them out and see what works for you!
2. All of your centennial point QSO’s and QSL’s must be uploaded and verified by the ARRL’s Logbook of the World (“LOTW”).
LOTW is simply awesome. Getting set up takes a few steps, but once done takes all of the work that used to be done by mailing qsl cards, and handles the tasks electronically. Both parties upload their QSO data to LOTW, and if there is a match.. BAM! Your QSL is confirmed and fully supported by all ARRL awards programs. You will want to upload all your data to LOTW by the end of the year, so get started with your setup as soon as possible.
ARRL’s Logbook of the World can be found here, and specific instructions on getting set up can be found here.
Coming up this weekend (January 18-19) is the ARRL January VHF sweepstakes. This could be a great opportunity to get your feet wet by a) working and learning about contests, and b) working other ARRL and leadership for centennial QSO points!
Complete information for the January VHF sweepstakes can be found here. Here you can find rules, bands, modes, log submission instructions and everything else to start having fun contesting VHF style. And the best thing, its VHF and most will have equipment, even an HT to get on the air and work some contest QSO’s.
Look for more information on East Bay centennial QSO points challenge activity throughout the year. Remember the most important rule in contesting and any award program is. HAVE FUN!
If you need assistance with any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the East Bay Section leadership, and we will do our best to help you have fun on the air.
73 and good luck!
Chris Tate N6WM
Assistant Section Manager (DX and Contesting)
ARRL East Bay Section
For current information throughout 2014 about the ARRL Centennial QSO Party here in the ARRL East Bay Section, see the “100QP” tab here on this Web site.