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Upcoming Club HF Operating Events

This page is to provide a central place for members to find information about upcoming contests and other activations of the W4GAC/W4TA HF station at SPARC.


In all contests, our first goal is to ensure we train operators. We want members and prospective members to come down and operate. If you have no contesting or HF experience at all, that is great. We strive to foster an environment where people new to the hobby or contesting can learn in a positive environment. We frequently pair new operators with experienced operators so they may “learn the ropes” to pass on our love of contesting to others. You will learn how to use the software we use, how to operate a first-class HF station and have a tremendous fun. When you are not operating, we have many hams hanging around that can answer any question you may have about anything in general. Our operating environment is as much social as competitive. After all, with at most two operators and two loggers active, the rest of us are free to shoot the breeze on a multitude of topics.


Please note on all times, the start times are when the group will be at the station. For times throughout the weekend, please check Facebook or call on the club 2m repeater to confirm.


Past Events

  • Dates: Friday, October 13 8:00 PM until Saturday at 4:00 AM, Saturday October 14 @ 12:00 PM until Saturday @ 8:00 PM, Sunday July 15, @ 0400 AM until Sunday at Noon
  • Contest: Makrothen RTTY Contest
  • Goals: Work stations, fun and training new operators.
  • Notes: (From Ron, KP2N):

    The annual Makrothen RTTY contest starts Friday, October 13 @ 8:00 PM.  We go for 8 hours ending 4: 00 AM Saturday AM. We are off air until 12:00 PM Saturday where we start another 8 hour shift. At 8 PM Saturday we again go off air returning Sunday @ 4:00 AM. Contest ends 12:00 PM Sunday.

    We exchange grid squares …. that’s it … just grid squares. Our score is the distance between contacts.  It’s a fun contest, so are you in???  Let me know ASAP including time and day you could operate.  BTW our grid is EL87.
    We will be high power single transmitter. Our present antenna system will work just fine.  No extra logger is needed as well as shopping for mults.  I’ll try to have a schedule out a couple of days before the start.  As always visitors welcomed.

  • Dates: Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST to 2:00 AM on Sunday.
  • Contest: North American QSO Party RTTY
  • Goals: Work stations, fun and training new operators.
  • Notes: (From Ron, KP2N): The next SPARC RTTY contest is NAQP, starting Saturday, July 15th at 2:00 PM and ending Sunday, July 16th at 2:00 AM. We will be operating class M2, which means we will have 2 stations  going at the same time.
    NAQP RTTY is a rate contest in which we exchange a name, in our case Ben, and a location (FL). No RST or serial number. NAQP is also a good contest for the first time operator and we encourage club members to join the action. In an effort to level the playing field all station are limited to 100 watts or less.

  • Dates:  Saturday, April 29 1600Z (Noon EDT) – 0159Z (9:59 PM EDT) | Sunday, April 30 1200Z (8 AM EDT) – 2159Z (5:59 PM EDT)
  • Contest: Florida QSO Party
  • Notes: From Ron, KP2N: The annual Florida QSO Party (FQP) is just about a week away. SPARC is looking for operators. This year we are a special 1×1 station with the call W4S.
    Stations will be looking for us to help spell out FLORIDA SUN.  The action starts Saturday, April 29th, at 10 AM in the club DMI station. That day we will run from 10 AM until 8 PM. Sunday we start again at 8 AM and end at 6 PM.  A total of 20 hours of fun. If you like to take part please let me know ASAP so I can come up with a schedule.  Need to know the time and date when you would be available to help out, either on SSB or CW. For SSB we need both operators and loggers. CW ops do their own logging. As with all SPARC contests please bring your own headphones. (BYOH).

  • Dates: Friday March, 24 at 8:00 PM to Sunday at 8:00 PM (Saturday is not confirmed yet as we need more people to register to operate).
  • Contest: CQ WPX SSB
  • Goals: Work as many other stations as possible with unique prefixes as multipliers.
  • Notes: The SPARC Contesters will be participating in the CQ WPX SSB contest this weekend. This is a phone contest so it is particularly good for new people to get their feet wet with contesting and HF operating. We will be there starting at 7:00 PM tonight (Friday 3/24) until sometime early tomorrow AM. Saturday is tentative but should start around 10:00 AM. Sunday will will be starting at 8:00 AM and go for the whole day until 8:00 PM. Please call in on the 147.06 club repeater to confirm we are there before you drive down (especially tomorrow).

  • Dates: Saturday, February 25 at 1:00 PM EST to 1:00 AM on Sunday.
  • Contest: North American QSO Party RTTY
  • Goals: Work stations, fun and training new operators.
  • Notes: (From Ron, KP2N): The next SPARC RTTY contest is NAQP, starting Saturday, February 25th at 1:00 PM and ending Sunday, February 26th at 1:00 AM. We will be operating class M2, which means we will have 2 stations  going at the same time.  Right now I need a head count. We can offer the early shift, 1 PM to 7 PM, late shift from 7 PM to 1 AM, or the full shift of 12 hours.  Please let me know your choice ASAP.
    NAQP RTTY is a rate contest in which we exchange a name, in our case Ben, and a location (FL). No RST or serial number. NAQP is also a good contest for the first time operator and we encourage club members to join the action. In an effort to level the playing field all station are limited to 100 watts or less.
    Looking forward to see you at one of the two stations.

 


  • Dates: Friday, February 10 @ 7:00 PM EST through Sunday February 12 @ 7:00 PM EST
  • Contest: CQ WPX RTTY Contest
  • Goals: To work as many other stations in both the US and the World.
  • Notes (from Ron KP2N): Contest starts tomorrow at 7 PM.  The night crew is in place with Tom, W4CU, Dave, KR4U, and Johnnie, W4TSP.  At 6 AM Saturday the day crew will take over. I’ll start it off at 6 AM followed by VE3XD at 7 and N4RI at 8. Rex, KB8ESY, will be there to fill in plus anyone else who stops by. Need a little help in installing the end support poles for the 80/40 dipole.  I’ll be at DMI by 4 PM Friday.
  • Activity: As of this posting (12:45 AM on Sunday, February 12), the team has worked the entire contest so far. We have approximately 1300 QSOs and 1.6 million points. The team is still at the station and will be most of tomorrow.  Give a call on the repeater especially if you were going to come down towards the final hours of the contest but the team should be there most of the day Sunday.
  • Results: Just over 3 million points exceeding our best effort in this contest.
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