Friday, September 30, 2016

SLSRC 2m FM Sprint Contest

This past weekend I participated in the SLSRC 2M Simplex Sprint contest.  This was a local 2M simplex contest for 3 hours on a Sat night.  Stations were encouraged to work as many contacts and zip codes as possible during the 3 hours on specific simplex frequencies.  The club use to sponsor this contest a couple of times a year a few years ago, but the member who championed it left the club.  A few months ago I decided to bring it back as a club activity and become the champion.

Creating the rules from basically scratch was a challenge.  I used the existing rules as a base, but gathered all the "good parts" from other QSO party and contest rules put them into these rules.  The hard part was writing rules language that made sense to everybody else along with making sure there wasn’t any loopholes.  While doing research on the net, I found some really poorly or loosely written rules, which I did not want to do.  I also wanted to use Google sheets as a submission process, as not everybody has Excel or wants to paper log.  For this contest we didn’t use Cabrillo files, as I think that is something we might want to migrate to in the future.

We have club repeater that just doesn't get a lot of activity, so I tried having a pre-contest net on that repeater to give it some love.  The purpose was to share tips and tricks and offer any advice.  Only got 1 question, but I think it served its purpose.  4 people checked in, but who knows how many were just listening.  The net was over in 15 mins which gave me time to get my setup in order.

I started on a large parking garage at the corner of Hanley and Hwy 40 at 7pm.  That parking garage is 10 stories tall and is basically the tallest structure around, so I was able to make 10 contacts in a quick amount of time.  I then moved into Clayton, Forest Park and then down into south city for the reminder of my zip codes.  I hit 9 zip codes with a total of 60 contacts.  I don’t think I won the contest as someone else had 62 contacts and also hit more zip codes as myself.  That zip code multiplier is a huge factor, even if you only make 1 contact in each zip code, you got to hit as many zip codes as possible.

I noticed there was a lot of people jumping on top of each other on the frequencies.  People were calling CQ, making a contact and then someone else would call the previous operator who was answering the CQ to make a contact.  I think with such few frequencies, that was going to happen.  Maybe I should update the “tips and tricks” section to specifically point that out as a no-
no.

From what I can tell, we had around 20 to 25 people participate, which I think is a good solid number.  We’ll see how many people submit logs.  It was a good time and we’ll do it again in the spring, as the goal is to have this contest at least 3 times a year.

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