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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz

Jeff Laughlin (N1YWB) on June 28, 2005
Website: http://www.n1ywb.com/sectionsquiz.html
View comments about this article!

I wrote a little program to help folks memorize their ARRL / RAC section abbreviations for Field Day, other contests, etc. Please feel free to link to it, copy it, etc.

http://www.n1ywb.com/sectionsquiz.html

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ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by WB2AMU on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for this quiz. As anyone who has operated from Long Island during Field Day can tell you, very few operators in the rest of the area know that the New York City Long Island abbreviation is NLI. It is the hardest exchange as we constantly say "November Lima India" to no avail as most operators cannot make the connection of NLI to NYCLI.
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by K0RFD on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There are a few other little buggers too--MDC for Maryland-DC, and my favorite, San Diego (fairly common) is NOT SD but SDG. SD is South Dakota of course, fairly uncommon...
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by K2GW on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
A Very Cool Quiz.

We in Southern New Jersey have learned to always say "Southern New Jersey Sierra Novemeber Juliet" as Southern New Jersey and Northern New Jersey sound so much alike if you don't use the phonetics.

Trivia question: Why does a small state like New Jersey have two sections, each in different ARRL divisions?

Because prior to WWII, hams in the northern part of the state got area 2 calls from the FCC's NYC Field Office and ones in the southern half got area 3 calls from the Philadelphia Field office. Since the ARRL divisions back then were by call areas, NJ got a section in each division!

73

Gary, K2GW
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by N8IK on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Nice! Should have posted this last week before FD!
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by WY3X on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I always wondered why states get divided for Field Day. What's wrong with NLI being NY, or EMA and WMA being MA? And why is CA divided (practically) by every city? What is wrong with everyone there just using CA? It seems like new "sections" get added to the list every year.... (SIGH). Simply using the state alone would make it easier for the new guys to log.

-KR4WM
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by N1YWB on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I only wrote this about a week before field day, originally I had only planned on using it for myself but I realized that it would be helpful to the amateur community in general so I polished it up and submitted it around. Unfortunately it didn't make it up here in time. But please bookmark it, because in just one year it will be field day again! I will try to get it reposted in advance next year.

Also I've released the code under the GPL which means you are free to copy the program to your own club website under the terms of that license, available at <a href="http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html">http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html</a>
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by WB2AMU on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This has been one of the better threads in recent months on e-ham. Actually the idea of using the state in lieu of the section is probably a good one since there are no multipliers used in scoring. Also, the competition is among classes rather than geographic location.

I will say that repeats of NLI for New York City Long Island runs about 40 percent of the contacts that we make in our Field Day group and it usually doubles the size of the QSO!
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by KU4UV on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't used other logging programs, so I can't vouch for them, but if you use N3FJP's logging programs, the sections are already listed on the main screen for you, no memorizing to do. Scott's programs even highlight the sections when you work them, great for events like SS when you have to figure out which sections you still need for the clean sweep.

73,
KU4UV
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by KE4ZDY on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

Cool, thanks! I find it much easier to memorize info with a tool like this one.

Gerry
KE4ZDY
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by N0TONE on June 28, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The states don't get "divided" for Field Day. Many operating activities are subdivided by ARRL sections. I can't remember the last time that the ARRL sections were re-districted - it's been decades, I think.

There are various, mainly historical, reasons why the sections exist as they do. To a very (I repeat VERY) rough order, the sections are not larger than a single state, but otherwise roughly equal numbers of hams per section. California, as far as I know, is the only state that exists in two divisions - Pacific and Southwestern.

For those of us who think that contesting is a worthy test of capabilities, as they might apply during disaster communications, the sub-dividing into areas that are roughly (remember that word VERY) proportional to population improves our ability to gauge performance.

Being a purely CW op, I never have to worry about section names versus abreviations. I just type in what the guy sends.

Wait until you participate in a State QSO party and have to relate counties to county abbreviations for the logging software.

AM
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by W1RFI on June 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
> I can't remember the last time that the ARRL
> sections were re-districted - it's been decades, I
> think.

Actually, over the past few years, there have been a number of ARRL Section changes. West Central Florida was created fairly recently. Ditto for EWA and NNY. See http://www.arrl.org/sections.

In cases like California, I am sure that the state is carved up to maintain a reasonable population in each Section. Those running the sections are volunteers who should be maintaining close contact with the other volunteers and members in the section. That would be easy to do in Rhode Island, but almost impossible to do in California.

In other instances, the divisions are based on geographical distinctions between sections. EWA is somewhat isolated from the rest of WA by a mountain range or two, for example.

The methods by which sections are created are described in the ARRL bylaws.

Ed Hare, W1RFI
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by WY3X on June 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
>The states don't get "divided" for Field Day. Many >operating activities are subdivided by ARRL sections. I >can't remember the last time that the ARRL sections were >re-districted - it's been decades, I think.

When I got my license (1991), the first year I worked Field Day (1992) I don't remember having to contend with EFL, WFL, there was no EMA or WMA, no NLI, no ENY or WNY, etc. I don't remember "Orange" or "San Juaquin" (sp?) There was no WTX , ETX, NTX, or STX. As a group, the entire body of participating club members wondered what in the heck a few people were doing giving us an LAX report! Didn't these folks realize they were in California??? Were they working Field Day from the Ex-Lax company? We had no seasoned contesters, and nobody there knew why these "extra designations" were being used.<GRIN>

If the score tallyers at the ARRL want to find out where a group is, their address is at the top of the submitted form. All my suggestion is, is only for Field Day, to simply use only the state abbreviation as the exchange. It would make it easier to log, and because so many NEW hams and some NON hams are participating it would be more "field expedient" to use only the state abbreviation. Under the current system, when you put a new or non-ham on the air, if they make a number of "choice" contacts, in between each contact you have to pause to explain to them where they just talked to. This will not bother some people. To a grizzled contester who's trying to be competitive, it's an irritation that many will not sympathize with! Everyone (pretty much) knows state abbreviations. Only seasoned contesting hams realize all the nuances associated with ARRL "sections".

I think there are many advantages to using only the state as the exchange, but I guess I'm in the minority.

73 all, -KR4WM
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by K3YD on June 29, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My home section of EPA is a problem on CW, especially when it is sent as a word. (. .--. .-) Most seem to copy it as ?T. I've found it helps to load the memory keyer like this (. .--. .-).
{Long space between E and PA}

Any other sections which get many repeats on CW?
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by K4IA on June 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Try running 4A VA on CW - our club specifically avoids being 4A because of the number of repeats requested.
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by N2EY on June 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Nice game for 'phone but it's backwards for CW!

On CW, you get the abbreviation. But some ops cut the abbreviation to save time - EMA becomes EM, etc.

--

What would make it even more of a sporting course is to put in various plausible-but-not-real non-sections like "Southern New York" or "East Texas" among the real ones and see how often they are detected.

--

Where you really need to know your sections is SS, because they're multipliers.

Imagine FD if sections were multipliers!

73 de Jim, N2EY

(still recovering from FD 2005)
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by AB5XZ on June 30, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N3FJP's Field Day logging software (the network version) makes section-collecting cool.
Our club used a big CRT display to show the map of North America and the software automatically colored it in as we worked more and more sections. Pretty cool for our visitors (and our stand-around hams). Too bad FD doesn't use the sections-worked in its scoring.
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by N8CPA on July 1, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I resemble that remark! I'm someone who sent several ..--..s in response to 4A VA. At about 30 WPM in the best of CDX it sounds like the Section twice to my ears. In FD CDX,
QRM + speed = "..--.."

--I always find it interesting that of the 10 Sections in Disctrict 6, not one uses a state name. I always tell inexperienced participants that state names don't exist in FD. No MA, instead EMA and WMA, etc.

--I would love to see Sections become FD multis, but I suspect the bonuses are intended to make up for that distingushing trait of FD scoring.

--And I would like to see the Class D restriction changed. In additon to disallowing scoreable contacts among D's, disallow calling CQ. In the event of an actual regional emergency, home stations would be calling out of affected areas, rather than calling from unaffected areas into the affected areas. I can't count how many CQs I answered and had to delete because they were Deltas. Likewise I can't count how many Deltas answered my CQs and had to delete me.
 
ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by KB3JUV on July 6, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I got about a 90. Pretty neat idea and thanks for making it!

73
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by N0TONE on July 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I would not agree with switching FD exchanges to state only. You really want to know how well your organization is prepared for an emergency compared to the other clubs in close proximity. then you can go visit them, and learn how come they did better, and improve yourselves. If "self improvement" is not the objective of a contest, then I don't know what is.

I don't think the guys in San Diego can learn much useful about emergency preparedness from the guys in Alturas - geographies are too different.

AM
 
RE: ARRL / RAC Sections Abbreviations Quiz  
by WM5R on July 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
N2EY suggested: "What would make it even more of a sporting course is to put in various plausible-but-not-real non-sections like "Southern New York" or "East Texas" among the real ones and see how often they are detected."

I suggest it would be more fun to make up a plausible-but-not-real non-class like 3K. You should send "Three Kilowatt Eastern Pennsylvania" and see how many people detect it...
 
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