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Author Topic: Question about Sweep Stakes /SS  (Read 6885 times)
W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2011, 11:21:58 AM »

I'm going to leave this one to the more serious contesters. It just doesn't seem to be well suited to me and my casual "search and pounce" type of operation. After only 21 contacts last night, I gave up and have not had the inclination to rejoin the fray today. I'll submit my log, such as it is, but I think I'll wait for the ARRL 10 meter. That's always been one of my favorites anyway.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3879




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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2011, 06:49:18 PM »

Anyone know the answer as to why the contest organizers decided to include your own call sign as part of the exchange?

I do!

SS is a very old contest, dating back to the early 1930s. In its original form, contestants had to exchange actual messages in standard ARRL form (!). The idea was that you had to be a real traffic operator to compete.

The exchange was soon simplifed to just the preamble of a standard ARRL message. And since the preamble includes the station of origin, your call is part of the exchange.

In fact, the current exchange isn't even the whole preamble. The date is part of a message preamble, and for many years was sent in SS as the month and day of the op's birthday. But some years back it was dropped.

Personally I like the SS exchange. It is not trivial - you have to do some real communicatin' to get it done.

Maybe that's why some folks don't like it.


73 de Jim, N2EY
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NR4C
Member

Posts: 308




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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2011, 05:39:44 AM »

I agree, N1MM was a bit of a challenge, but I finally got the hang of it.

I found that at my pace, I could listen for the guys exchange on a call and enter the check/sec in the window followed by a space, and then make my call, and enter my serial #/Precedent to make the whole exchange.  I had my K3 memories loaded with the fixed text part of my exchange, so I could call them with function keys from n1mm.

N3FJP is much smarter in parsing the exchange than n1mm.  i like some of the other features of n1mm, but as for entering the exchange, n3fjp is the winner.

...bill nr4c
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N3QE
Member

Posts: 2206




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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2011, 06:19:41 AM »

... And since the preamble includes the station of origin, your call is part of the exchange.
...
Personally I like the SS exchange. It is not trivial - you have to do some real communicatin' to get it done.

Count me in the club of liking the SS exchange. It's a joy compared to many big contest stations in CQ WW or WPX, where they never send their own call.

To those struggling with N1MM: It's not obvious how to set it up for auto-send in the sweepstakes but if you follow the N1MM "supported contest" directions it does work. Do anything else and in my experience it won't work!

4.12. ARRL November Sweepstakes CW / SSB
Window: Select Log type
CW
Log Type: SSCW
Mode Category: CW
Sent Exchange: Precedence Year first licensed ARRL/RAC section Example: B 70 EMA (and in this order!)
F5 key: !
F2 key: Right click on the CW message buttons and change F2 to: # B * 70 EMA.
If you have separate run & S&P buttons, you may have to do it twice.

SSB
Log Type: SSSSB
Mode Category: SSB
Sent Exchange: Precedence Year first licensed ARRL/RAC section Example: B 70 EMA (and in this order!)
F5 key: !
F2 key: Normally, you should plan on saying callsigns and serial numbers and then pressing F2 for the rest of a pre-recorded exchange message, beginning with your precedence.
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KB1UJS
Member

Posts: 40




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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2011, 07:03:16 AM »


Personally I like the SS exchange. It is not trivial - you have to do some real communicatin' to get it done.


I also like the SS exchange.  This was my first SS and I really enjoyed it.  I had some antenna problems that limited my participation, but I didn't run out of people to contact until near the end of the contest.  Everyone I contacted tried really hard to hear my less than impressive signal.  Did search and pounce exclusively, as I didn't think I had the signal or the familiarity with the section abbreviations to feel comfortable calling CQ.  My plans for next year are to improve my antenna situation and practice ahead of time to be ready. 

Would my section (ME) be considered on the rare side?  I got that impression from some of the stations I contacted.

Ken
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KB3LIX
Member

Posts: 1108




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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 07:53:31 AM »

ME is not really rare, as there were several ME's on this past weekend.
K8PO has made ME fairly easy to find these days.

The more rare sections are:
NT, DE, ND/SD, RI (although, ND/SD are becoming more common)

The rare ones are the small states/sections with a small
amateur population.

For me, NT is usually most difficult.
NT was my first Q this year, started off with a BANG !
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 07:55:05 AM by KB3LIX » Logged
N3QE
Member

Posts: 2206




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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 08:02:05 AM »

Would my section (ME) be considered on the rare side?  I got that impression from some of the stations I contacted.

Maine may not have the highest number of hams but is well represented in the sweepstakes. All that said, whenever I work ME I myself go into "wow, golly, thanks" mode because I really do appreciate the participation of any ham in a less common section.

ND and SD a few years back were hard to find... but the past couple of years there are a couple of really good stations in those sections who do a great job spreading the joy.

The rarest sections often have to "go commando" because if they sit anywhere for just a couple minutes an enormous pile-up ensues. From what I can figure out, by going commando they are actually doing the most good. My personal attitude about contest participation, is that I am not in the contest just to slug it out in a pile-up.
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W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2011, 01:00:14 PM »

I got a "maritime" as my very last contact on Saturday night before I gave up. Is that a rare one?
 I won't say I'll never try the sweepstakes again but I think next time I'll be better prepared getting N1MM set up to make entering the exchange a bit a easier. I did find that most ops were pretty patient when I fumbled my exchange. Sometimes patience is not always in ample supply during some contest so that was nice.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3879




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« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2011, 02:17:58 PM »

"Rare" depends on where you are, what bands you work and when you're on the air, as well as how many hams are actually on from that section. This is particularly true if you have a modest station and don't do the full 24 hours.

For me, DE isn't all that rare. (Being in southeastern EPA and working 80 and 40 helps!) OTOH, NT and PAC are very rare from here.

ME and MAR are in the middle - not extremely rare, but not to be taken for granted.

What makes it even more of a sporting course is that the rarity varies from year to year. There have been years when I spent serious time working a rare section early in the contest, only to work three more with no effort hours later. Meanwhile, much more common sections didn't show up till much later, if at all.

All part of the fun. If it were easy, everybody would do it.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WS3N
Member

Posts: 696




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« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2011, 02:42:45 PM »

My last two were QC and MB. I don't know why they were so hard to find. My first and (probably) last time for SS, just wanted to do the sweep.

73 Jack
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AE5VH
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2011, 02:47:48 PM »

This was my first SS and I had a great time.  I only spent about 4 1/2 hours on the air, in and around other chores, etc. and I managed to get 52 different sections.  I got DE, NT, and MAR, and my last one was from ME - so I guess I got some of the hard ones.  I heard a VI, but the pileup was too big and my power and time simply too small to get them.  But I had fun, and clearly I need better antennas before next year....
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KL7SB
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2011, 07:36:37 PM »

Hey all.  I normally operate CW SS ..but don't usually bother with SSB except to give out the multiplier here and there.  I didn't bother using N1MM, my normal contesting software, and instead just used DXKeeper..which I use for casual QSOs.  Lo and behold and ended up with a bit over 300 Qs ..enough for it to make sense to submit.  The problem is, when I export to Cabrillo, I end up with an abortion.  I'm wondering if any of you could take a look at my file in .adif form and see if there is any way to edit it enough to then reimport it into N1MM or something else, and submit.

Thanks

Steve KL7SB ..and see you all in CQWW CW (which WILL be done using N1MM!)
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