GENERAL SPRINT RULES
(Modified January 2015)
Rules below apply to ALL sprints unless specifically changed for a particular sprint. In that case, the rules for that specific sprint will mention the changes.
For an illustrated GenLog tutorial, click here
Download the zip file with the latest GenLog data file here.
Check the included ReadMe file to be sure it is for the next upcoming sprint. If not, try later the day of the sprint.
Not familiar with zip files? Click here for an illustrated tutorial.
For a SILVER LOG check list, click here.
Date and time:
See the 'Contests/Sprints' link at the left for dates and times for the latest, current, and upcoming sprints.
Bands - Frequencies:
80M - 3555-3565 kHz (Be courteous to FISTS operating on 3558 kHz)
40M - 7030-7045 kHz
20M - 14059-14065 kHz
QSOs are limited to those three bands. However the frequency ranges are expandable up and down to allow for our greatly increased participation. Don't stray overly far though, or you may not be found.
A particular station may be worked once on each band. Operate CW only.
All licensed amateurs are invited to participate and submit logs, but only club members operating QRP (5 watts or less) are eligible for awards.
All entries must be single-op, single-xmtr. No multi-op, multi-xmtr, SO2R, etc. We want our sprints to be basic simple events friendly and fair to all participants, and not favoring the big contest stations and operators.
RST - SPC (State Province or Country) - NAQCC Nr.
(non-Members substitute power level for NAQCC Nr., e.g. 5W, 1W, etc. Be sure to add the W.)
QSO with a Member, 2 points.
QSO with a Non-member, 1 point.
Each USA state
Each VE province
Each country except W/VE
All multipliers count only once in the sprint.
We have two operating categories based on the antenna used. The two categories are...
Simple Wire Antennas (SWA) - for those using a simple wire antenna per NAQCC definition for all contacts.
Gain Antennas (GAIN) - for those using an antenna other than a simple wire antenna.
If you use a combination of SWA and GAIN antennas, all QSO's with both types of antennas count, but you must enter in the GAIN category.
Within each of these categories there are three sub-categories (new for 2015) based on the keying device that is used. The three sub-categories are...
Straight Key (SK)
Semiautomatic Bug (BUG)
See the club FAQ's for our definitions of these keying devices.
In a tradition that dates back to our very earliest NAQCC sprints, bonus multipliers are given to participants using traditional keying devices.
If you use only a straight key FOR EVERY DIT AND DAH in the two hours, multiply your score by 2.
If you use only a bug for the entire sprint, multiply your score by 1.5.
If you key with anything other than a straight key or bug, there is no bonus multiplier.
Remember if you send even a QRL? with a bug or keyer, you can't claim the 2X bonus. It will have to be 1.5 or no bonus.
Prior to January 2015 these bonus multipliers had a significant impact on the sprint competition but this is no longer the case. Scores are now displayed, and awards given, based on all of the categories and sub-categories shown above. In other words if you use a dipole and keyboard in the sprint you will only be competing against others who are using SWA and K/K. (See the Awards section below.)
No need to figure your score, as we do that here from your report and log, but if you want to figure your own score (and perhaps check on us - we're human), it's very easy if you do the following:
1. List your total QSO's
2. List the number of those total QSO's that were with NAQCC members
3. Add the previous 2 numbers together to get QSO points
4. Multiply this by the number of multipliers you worked for your initial score
5a. If you used a straight key, multiply the initial score by 2 for your final score.
5b. If you used a bug, multiply the initial score by 1.5 for your final score.
5c. Otherwise your final score is the initial score
Log and Report Submission (GenLog/Autologger):
This section is for those who use GenLog and the Autologger which we STRONGLY URGE you to do because it is so easy. Just do your logging (either during or after) the sprint with GenLog, then submit your report via the Autologger. If you can't do it that way, read the next section.
The GenLog program which has a special template for our NAQCC sprints is available here.
An up-to-the-minute data file including info on the very newest members and instructions in zip format can be obtained here. It is uploaded to the web site the the day of the Sprint. Check the included Readme file to be sure the data file is for that month's sprint. If not, try again a little later in the day.
For an illustrated GenLog tutorial, click here
We thank Dave W3KM, creator of the program, for his help in quickly updating the program for our NAQCC needs. While the program is freeware, it might be nice to send Dave a small donation since he has been so helpful in modifying GenLog to work with our sprints.
If you still log with paper and pencil, you can enter your QSO's into GenLog after the sprint and have it produce the same log file as if you logged during the sprint. That would be much easier for you than having to re-type your log into a word processor. Also it would serve to check that you copied the correct member number in your paper log.
When you use GenLog, be sure to submit the correct log file with your report as described here.
First be sure you are using GenLog version 6.57 or later. If not, please update it before the next sprint. If you are using the new Windows 8 o/s, you must get the latest version 8.0 or later, as some of the code had to be re-written for GenLog to work on the new o/s. Then after the sprint, use the 'Log' menu - 'Write ASCII log [K3WWP.log]' selection to create your log, and paste the output of that log into the autologger. Obviously your log will have your call in the menu choice and log file name, not K3WWP.
Log and Report Submission (Manual Method):
If you are unable to use GenLog or the Autologger, we will accept your manually submitted log, although that is more work for you and for us. Use this form when submitting your report and log. Be sure to read the instructions here before filling out the form.
Note that instead of Time Zone, there is a place to enter your call area (W1, W2, W3,......W0, Canada, DX) for our new SWA division setup.
The log itself that you enter in the form must be in the following format:
Call Bnd Time Worked SPC Nr/Pwr NewMult Pts K3WWP 80 0131 KB3LFC PA 0001 1 2 IMPORTANT: New K3WWP 80 0132 W2LJ NJ 0035 2 2 multipliers (SPC's) K3WWP 80 0133 AB4KX TN 5W 3 1 must be numbered K3WWP 80 0134 W2SH NJ 0056 - 2 consecutively (1,2,3...)Where
Call = YOUR call letters, not K3WWP Bnd = Band (just 80, 40, 20 - NOT 80M, 40M, 20M) Time = QSO time (IN UTC/Z ONLY - NO COLON between hour and minute) Worked = Call of station worked SPC = His state or province (DX for non W/VE stations) Nr/Pwr = His NAQCC number or power (if power, don't forget the W) NewMult = Indicate a new SPC (multiplier) with a consecutive serial number starting with 1 (1,2,3....) or use a hyphen (-) if the SPC is not new. Pts = Point value of the QSO (2 for member, 1 for non-member)A common error in many submitted logs and reducing the number of Silver Logs is the lack of sequential/consecutive numbering of new SPC's (NewMults). Be sure to read the red print above to see the proper way this column should be filled out.
Don't worry about formatting into neat columns. The important thing is to include all the items and keep them in the correct order as shown with at least one space between items.
While we strongly discourage you from using another logging program besides GenLog, we will accept the output of that program as your log IF the output is as close as possible to the format described above. We will NOT accept ADIF format logs as they are too time consuming to convert to our format.
Any other questions about the form should be answered somewhere on this page. If you're unsure of something email us and ask.
See the final section below for info on submitting your form.
When I started this idea of GOLDEN LOGS (not original, a few big contests have a similar concept), I had no idea it would become so popular. Many of you were striving to achieve GOLDEN LOG status, and I got a lot of comments about it. However for two reasons, we switched from GOLDEN to SILVER in mid-2013. Tracking logs to see if they were GOLD or not became more and more time consuming as sprint participation grew, and it was hard to tell if the wrong info in a log was the result of copying or sending. Our new SILVER LOG concept is one over which you have entire control no matter what the station you work does. As long as your log is in exactly the correct format, any errors such as a wrong number, state, etc. does not eliminate you from SILVER LOG status as it did with GOLDEN LOGS.
Just check the following items which are ones that are the most common factors eliminating a log from SILVER status:
1. Each log entry must be complete with 8 items as explained in the previous section. All 8 items must be in the correct order.
2. Times must be in the format 0123, NOT 123, NOT 01:23, NOT 0123Z, etc.
3. Times must be in the correct UTC (Z) time frame (either 0030-0230 for Daylight Savings months OR 0130-0330 for Standard months)
4. If there is a member number listed, the final item in each entry must be a 2 (member point value). It a power is listed, the final item must be a 1 (non-member point value).
5. There must be a W after the power for non-members (100W, not just 100)
6. The band must be in the format 80, 40, or 20. NOT 80M, 80m, 40M, 40m, 20M, 20m. Just the number, no M or m.
As I find more, I'll add them here. I hope this section answers your questions about SILVER LOGS for now.
If you can't for whatever reason, produce a SILVER LOG, don't worry, I'll take the time necessary to convert it for the cross-checking program. I now have programs to convert Cabrillo and wrong GenLog files to our format, but it does require extra time on my part. It's very important we have you as a participant, and I'm willing to take that time needed for the conversion.
Each year there is a prize awarded to the one with the most SILVER LOGS. Previously it was the most GOLDEN and SILVER LOGS combined (2013) or the most GOLDEN LOGS (prior to 2013)
Each month all logs received are put into a master spreadsheet for cross-checking as is done in any sprint or contest worthy of the name. This is done to correct any errors that may result in a score and/or position change in the standings. We feel this is the only way to be completely fair to all participants and ensure accuracy and credibility in our sprints.
When the cross-checking is complete and the "Final" results are posted on the web site, usually the Monday following a sprint, you have the right to 'appeal' your results before 2400Z the following Sunday if they are different from what you feel they should be.
The reasons for the score change will then be explained to you. If the score change resulted from one of your QSO's not showing up in the other person's log, you will be given the chance to check with that person to see why. If the QSO really should have been in his log, it will be restored to your log and added to the other person's log. Both scores will then be re-adjusted accordingly.
If you're curious about cross-checking, here is our procedure along with some other notes about your log submissions.
Here is what Chas W2SH had to say about our cross-checking procedure after he was involved in a 'not-in-log' situation: "And that is just one thing that puts NAQCC head and shoulders above ALL other similar clubs. May the amply demonstrated fairness and integrity of the Club's administrators, that also seems to prevail within the membership, long prevail!"
Chas' response is only one example of the many comments we've had approving of the meticulous way we check logs to ensure fairness. Such checking also serves to teach contest logging to the many of our participants who are entering the world of ham radio contesting through our sprints. We also think it is yet another reason why our sprints are now perhaps the most popular of all club sprints.
As participation has grown over the years we have continued to adjust our awards program accordingly. We started with simply an overall first and second place award. This was soon expanded to first and second place awards within each time zone across the country. Our current sprint awards progam is very extensive and is described below:
Awards are given in each of the following categories:
Within the SWA categories listed above awards are also given by geographic region:
W1, W2, W3, W4, W5, W6, W7, W8, W9, W0, Canada, DX
In other words a total of 12 First Place SWA SK certificates, 12 First Place SWA BUG certificates, and 12 First Place SWA K/K certificates will be awarded. Until such time as participation increases the GAIN antenna categories will not be awarded by geographic region.
If there are at least 5 participants in a given category/region an additional 2nd place certificate will also be awarded. 10 or more participants will result in a 3rd place certificate.
We also award special certificates to the top scoring first-time entrants in the SK, BUG, and K/K categories.
(All certificates are sent to the winners by email unless you specifically request a printed certificate be sent via regular mail.)
A prize of a set of bug/paddle handles or a K1/K2 knob insert donated by master woodworker Gregg WB8LZG is awarded for each regular sprint to the winner of a random drawing among all participants. See the Prizes page in the main section of the web site for more info and pictures.
There are three ways to submit your sprint form listed here in order of preference:
1. Use the autologger. Note you do not have to use GenLog to use the autologger. They are separate entities. It's just more convenient to use both together.
2. Email your report as follows:
In Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov to AND
In Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec to AND
For mW and 160M sprints to AND
Logs may be submitted as an attachment or in the body of the email - your choice. A plain ASCII text file is best and is the easiest for us to process. Make the subject of your email "NAQCC Sprint Log". This is VERY important - any other subject may cause the email to be deleted because of spam filtering.
3. Send your log via postal mail to:
John Shannon, K3WWP
478 E. High St.
Kittanning, PA 16201
All entries must be RECEIVED before 2400Z on the Sunday following the sprint.