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GENERAL SPRINT RULES
(Modified December 2017)




NOTE: The membership data files for our supported sprint loggers have been moved. You can download the latest membership data from links located on the main Contest/Sprints webpage. Links to download our supported loggers can be found below.




The rules below apply to ALL sprints unless specifically changed for a particular sprint. In that case the webpage for that sprint will explain the rule changes.




IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are planning to operate in the sprint from a state other than your home state - OR - will be using a callsign that is different from one that you have used in previous sprints (not including our special N#A calls in October) we need to know about it for our cross checking and record keeping. Please be sure to tell us about it by using the "Message to Scorer" box on the Autologger page when you submit your log.

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 for our regular sprints 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. For our special 160m sprint in January operating in the neighborhood of 1810 kHz is recommended.

General:

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.

Call:

CQ NA

Exchange:

Members : RST - SPC (State Province or Country) - NAQCC Membership Number. For example: 559 MI 675
Non-members: Substitute power level for the NAQCC Membership Number. For example: 559 NY 5W (Please be sure to include the W.)

Please do not use the designation /QRP on the end of your callsign in either your exchange or in your log.

QSO Points:

QSO with a member, 2 points.
QSO with a non-member, 1 point.

Multipliers:

Each USA state
Each VE province
Each country except W/VE
All multipliers count only once in the sprint.

Categories:

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)
Keyer/Keyboard (K/K)

See the club FAQ's for our definitions of these keying devices.
Bonus:

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. For technical reasons and as an aide to those who want to be able to compare current scores with past results we still have these multipliers, but all sprint results are now displayed, and awards given, using all of the categories and sub-categories shown above. In other words if you use a dipole and bug in the sprint you will only be competing against others who are using simple wire antennas and bugs. (See the Awards section below.)

Scoring:

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 (Computer Logging/Autologger):

By far the preferred (and easiest) method for logging your sprint and submitting the results is to use one of our supported logging programs in conjunction with our special Autologger page. We currently have 2 supported logging programs that you can choose from and they are described below. Regardless of which logger you use it is very important to always make sure that you have the latest membership data installed in your software. This data is updated monthly and can be downloaded from the main Contest/Sprint webpage.

First, a comment about computer logging. The automatic fill-in of member information into the log that these logging programs provide should never be used as a substitute for accurate copy of the exchange. There are situations that come up where the data in the logging software is actually wrong. So carefully copy the exchange as sent and use the software as a convenient confirmation of what you heard.

OPTION 1 - GenLog by W3KM: GenLog is a very good freeware logging program for Windows computers that includes templates for virtually all of the ham radio contests on the air today. It does have a bit of a learning curve but once it is mastered it becomes a great tool for our sprint logging. Be sure that you are using the latest version of the software that is appropriate for your specific Windows operating system.

GenLog can be downloaded from the W3KM website.

You should take the time to carefully study our illustrated tutorial on how to setup and use GenLog in our NAQCC sprints.

OPTION 2 - NAQCC SprintLogger by AC2C: This is an outstanding freeware logging program that is specifically designed for use in our NAQCC sprints. There are versions for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X computers. It is very similar to a popular logging program that AC2C wrote for the SKCC. As with GenLog, it will take some effort to completely master the software but the provided documentation is very good and a special users forum has been created to offer help and support for the software.

You can learn more about the NAQCC SprintLogger and download the necessary files on our NAQCC SprintLogger webpage.

OPTION 3 - Other Computer Logging Software: It might be possible to use some other logging software for your sprint QSOs but you will need to be very careful with the resulting log that it produces. We are not able to accept ADIF, Cabrillo, or spreadsheet log files as sprint submissions. Your log file must be simple text and formatted exactly as described in the next section. If your favorite logging software can produce such a report then go ahead and use it in the sprint.

Regardless of which software option that you use, once the sprint is over you will need to submit your text file log using our special Autologger page. The page will ask you to provide some basic information about your sprint operation and ask you to paste your log file into a special window. The details on how to do this can be found in the documentation for your logger. (Specifically, for GenLog carefully look over the sections in our tutorial labeled “Creating The Log File" and "Submit Your Log." In the NAQCC SprintLogger by AC2C documentation look for the section labeled "Submitting Sprint Results to Autologger." And for the Mac spreadsheet logger look at the "Sending your sprint to the NAQCC autologger" video clip.) The Autologger includes extensive automatic error trapping and may sometimes prompt you to correct mistakes in your entry.

Log and Report Submission (Manual Logging/Autologger):

NOTE: We are no longer accepting emailed sprint logs. Significant improvements and changes have been made to the Autologger page and everyone with internet access should be able to use it for their submission.

If you don't want to use one of the computer loggers you are more than welcome to log by hand and then enter your log into the appropriate window on the Autologger page. You can type your log into a text editor and then do a cut & paste into the Autologger form or you can simply type the log directly into the form. The log format is fairly exact but the Autologger has some extensive automatic error trapping to help you get everything entered correctly.

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 membership 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 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 that 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.

Your completed log should be typed into the Autologger form or be copied from your text editor to your clipboard and then pasted into the form. Be sure to fill in the other requested information as well. The Autologger includes extensive automatic error trapping and may sometimes prompt you to correct mistakes in your entry.

Log Cross Checking:

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.

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.


Awards:

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:
SWA SK
SWA BUG
SWA K/K
GAIN SK
GAIN BUG
GAIN K/K

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

Participants in Hawaii will count as W6, and Alaska as W7.

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.)

Prizes:

A prize of of one of master woodworker Gregg's, WB8LZG, donations is awarded for each regular sprint to the winner of a random drawing among all participants (while supplies last). See the Prizes page in the main section of the web site for more info and pictures.


Questions Or Concerns About Your Sprint Entry:

If you have questions or concerns about your sprint log submission please send them to the email address listed at the top of the sprint scoring page for that specific month. You may also address questions to club president Paul, N8XMS, at pix_newemail_n8xms (1K)