The Society of Midwest Contesters
The Society of Midwest Contesters

Chad Kurszewski

Contest Season is Upon Us!


We are entering the busiest time for the contest season. Check the WA7BNM Contest Calendar to get the latest condensed details such as contest dates/times, exchange info, submission location, and links to the sponsor’s webpage.

Upcoming big ones….
CQ WW phone and CW
ARRL Sweepstakes
ARRL 160M and 10M

The W9-area records have been updated with the 2015 results for the CQWW SSB and CW Sweepstakes. Keep an eye on the SMC Area Records page for updates in the other contests.

SMC has been a previous winner in the SS and ARRL 160 contests. You might give some thought to setting the time aside with your family calendar. This is also a good time to get your antennas ready. The weather has been great for antenna work but this can change rapidly.

We will be encouraging you to get on the air for SS in particular. Propagation is soon to be favoring the midwest with earlier 40m openings. A low 40m dipole is an important antenna to get ready.

The ARRL 160 is also going to be a good one from the Black Hole. Think about getting a inverted L up before it gets nasty. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well this simple antenna works, even with just a few short radials.

Final Results for 2016 NAQP Challenge


Final results are in for the 2016 NAQP Challenge. PVRC held on to their lead to capture the NAQP Challenge Cup from 2015 winner SMC. NCCC finished third.

SMC members actually outscored PVRC for the course of the last 5 contests, but PVRC (a much larger club) had more logs than we did for these contests and that, coupled with the HUGE score they posted in the January CW contest, made it impossible for us to catch up.

You can view the current totals and download the 2016 NAQP Challenge Activity Report, or view the previous results.

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CQWW SSB and Sweeptakes Records Updated

October 23, 2015  –  Just in time for CQWW Phone and Sweepstakes contests, the SMC Area Records (always available in the Operating menu) have been updated with the latest results.  Check them out and see what records you’d like to go after.  Several records are prime to be set, as there’s never been any entrants, such as many of the Single-Op-Assisted Low Power and QRP single band entries, especially on the low bands.

Have a look:
CQWW DX Phone Records
Sweepstakes CW Records
Sweepstakes Phone Records

When should I take off-time for Sweepstakes?

11/13/2014 – The question came up, when should I be taking my off-time for Sweepstakes.  As a reminder, you can operate 24 of the 30 hours.  For your first break, the traditional Midwest thinking is to operate as long as the rate is decent on Saturday night.  This is usually around 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. CT (08-09 zulu).  You would take off about 3-4 hours, until the East Coast wakes up and then get back on the low bands for those close- in QSOs.  You would then take various 30-60 minute breaks throughout Sunday to break up the monotony.  In the 2013 ARRL November Phone Sweepstakes write-up, they published a graph of QSOs by hour for the the entire contest.  You might want to study this to develop your own plan.  Please keep in mind that this data is for the entire geographic area, and Midwest best times and strategies may not line up exactly with this chart.  Of course, it would be great if we could have a similar chart just for W9!

 Click on the graph to enlarge

ss-phone-qs-per-hourQST, June 2014


Board Meeting – SMC Sweepstakes Awards

10/2/2014 – We just completed a Skype meeting of the directors of the SMC. The board has endorsed encouraging our members to get into Sweepstakes.

An SMC coffee cup will be awarded to each of the following:

  • First time Phone entrant over 100 QSOs
  • First time CW entrant over 100 QSOs
  • First time Phone and CW entrant over 200 QSOs combined (not a duplicate winner from CW or Phone  awards)
  • Highest score of anyone under age 20
  • Highest score of anyone between 20 and 30 years
  • Highest HP score for wires only CW and SSB (2 awards or one if same person)
  • Highest LP score for wires only CW and SSB (2 awards or one if same person)
  • Wires are defined as single element antennas including vertical with radials.
  • Best score by a 2014 new member over 100 QSOs

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