Changes Coming for ARRL November Sweepstakes Contest Log Submissions
ARRL Sweepstakes Contest Manager Ken Adams, K5KA, said he and the ARRL Contest Branch intend to "dramatically reduce the timeframe for producing results that are available to all ARRL Sweepstakes participants." According to Adams, the contesting community has requested that results be made available more quickly. Currently, Sweepstakes results are published six months after the contest has taken place.
"To facilitate this request, we would like to make the 2009 ARRL Sweepstakes final results available on the Web in 60 days in the form of a PDF file," he said. "If this effort proves successful, we plan to shorten this window to 30 days in 2010. This PDF would simply be the scores in each category -- full write-ups and detailed analysis of the Sweepstakes contest would still appear in QST and on the Web at a later time."
To meet this aggressive schedule, Adams said that the log submission deadline will be reduced from 30 days to 15 days. For the 2009 Sweepstakes, the deadline for CW Sweepstakes logs will be 0300 UTC on Tuesday, November 24, 2009. The deadline for the Phone Sweepstakes will be 0300 UTC on Tuesday, December 8, 2009.
"The number of non-Cabrillo logs received at ARRL HQ must be reduced," Adams explained. "By receiving logs 15 days earlier, we can begin the log checking process that much faster, but we will we need your help on the paper log issue. In 2008, the ARRL Contest Branch received more than 300 paper logs for the Sweepstakes contests. These paper logs were converted to Cabrillo format by a dedicated, yet small, group of volunteers. This took several hundred person-hours of time."
Adams said that there are plans to contact as many paper log submitters as possible and point out resources they can use to generate Cabrillo logs: "I am asking that every club have a special project and meeting this year to ensure that 100 percent of their members submit Cabrillo logs for Sweepstakes. If you have club members who don't have computers, please form your own volunteer teams to convert their logs after the contest. This would be a great excuse for a big post-Sweepstakes club pizza party, combining data entry with club camaraderie."
While the ARRL will never turn away a paper log, Adams said that the advantages of electronic log submission are critical to the success of the accelerated presentation of the Sweepstakes results. "Numerous software contest loggers exist for Windows and DOS, including the free packages CT and N1MM," he said. Entrants are also able to manually convert their own paper logs to a Cabrillo log at the WA7BNM Cabrillo Web site."
"You, the members of the contesting community, have requested faster turnaround of contest results for some time," Adams said. "With every contester's help, we can achieve this goal of dramatically reducing the time between contest and results. We have identified several other areas we hope to improve in the future, such as simplified Web access for Sweepstakes information, historical log search capability, easy access to FAQs, records and the like. We will continue to work on those goals. Thank you for your continued participation and help with the ARRL November Sweepstakes, the greatest domestic contest out there."