School Club Roundup is Coming to Town!
Is it the ARRL November Sweepstakes that kicks off the ARRL’s fall HF contest season? No! School Club Roundup (SCR) leads the parade, warming up students across the land. By this time, fall quarter or semester is well underway, and clubs are at full throttle. October typically exhibits good fall propagation, and clubs should find it easy to make contacts across the continent and around the world, even with a modest station. Unlike most contests, this one takes place through the week, beginning at 1300 UTC on October 20 and running through October 24 at 2359 UTC. Stations may operate for a maximum of 24 hours through the entire contest and are limited to 6 hours of operation during any single 24-hour period.
Participation is simple, and there’s a home for everybody. There are five categories of club entries: Elementary/Primary, Middle/Intermediate/Junior High School, Senior High School, College/University Club, and Non-School Club. There is also an Individual category.
If you just want to get on the air and hand out contacts, enter in the Individual category. Any mode — SSB, CW, or digital — is okay. Tune around and listen for SCR stations calling CQ, or do it yourself and see who answers (call “CQ School Clubs,” if you aren’t a club station). Once you make a contact, exchange a signal report, category (School, Club, or Individual), and your state, province, or DXCC entity. After the contest is over, submit your log online (preferred) or by paper.
The most popular time for younger students is during the after-school hours, but the older students may be on the air at any time. All groups are limited to one transmitter on the air. By no means do the older students automatically win. The February SCR results were a shootout with the K1BBS Burr and Burton ARC high school team prevailing over all challengers, edging out the K5LMS Lampasas Middle School Youth ARC.
The School Club Roundup is co-sponsored by the ARRL and the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC), and results appear in QST as well as online. Bruce Horn, WA7BNM, has created a web entry service that accepts scores and logs. Paper logs and summary sheets are still available, but participants might want to try the logging program SCR-LOG, which is written especially for the School Club Roundup. Other logging program choices are listed on the SCR website.
Once the contest is over, browse to the WA7BNM web service and upload your log. As soon as the log deadline passes on November 8, the web service automatically sorts and displays all claimed scores. Logs are reviewed by the LIMARC team, and final results are posted afterward. Certificates will be generated at the same time for downloading and printing.
While you’re at it, upload some photos of your school team in action to the ARRL Soapbox to show off your team members.