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"Sweeps" Time is Upon Us!


The very popular ARRL November Sweepstakes (SS) operating events take place in November on separate weekends for CW (November 5-7) and SSB (November 19-21). The contest period for each contest begins at 2100 UTC on Saturday and continues through 0259 UTC on Monday. Stations may operate for 24 hours out of the 30 hours available. Logs are due 15 days after each event. SS is a "domestic" contest that not only has broad appeal, but is within the reach of stations with modest equipment and antennas. Many stations enjoy operating in the QRP category each fall (5 W or less output).

The challenge of Sweepstakes is the lengthy exchange, as compared with other operating events. In SS, stations exchange:

  • A consecutive serial number (leading zeros are not required).
  • Operating category -- Q for Single Op QRP; A for Single Op, Low Power (up to 150 W output); B for Single Op, High Power (greater than 150 W output); U for Single Op, Unlimited, regardless of power; M for Multi-Op, regardless of power, and S for School Club.
  • Your call sign.
  • Check -- the last two digits of the year of first license for either operator or station.

Many, if not most, Sweeps operators try for a "clean sweep" by working all 83 ARRL/RAC Sections, which count as multipliers for Sweepstakes, and earning a(nother) coffee mug for the shack shelf.

The SS Operating Guide package, available for download, explains how to participate. It includes all rules, plus examples of log formatting. Clubs or public service teams thinking about giving Sweepstakes a try this year will find the guide a valuable resource.

A new system for submitting club eligibility lists has been undergoing testing and is available online. Club secretaries can submit a list of eligible members by uploading a file or by copying and pasting from a list. Uploaded lists must include the club's full name; the club territory (center of the club's circle as a 6-digit grid locator or ARRL Section for medium and unlimited category clubs); the club's call sign, the eligible member's call sign, and a 6-digit grid locator of each eligible member living in and operating from the club territory.

The deadline to submit an eligibility list is now the start of each contest -- November 5 at 2100 UTC in the case of SS CW, and November 19 at 2100 UTC in the case of SS phone. There's more information on how to do so.

Complete sets of ARRL November Sweepstakes (SS) records for both modes are now available. Direct questions to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ.