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ARRL November Sweepstakes: Another Chance at a “Clean Sweep” is Coming Up!


In a few short days, operators across all 83 ARRL and Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC) sections will take to the airwaves to compete in the first of two ARRL November Sweepstakes events. Always a fall favorite “Sweeps” is the longest-running “domestic” contest. The CW event is November 1-3, while the SSB event is November 15-17. The action on both weekends gets underway at 2100 UTC Saturday and runs through 0259 UTC Monday (Sunday evening in continental US time zones).

As veteran Sweeps hands already know, the exchange for this operating event is a bit more involved than it is for most other contests. Strange terms such as “precedence” and “check” — while very familiar to old timers and traffic operators — may seem confusing at first to newcomers. The exchange goes like this: Call sign of the station worked, consecutive serial number (NR) starting with 001, precedence (PREC) — a letter that indicates your operating category; see the rules), your call sign, check (CK) — the last two numerals of the year you were first licensed, and the two- or three-letter abbreviation of your ARRL or RAC section (SEC).

In your log, for example, if WW1ME works W1MSW, the log entry might look like this:

W1MSW 015 A WW1ME 65 ME.

All popular logging programs include a template for ARRL November Sweepstakes. Be sure to use the latest version of your logger.

It may seem difficult and complicated at first, but once you get into the swing of Sweeps, it will start coming naturally. That’s also where it starts being fun.

The 2014 ARRL November Sweepstakes Operating Guide contains a collection of Sweepstakes information and links to help both newbies and old timers to understand the rules, operating techniques, and log-submission guidelines.

The holy grail of Sweepstakes is to earn a “Clean Sweep” by working at least one station in all 83 sections. Attain this elite level and you qualify to purchase a highly desired Clean Sweep mug for your accomplishment!  Also, the Sweepstakes certificate of every op making a Sweep will include a “Clean Sweep” sticker. Making at least 100 QSOs, qualifies the operator for a Participation Pin. Section and Division recognition awards for each operating category also are available. Details are on the ARRL November Sweepstakes web page. Be sure to read the rules for all ARRL contests too.

Logs are due 15 days after the event is over. CW Sweepstakes submissions must be received by 0300 UTC Tuesday, November 18, 2014. SSB logs are due by 0300 UTC on Tuesday, December 2, 2014. ARRL still accepts paper logs, but electronic Cabrillo logs submitted via e-mail (CW) (SSB) are preferable. Send paper logs to ARRL November Sweepstakes, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Those logging on paper also may want to consider WA7BNM's online Cabrillo converter, which lets the operator manually enter the logging data to create a Cabrillo file. Submitting logs electronically enhances the quality of the log-checking process and permits more rapid publication of results.

ICOM is the Principal Awards Sponsor for ARRL November Sweepstakes events. For more information about ARRL November Sweepstakes, contact ARRL Contest Branch Manager Matt Wilhelm, W1MSW.





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