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Participation in ARRL Centennial On-the-Air Events Exceeds All Expectations


Attendance at the ARRL’s on-the-air Centennial celebration in 2014 was through the roof! Approximately 3.5 million contacts were recorded for W1AW portable operations and the Centennial Points Challenge during the Centennial QSO Party last year.

“The Centennial QSO Party was a huge success, and participation was way greater than anyone anticipated it would be when we were in the planning stages,” said Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, Assistant Manager, Field Services and Radiosport Department. As a result, the window for operators to apply and pay fees for awards they earned in the Centennial QSO Party is not expected to open until mid-March.

Fusaro said that while award certificates have been printed, the task of checking and double-checking the electronic logs and resolving any anomalies has put an unexpected burden on staff resources.

To compete in the Centennial Points Challenge, logs must have been submitted through Logbook of the World (LoTW). The system will automatically look for points-qualifying QSOs from submitted logs and apply them to each participant’s Centennial QSO Points total. During January, ARRL Headquarters has been recalculating all submitted scores to come up with final tallies.

“Recalculating will allow operators to earn points for contacts they made with stations that were not yet in the database when the logs went into LoTW,” Fusaro explained. “Accuracy in fulfilling awards is important, and we need to get this right the first time. It’s been a very time and staff-intensive process, researching busted call signs and running down claimed contacts and mode discrepancies for operators.”

The deadline to submit logs for 2014 via LoTW was January 22, but participants may apply for Centennial awards indefinitely, once the application process is up and running. Operators do not have to use LoTW to apply for Points Challenge certificates or W1AW WAS awards.

Enhancements to LoTW — which served as the repository for Centennial QSO Party contacts — also contributed to the delay. And a few operators logged on paper; those logs were keyed into the system manually.

Qualifying for the Top Level Award requires 15,000 points. The Third Level Award requires 7500 point, while the Second and First Level awards require 3000 and 1000 points, respectively. Point totals will be printed on certificates.

Meanwhile QSL cards for W1AW portable and W100AW operations are not yet back from the printer’s. “We did not plan to have as many W1AW/p operators, which contributed to the bonanza of Centennial QSO Party contacts,” Fusaro said. US stations that worked W1AW/p and W100AW during the Centennial may request QSL cards via the Incoming QSL Service on the Centennial QSO Party web page.

This is a one-time only use of the QSL Bureau for this purpose, and those who want to receive cards via the Bureau should ensure that their accounts are sufficiently funded, because cards will not be held. Cards destined for stations outside the US will be sent via the QSL Bureau. Participants also may request cards directly, providing one SASE for up to six cards per envelope.

W1AW/p and W100AW will not confirm every contact on the traditional paper QSL cards, but will confirm QSOs for each mode and on most bands on a single card for each weekly operation.




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