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WRTC 2014 Station Test “A Valuable Experience,” Organizers Say


World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 (WRTC-2014) organizers say the 2013 station test held during the IARU HF World Championship July 13-14 went very well. The 25-station trial run was the second such test in advance of next summer’s international competition in New England. The results of the unofficial competition are on the WRTC-2014 website.

“We accomplished our main objectives of exercising our processes around building and operating the stations,” said WRTC-2014 Board Vice President Randy Thompson, K5ZD. “We had some more lessons learned around equipment, processes and people. The volunteers did a fantastic job of constructing 25 stations in one day. No one got hurt.”

The periodic WRTCs run concurrently with the IARU HF World Championship, and the 2014 event will see 65 stations on the air from various New England locations. The goals of the 2013 station test, organizers said, were to expand the pool of experienced teams for station setup, evaluate proposed site locations, confirm logistics and procedures and gather log data under competition conditions. A similar test was conducted in 2012, and organizers say that the just-completed test will be the final one before WRTC-2014 next July. All of the test stations were in Eastern Massachusetts.

The test stations were active on CW and SSB on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters, and many of them followed the equipment configuration and scoring rules that will be prevail for the actual event. “Conditions were not the best, but these operations will provide valuable log and propagation information to the WRTC 2014 competitors,” organizers said. As part of the effort to establish a level playing field for the competitors, operating teams took part in a coordinated signal comparison check using the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN). The event attracted some local media attention, and an article appeared in The Lowell Sun.

The exercise relied heavily upon more than 100 volunteers, who were able to construct, operate, and take down all 25 stations over the 3 day test period. “We will need more help for next year with 65 stations to construct,” Thompson stressed. “Volunteers can come from anywhere, as long as they can be here for the necessary days — Thursday, Friday and Sunday.” Prospective volunteers can sign up on the WRTC-2014 website.

The 2013 station test included a successful beta test of a real-time WRTC scoreboard system, with 10 of the test stations reporting their scores on a near contact-by-contact. Others texted their scores by SMS. “The real-time scoreboard will be an exciting way for friends and family to follow the competition as it unfolds,” organizers said.

“It will be a fantastic event next year,” Thompson predicted, “just one week before the ARRL National Convention — a double treat for anyone who can come to New England next July.”





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