Young operators at school clubs across the country will take to the air for the “Winter/Spring Term” School Club Roundup, which gets under way Monday, February 8 at 1300 UTC, and continues through Friday, February 12, at 2359 UTC.
Because of changes in rules for the event, operators should ensure that their logging software is up to date:
- Contacts on digital modes such as RTTY and PSK31 now count separately from CW. Modes must be abbreviated in the Cabrillo-formatted log file as PH, CW, or RY.
- The number of contacts allowed per station has been changed to once per band per mode. Operators now may make up to three contacts with a station on each band using CW, voice, and digital modes. Multipliers continue to count once.
- A minor change in the minimum break time may give some school operations some additional operating time. The minimum break time has been reduced from 30 minutes to 10 minutes. This may be helpful for schools where operation is interrupted by the changing of classes.
The twice-yearly event is an opportunity for school club stations — from elementary school to college — to enjoy some friendly radio activity. Sponsored by the ARRL, the ARRL Hudson Division Education Task Force, and the Long Island Mobile Amateur Radio Club (LIMARC), the contest aims to foster contacts with and among school radio clubs.
Participation in the School Club Roundup is easy, and there’s a club category for everyone: Elementary/Primary, Middle/Intermediate/Junior High School, Senior High School, College/University Club, and Non-School Club. There is also an Individual category.
Stations exchange signal reports, class (“Individual”, “Club,” or “School”), and US state, Canadian province/territory, or DXCC entity. Stations may operate on all amateur bands except 60, 30, 17 and 12 meters (no repeater contacts and VHF/UHF contacts must be on recognized simplex frequencies, except calling frequencies). Stations may operate phone, CW, and digital modes, or a combination. The most popular time for younger students is during the after-school hours, but older students may be on the air anytime. All groups are limited to one transmitter on the air. Stations may operate no more than 6 hours in any 24-hour period (up to a maximum of 24 hours).
If you just want to get on the air and hand out contacts, enter in the Individual category. Tune around in any mode and listen for SCR stations calling CQ, or call CQ yourself and see who answers. Call “CQ School Clubs” or “CQ SCR” on CW, if you aren’t a club station. After the contest is over, submit your log online (preferred) or by paper.
Logs are due no more than 15 days after the operating period end and can be submitted online via the WA7BNM website. Claimed scores are displayed and the logs are reviewed by LIMARC before final results are posted. The top three entries in each category — Elementary, Middle/Intermediate/Junior High School, Senior High School College/University — will receive an Award Certificate. Non-school clubs or multiop groups and individuals are also eligible for certificates.