[CQ-Contest] NA RTTY Sprint Saturday

Ed Muns ed at w0yk.com
Thu Mar 6 15:16:55 EST 2014

This fun, semi-annual event is just 2 days away.  It offers a great way to
improve your (RTTY) operating skills and enjoy yourself at the same time.
If you find the contest format intimidating, see the discussion below.

WHEN: 00-04Z, Sunday, 9 March (Saturday evening, NA time)
WHERE: 20, 40 and 80 meters, 80+ kHz up, or so.
RULES:  http://ncjweb.com/Sprint-Rules.pdf  
PRACTICE: 0200-0220Z, Friday, 7 March (Thursday evening NA time)*
          0200-0230Z, Saturday, 8 March (Friday evening NA time)

          * This is the weekly NS RTTY sponsored by NCCC, and a great
            opportunity to practice RTTY Sprint.

PARTICIPATION:  More participation in the RTTY Sprint will make it more fun
for everyone.  Your participation in this, and other contests, is a
wonderful way to give back to radiosport.  Consider investing up to 4 hours
of your Saturday evening to a worthy cause!

TEAMS are one way to support participation and fun as well!  Up to ten
single-op stations can be on a team and they can come from anywhere.
Register your team at http://ncjweb.com/rttysprintteamreg/.  You can
re-register the team with any last minute changes as many times as you want.
Only the last registration will be used.  Just get it in before the contest
starts.  (As I was writing this paragraph, the Team Registration for the
AOCC Jailbreakers came in.  Spooked me, until I realized it might just be

FORMAT:  Some operators find the Sprint format intimidating.  The rules
require that you QSY after working a station who calls you.  A station can
"call you" in one of two situations.  First, in response to your CQ, or
second, upon completion of your prior QSO.  Therefore, at most, you can only
have two consecutive QSOs on the same frequency.  You must QSY at least 1
kHz before calling another station, or at least 5 kHz before calling CQ.

Because of this rule many operators tune around to find a station to work
and then stay on the frequency to work a second station.  This is called a
"couplet" and appears desirable because two QSOs can be made before the
required QSY.  But there are other alternatives within the rules.  For
example, the Sprint has been won by stations that ONLY CQ'd, but did so
between two bands or between two frequencies more than 5 kHz apart on the
same band.

If you don't want to compete in pileups, then find an open frequency and
call CQ!  Sure, you have to find a new clear frequency at least 5 kHz away
for your next CQ, but that in itself is good skill development.  This
technique is good for QRP or Low Power stations at the beginning of band
activity.  Since stations can only be worked once per band, operators will
soon be clambering for new stations to work and a QRP CQ will be very
effective, even generating a small pileup!

The CQ approach is also great for operators new to Sprint or simply put off
by pileup competition.  (Although, the pileups soon die out as the bigger
stations all work each other on a band.)  If you are used to Search and
Pouncing, rather than running, the continual CQ approach in Sprint is
actually better.  You are still tuning between each QSO, but you don't have
to win a pileup.  Stations call you!

Whatever your interest, from casual RTTY operator to serious contester,
Sprint offers a fun 4 operating hours for everyone.


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