ARRL November Sweepstakes

The 2013 ARRL November Sweepstakes contest is in the books for another year.  The main goal of having fun was successful from my modest basement ham shack and I believe I did pretty well considering. 

I had prepared everything earlier in the morning before a run out to the local shopping mall and lunch with my wife.  With computers and radios on, I sat down just before 21:00 UTC (2 PM local) and began scanning up and down the 20m band.  From the sounds of things, the band seemed to be in pretty good shape and many ops were beginning to stake their claim to their small chunk of the spectrum. 

Just like clockwork, I began hearing KK6L calling CQ Sweeps and quickly logged him as #1 from Eastern Pennsylvania.  I tuned up the band and quickly added Nevada, South Texas, Arkansas and Eastern Mass all within the first few minutes of the contest.  By this time I had also managed to settle into a rhythm with the long exchange.  It was time to try to run a frequency.

However, finding a frequency which wasn’t in use proved to be as elusive as stations operating in Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota and West Texas.  I would tune to a frequency, listen, listen, listen…then ask if the frequency was in use 3-4 times.  Start calling CQ….then get chased away.  After this situation played out 2-3 times and getting a bit too close to those who occupy the space around 14.313, I decided I would just hunt and pounce my way around the bands.

2013 sweeps Map

As you can see from the above map (courtesy of the N3FJP Contest logger) I managed to work most of the sections (and US States) and with exception of Delaware, South Carolina, Utah, South Dakota and Wyoming…would have managed WAS in less than 24 hours. 

As I stated at the beginning, band conditions were surprisingly good.  I mostly worked 20 and 40 meters on Saturday.  Then on Sunday I found success in both 10 and 15 meters.  

The final damage after about 8 hours of contesting is as follows:

Total QSO’s: 200
Total Sections Worked: 72
Sections not worked: 11
Total Contest Points: 28,800

Contacts by Band
40 meters:    18      9%
20 meters: 144    72%
15 meters:    32    16%
10 meters:      6       3%

Looking at a few other statistics.  I worked Santa Clara Valley (SCV) a total of 17 times, followed by Maryland DC with 10.   Looking at state QSO’s, California with 40 Q’s followed by Maryland with 10, Virginia 8 and New York and Texas each at 7.  Finally, 180 Q’s were USA, 16 Canada then Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Is. all one QSO each. 

I wasn’t so surprised to miss working Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota.  However, I was surprised with no contacts in Delaware and South Carolina.  I just simply never heard any stations on the air from the First State and the Palmetto State. 

I’m not sure how my score ranks with other stations running in my category (Alpha), but will submit my log and look forward to finding out.  The other possible silver lining might also come in the form of filling in a few missing states on 20m and 40m ARRL WAS Phone category.  Time will tell…

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK (Jerry)

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “ARRL November Sweepstakes”

  • Ben KD7UIY:

    Delaware was quite difficult for me as well, and I’m in Virginia. I finally had to get up early and work them on 80m, not the easiest thing for my setup, but I managed to make the contact. I was particularly glad because that was on my had to work list. I’m surprised you didn’t get SC, I had quite a few of them. I too was pleasantly surprised at how close I was to WAS in a single day of operating, I think I missed it by just 5 states as well. I did get all of my have to get states, however;-)

  • John Mann KK4ITN:

    Very intresting. I live in N.Carolina and working on WAS. S.Carolina was very difficult to get on cw. Utah and Wyoming I got but only after some time hunting for them. As for N. and S. Dakota, no one lives there.

  • Eric Carlson AJ4LN:

    I also operated category A, using 2 wire antennas, on all 5 bands 80-10. My results were similar. I was only 8 sections short of a clean sweep, with 33,900 points, for about 13 hours of operating. The only US state I missed was RI, and I started a QSO with a RI station, but he couldn’t hear the rest of my exchange. The sections I was missing were: RI, NNY, SFL, PR, AB, ONE, ONN, QC

  • Rick K3JD:

    Delaware was there. We were multi-op high but working without one of our team who became a silent key on November 17.
    We’re here every year.

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