To: All Amateur Radio Operators in the State of AlabamaProbably every ham operator in the state is aware that this Special Event is currently happening. Notices have been sent to all of the clubs statewide and announcements have appeared on the ARRL website and also on the Alabama section of the ARRL website.The Alabama Contest Group (ACG) has been tasked with organizing W1AW/4 operations within the state and work has been in progress towards making that task successful since late last year.To that end, the ACG is pleased to make the following announcement:THE “W1AW in AL” SECTION OF THE ACG WEBSITE IS NOW UP AND RUNNING AND WILL BE READY TO TAKE REQUESTS FOR OPERATING SLOTS COMMENCING 01 MARCH, 2014!!!Remember, this event is open to ALL amateur radio operators in the state of Alabama. No club or League membership is required.Here are some items of interest to keep in mind:Each state has been assigned two 1-week periods for this event. As a reminder, the dates that have been assigned to Alabama are:First Week: Starts at 0000Z 04 June and ends at 0000Z 11 June, 2014(Local time 1900 03 June and ends at 1900 10 June, 2014)Second Week – Starts at 0000Z 15 October and ends at 0000Z 22 October, 2014(Local time 1900 14 October and ends at 1900 21 October, 2014)The website for the Alabama Contest Group is alabamacontestgroup.orgOn the ACG website there is a menu item entitled “W1AW in AL”. Clicking on this menu item will yield several choices. The items that will likely be of most interest are “How to Request Op Time” and “Op Schedules”.Clicking on the “Op Schedules” tab will give you two options: time slots during the operating period in June or time slots during the operating period in October.Here you will find the June Op Schedule broken down hourly by band and mode. This is a very large breakdown so you will need to use the “Previous/Next” button in the lower right hand corner of the page to page through all the available time slots.If, when looking at the Op Schedule, you see a call sign in one of the boxes, that means that particular time slot for that band and mode has already been reserved and you will need to pick another time slot and/or mode.Requesting time to operate W1AW/4 from your home and/or club station is a simple process. To make your request, follow the steps described below:Three stop process:1. Find an open Date/Time/Band/Mode slot you would like to reserve for your use as Control Operator of W1AW/4.2. Submit a request for your desired slot to the schedule coordinators3. Wait for confirmation from the schedule coordinators that your desired slot has been reserved for your use.How to do it:To facilitate this process a few links (pages) have been set up here on the site. To find open operating slots click on Op Schedules. On this page you’ll find links to the dates available for W1AW/4 in Alabama. Click on the desired operating period (June or October). A table with All Operational Slots for that period will open. Use the search window at the top of the page to find a slot available. You will know a slot is available if the Control Operator field is blank.Once you identify an open slot, jot down the information, i.e. the date/band/mode/time block. Then click on the link at the top of the Op Schedule page to “generate request.”You’ll be taken to a form. Fill in the form with the requested information. Once complete, click “Submit.”That’s it. An email will be sent automatically to the Schedule Coordinators. Once they approve your request, your call sign will be placed in the Op Schedule indicating the slot is reserved. In the unlikely event that your requested slot is already reserved (but the schedule not yet updated) you will be notified ASAP.Please let us know if there are questions/confusion related to this process! To do so, use the “Contact Us” link in the main navigation area of the web site.Although the slots are broken down into one hour increments that doesn’t mean you can only request a one hour operating time. If you have the desire to operate 4 straight hours on 40 meter SSB then just submit your request that way. There is a box on the request page that allows you to to request a 1, 2, 3, or 4 hour operating slot.Also, keep in mind that these time slots are in GMT(Zulu) time. During this Special Event we will be in Daylight Savings so our local time will be 5 hours earlier than GMT.Some other points to keep in mind:Although this is not a contest, the goal is similar: make as many contacts as possible when you’re operating. The only exchange required between stations is a signal report and your state. Anything else you want to add to your contact is up to you but it is suggested to keep contacts short because the pile-ups on these Special Event stations so far have been fairly large.Also, you must use a computer logging program to record your contacts because all contacts will be uploaded to the LOTW website. No paper logs will be accepted.Additional instructions can be found on the Alabama Contest Group website but if you still have questions about anything concerning this event, please feel free to use the “Contact Us” link in the main navigation area of the web site.Good luck and have fun.73, Tom Schwinn, W4NBSSecy, Alabama Contest Group
Great to see Dick, K4IQJ; John, WB4LNM; Tom, KE4KW; Reta; Darrell, K9MUG; Bob, KD4PK; Richard, AI4RU; Bob, KA4PKB; Gene, KI4EEY; John, KI4KUT and guest, Scott, KC4Z.
Good meal at Outback prior to meeting, with a fascinating program later with Dick, K4IQJ at the Health Resource Center building.
We briefly discussed the W1AW/4 operation and future club meeting programs.
Dick, K4IQJ is presenting the program this month. He will be discussing the improvements to his beverage antennas at KA4PKB’s QTH in Loachapoka. Also improvements to the club antenna system over the last few months.
The current beverage length is 500 feet and mounted above ground. Dick plans on installing a beverage on ground in the future. It will be 1000 feet.
With 3 elements on 40 meters with our beam, we are putting out a powerful signal now and the results show in our contest operations. Dick has connected our tower to 80 meters also.
Due to schedule conflict with Dick, K4IQJ, our meeting is on February 18th.
Location: Dogwood Room at Health Resource Center on Pepperell Parkway, across from EAMC.
Time: 7 pm…supper at 6 pm at Outback, which is about 2 blocks from HRC.
Program: K4IQJ on antenna projects in Loachapoka.
The Alabama Contest Group has asked HODARS to use the W1AW/4 callsign during the Alabama QSO Party this year. This is indeed a great honor for our club and we are looking forward to the event.
We will be operating CW, SSB and RTTY and in process of lining up members to operate.
More updates as they become available.