QRP ARCI Golden Jubilee

You QRP guys probably already know this, but I'm hoping that some of my non-QRP readers will check this out as well. QRP ARCI, perhaps the world's largest QRP club, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. As part of its golden anniversary celebrations, the organization is running a special event throughout the year. Each week, member volunteers will be activating K6JSS (callsign of QRP ARCI #1 Harry Blomquist and the current club call) from a different state in the Union, as well as DC and Puerto Rico.

ARCI will be offering some special awards in connection with the event. Rather than try to rehash them, allow me to requote the messages sent to QRP-L. First, details on certificates and QSLs from W4DU:

We recently announced that the club will mark its' 50th anniversary by
activating the club call (K6JSS) in all 50 states throughout 2011 (see
http://www.qrparci.org/content/view/8371/118/ ). A special "Worked All
States" certificate will be issued to all that qualify.  QSL cards will be
sent via SASE.  We are off to a good start as Connecticut and Hawaii were on
during the first two weeks of the year.  Currently, Georgia operators are
activating K6JSS.  Our thanks to the operators in these three states in
getting us off to a great start!  A schedule for this event along with other
helpful details is available at the link above. Here are a few items that
warrant clarification:

1.  A valid contact is considered an exchange of signal reports - QRP ARCI
numbers are not required nor are QTH/Name/etc. But we suggest RST + QRP ARCI
number or power out if not a member.

2. You can "claim" the K6JSS QRP ARCI number even if it is not exchanged.
We all will know pretty quickly, if not previously, that it is QRP ARCI #1.
If you don't know your QRP ARCI number, go to http://qrparci.org/ and click
on "Member Lookup".  Enter you call and your number will be displayed. If
you are not a member, you can exchange power out in lieu of a number.  Of
course you can also join at http://www.qrparci.org and receive a number!

3. Requests for QSLs go to the address listed at qrz.com for K6JSS. Please
send an SASE.  All requests for QSLs with an SASE will be honored.  However,
to control the costs and the work of our volunteers, we ask that you not
request a K6JSS QSL for each and every state you work during the year. Of
course if you require a QSL for an award, then we'll be happy to QSL with an
SASE of course.  Again, all requests for QSLs will be honored.  Just use
your discretion as to help us control the load.  The QSL card design is
complete; we are just tweaking it. We will not have cards to mail to you
until approximately February 1.  We will NOT be doing LoTW which we have
considered because it is very complicated for this event

4. At the end of the year, special certificates (different from the QRP All
States award) will be issued to any amateur confirming QSOs with K6JSS in 20
or more of the 50 states of the USA while running QRP. Endorsement
certificates are issued at 30, 40 and 50 states confirmed. QRP ARCI awards
do not require QSLs with the application for an award.  Just a list that you
prepare certifying that you worked the stations listed for the award and GCR
- General Class Review of 2 General Class or higher amateur friends of
yours.  You can down load the GCR form on the qrparci.org site.  This
approach will be used for the Golden Jubilee Award.

5. If you miss a few states and are desirous of getting all fifty, we will
present some opportunities at the year's end to pick up a few states that
you may have missed.  So if you find yourself getting a late start, jump in
and work what is on now.

We are encouraging K6JSS operators to work as many modes and bands as
possible.  Check QRP Spots (http://qrpspots.com/ ) often to determine who is
on.

Since I am in Georgia, I am one of the ops activating the call this week.
Two nights on 60 meters have yielded 24 contacts in 2 countries and 15
states.   Ill be trying RTTY and 17 meter SSB later in the week.

Enjoy the year!

Ken Evans, W4DU
President - QRP ARCI

Next, a bit on extra prizes from ARRL courtesy of W1RFI:

<snip>

I also sweetened the pot with some 2012 ARRL Handbooks to be given out
as prizes.  They will be defaced with signatures from the ARRL Lab
staff, so they will have no monetary worth, but are much like plaques
and other prizes for various on-the-air contests.

The first Handbook will go to the first person to work all 50 states, so
out of the ones that have 49 states near the end, one will be first.

Nine others will be given to the persons who work all 50 states with the
least amount of total time spent on the air, starting at 0001 Z after
each state is active. Honor system on logs and just total the time.  If
there are not enough 50-state people, we will start counting back to 49,
48. etc., with the least amount of time for each having priority.

One other Handbook will be saved for whoever works K6JSS on the largest
comibnation of bands and modes, so go get 'em on different modes.

If you miss a state, don't worry, as there will be a few ways announced
later on how you can make up the state later. It will be quite hard to
work all 50 states, especially KL7, where propagation can make QSOs
pretty tough. The ICEPAC software does a better job than VOACAP to
predict propagation at high latitudes, so when the KL7 operation is
firmed up, I will post a link to a prop chart for KL7 to the mainland
that may help the KL7 and mainland ops plan their operating.

So everybody will have a shot at a prize here if they manage a good
showing and there are certificates going to be issued for working 20 or
more states.  And although the makeup plans aren't finalized yet (sorry,
we ARCI BoD folks are all volunteers), it should easy to manage to get
credited for all 50 states.

There is a real shot that a few may manage to work all 50 states with
K6JSS and I think that would be a hoot to see a WAS award issues for
contact with one call sign!

Ed Hare, W1RFI
ARRL - The national association for Amateur Radio
ARRL Laboratory Manager

<snip>

For some stupid reason, I didn't really think about this event until the first week had passed, which was the state of Connecticut. However, I've made a 2-way QRP QSO with every state after CT, and hope to get as many more as I can this year. It would be great to get QRP WAS (I don't even have regular old WAS confirmed); which seems like a daunting task, but I really only have to successfully make one QSO a week. I'm pretty sure that I can hit most states from here with my current antenna system. One good thing going for me is the ease of contacting the states that are difficult for many other hams out east: Alaska and Hawaii. I've already bagged HI, and AK contacts are rarely a problem for me (unless the solar winds wipe out the path).

I'd like to operate K6JSS/7 for the State of Oregon, but I'm a bit leery of committing myself to that right now, given how hard it is for me to get more than a few minutes of operating time while my son naps. Hopefully, things will settle down enough to let me do a little bit of operating when the time comes.

Even if you are not a QRP op, I hope you will try to make some QSOs with the special event stations. Even if you don't work CW, there are ops that are using SSB...so you have no excuse. Check QRPSPOTS for information on where to find the current K6JSS operations.