ARRL Sweepstakes – CW

With numerous contests under my belt, none are more intriguing than the ARRL Sweepstakes (CW & SSB). CW is quickly approaching next weekend and in preparation for the event, the NCCC (as well as PVRC) have scheduled practice sessions the day prior to the start or contest. Thanks to N6DE and others of the NCCC, who presented a wonderful Sweepstakes 101 webinar last week. This in conjunction with the practice sessions should help a green operator like me who is participating in my first SS.

I have been working on my CW macros, but I am torn as to which software to use. For all of my contesting to date, I have been using Win-Test, but I decided to download and play with N3FJP, who provides a Sweepstakes software suite. I am impressed with what Scott has in terms of layout and ease of use. But not having any experience using it, I am somewhat hesitant to use it. But I like the ability to see each ARRL Section divided into specific call zones, also the North America map that shows which sections were worked. Win-Test doesn’t have anything as nice, but they do have a display that will show which sections were worked. Both programs will allow the generation of CW, using WinKeyer or in the case of N3FJP, DTR using a com port.

With the two upcoming practice sessions, I will try both out, maybe even just stick with N3FJP for both sessions to get a feel for the program before I make a decision. I am looking to operate 13-15 hours of the 24 hours a single operator are allowed to operate pe the rules. Not sure what my personal goals are, I would like a “clean sweep” but I understand a few of the Canadian sections can be rough to find. Hopefully whatever happens I hope I can contribute to a victory for NCCC over PVRC.