The Anoka County Radio Club has started doing more contesting activities at the beginning of the year. We have now done 8 contests, including Field Day, with score dashboards available for people operating under their own callsigns. There are two things we’ve implemented to help us along.
First, we’ve become an ARRL affiliated club for this and other good reasons (like being listed on ARRL’s club directory). ARRL affiliated clubs are able to be enabled as “contest clubs” – which means that when you submit your scores as individuals, they’re also attributed to the group (for ARRL contests). Once affiliated, you must update your club profile on the ARRL every two years, or your affiliation will expire. It’s easier to fall off than you may think!
There is a process for telling the ARRL members who are authorized members of your club that qualify for participation in your clubs’ contests.
The next thing we’ve added is using the N3FJP Club Score processor. This tool will create a real-time dashboard on the club’s website, during the contest and including the scores of other club participants as the contest progresses.
Two things are needed to be included on the dashboard:
- In your N3FJP logging software, under Settings/Web Contest Upload Status/Other realtime online scoreboard sites, you must have “Score distributor for all Scoreboards” enabled, and should have the club name in “Club Name” (along with your other unique contest particulars):
2. The person running the club score processor must update the contest name, the contest ID number (from the dashboard URL) add the callsigns of the participants. Leave the program up during the contest (from a place with internet) and every so often it will update the online page.
When the contest is done, all participants upload their log files using the normal upload mechanism for the contest. If at least 3 participants were active in the contest and submit your logs, your club totals will be reported by the ARRL. Non-ARRL contests also may report this information (specific to each contest).
The more clubs that go through this process, the more friendly coopetition there can be for having fun with ham radio. Doing contests remotely can have it’s advantages – people can use their own setups, or activate POTA locations during contests, or meet together – and all appear on the same dashboard.
I hope to see you have fun with Ham Radio Contests!
If you are a member of the Anoka County Radio Club and would like to be on the contest portal, let me know. If you’re a local club and need help getting stared, also let me know.