The North American High Speed Meteor Scatter (HSMS) Rally Results... Eta Aquarids 4/27/2002 to 5/12/2002
Results For 2002
16 Total number of submitted logs. (WA5UFH non-competing score)
60 Total number of unique Grid Squares in all of the logs.
74 Unique Calls in the Rally
Great fun wish I had more time to work Rally. Do it again!
In the four years I have been active on HSMS, I have never heard so many "Blue Whizzer" as in the last weekend of the Rally. I personally witnessed 11 of them.By "Blue Whizzer" I mean bursts lasting from 12 to 45 seconds. I usually hear one or two at the most during the Perseids or Leonids. Coming late in the Rally, I wonder if they were associated with the Halleyids?
I missed seeing some of the calls I have come to think of as the HSMS old timers like K0GU, N0KQY, K7YVZ, K5IUA,KM5PO,W5HUQ to name a few.
Fun contest. Made two six meter qso's using squalo antenna.
Didn't know there was a Rally going on - just finally got set-up and thought I would give it a try!
It was a pleasure to participate as a new user of WSJT. Ears are still very important as an indication of when a signal will be decodable. Many thanks to Joe, K1JT, for advice on AGC and other settings.
... And now, a few words from your sponsors ...
Many thanks to all those who participated in the
2002 North American Meteor Scatter Rally! From all that we
have heard, the event was greatly enjoyed by all who took part.
Many of us worked some new grids, made initial meteor scatter
contacts with new stations, and met old meteor-scatter friends on
the air once more. Whether you were into the event in a
serious way or "just getting on to give the guys a few
points," it was an enjoyable time in which to celebrate our
emergence from the meteor "low season."
Looking ahead, what kind of organized meteor scatter events would you like to see in the future? We organized this year's May event at the last moment, when we realized that the previous sponsors of the annual North American HSMS Contest were not doing an event for 2002. We quickly cobbled something together based on the events of recent years, but with a few changes. In particular, we changed the rules to permit any mode -- FSK441 and SSB, for example, in addition to HSCW. We lengthened the event to two full weeks plus the bracketing weekends. In an effort to emphasize the goal of promoting activity, rather than producing "winners," we decided to call it a "Rally" instead of a "Contest." We changed the scoring rules slightly, as well.
We would very much like to hear from all participants what you thought of the rules. We will not be offended if you did not like everything -- neither did we! Here are a few of our own observations:
1. We are inclined to think that the big scoring premium given to "random" QSOs did not work very well. On many occasions, even though explicit schedules were not made, active stations could tell who would likely be calling them, just by reading the Ping Jockey page. There were probably very few truly "random" QSOs made in the Rally.
2. We are inclined to think that the 16-day event was too long, leading serious entrants to experience significant conflicts with family and other responsibilities.
3. The chosen meteor shower, the Eta Aquarids, has the disadvantage of being a daytime shower, rising at about 0400 local daylight time and setting around 1400. Therefore most of the boost in meteor rates above the seasonal sporadics occurs when many participants are at work or spending time with their families.
Here is a straw-man proposal for a meteor scatter contest next December, based loosely on the European Meteor Scatter Contest sponsored at approximately the same time by the Bavarian Contest Club. It takes advantage of the Geminids, an evening-through-morning meteor shower that peaks on December 14.
Proposed 2002 Geminids North American Meteor Scatter Contest
1. Contest period starts on Saturday, December 14 at 0000 UTC and ends on Monday, December 16 at 0800 UTC. These times correspond to Friday evening at 1600 PST (1900 EST) through Sunday evening at 2300 PST (0200 Monday morning, EST).
2. There are four entry categories: Single Band Low Power, Single Band High Power, Multi-Band Low Power, and Multi-Band High Power. Low power means less than 200 Watts output at all times.
3. Any mode is permissible. QSOs with the same station can be made only once per band, regardless of mode.
4. Required contest exchange includes full callsigns, four-digit grid squares, and final rogers.
5. Only random meteor scatter QSOs count for the contest on 50 and 144 MHz. Schedules are explicitly forbidden on these bands. In addition, you must not use the Ping Jockey page or any other non-meteor-scatter communication during the contest with any station that you work for credit on 50 or 144 MHz. On these bands, QSOs must originate with one station calling CQ, by "tail ending" on another QSO, or by moving a QSO partner to another band, using meteor scatter communication to make the arrangements.
6. Schedules are permitted on the 222 and 432 MHz bands and may be made at any time, including during the contest. The Ping Jockey page may be used to make schedule arrangements for these bands, but of course may not be used for any communication during a valid QSO.
7. The preferred frequencies for calling CQ on 6 and 2 meters are 50.270 and 144.140 MHz. The westernmost station always transmits first. If you are working directly north-south, the southern station goes first. If the preferred CQ frequencies become too busy, move up 10 kHz and use 50.280 and 144.150.
8. The preferred method of calling CQ will be in the form "CQ nnn W1ABC", where nnn is a three-digit number giving the frequency on which you will be listening for replies and on which the subsequent QSO will take place. For example: W1ABC in FN42 beams southwest and calls "CQ 113 W1ABC" on 144.140, transmitting in the second half of each minute. W4XYZ replies on 144.113. As soon as W1ABC hears the reply, he QSYs to 144.113 to send "W4XYZ W1ABC FN42", and the two stations complete the QSO on that frequency.
9. Each QSO counts 1 point on 50 and 144 MHz, 3 points on 222 MHz, and 10 points on 432 MHz. QSOs originating by any of the permitted methods -- calling CQ, tailending, requesting a QSY to another band, or by schedule on 222 or 432 MHz -- are all scored the same way. Any communication by non-meteor-scatter means during a contact invalidates the contact.
10. Scoring: your final score is the sum of all QSO points multiplied by the total number of unique 4-digit grid locators worked, per band. Example: W1ABC works 6 stations in 5 grids on 50 MHz, 11 in 8 grids on 144 MHz, 1 in 1 grid on 222 MHz, and 1 in 1 grid on 432 MHz. His QSO points add up to 6 + 11 + 3 +10 = 30, his total multiplier is 5 + 8 + 1 + 1 = 15, and his total score is 30 x 15 = 450.
Please note that we are encouraging open discussion of any and all of the proposed rules for this event! We would also like to know whether you would be likely to participate, and to submit a log. What changes might increase the chances of your doing so? If there is enough enthusiasm, we will proceed with suitable announcements, etc.
Thanks, once more, for your interest in promoting amateur radio communications by meteor scatter propagation! We invite your replies to be sent to the High Speed Meteor Scatter Reflector, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- 73 from your Rally Sponsors,
John Petersen (KM5ES) Joe Taylor (K1JT) Randy Tipton (WA5UFH)