- Contest period: 1500z for 24 hours. Maxmimum on time 14 hours. Off times must be a minimum of 30 minutes with no QSOs.
Bands and modes: 160 meters CW only.
Categories: Single operator or multi-operator; high, low or QRP power. Low power is 100 watts or less output. QRP is 5 watts or less. High power is 1500 watts output or whatever you can legally run in your country, whichever is less.
Exchange: Four character grid square (i.e. CN85). RST is optional.
QSO Points: The number of QSO points for each contact depends on the distance between the two stations. This is computed by taking the distance between the centers of the two grid squares. Count a minimum of one point per QSO and an additional point for every 500 kilometers distance. For example, a QSO with a station 1750 kilometers away will count for 4 QSO points. No additional distance for long path is allowed.
QSO Points are multiplied by 2X if you work a low power station and 4X for working a QRP station. This is done based upon received logs and is computed automatically during the log checking process.
Do not worry if your logging software does not compute the QSO points. Our automated log checking software does this.
Welcome to Rule 6. We will try our best to describe what you can and can't do for each of the categories. We realize that the beat of technology does not stop - even for the TopBand. Because of this, we will try to start with a statement expressing the intent of these rules, to give the reader something to go on if some previously distinct line is blurred due to advances in technology.
If you are single-op - we intend for you to not be assisted by other humans during the event. Any communication with humans other than the exchanges that take place over the air can be assistance. Obviously, you can ask your wife to bring you a sandwich - and say hello to an old friend who happens to call in. But - if the assistance starts to do things like telling you that VK6VZ is on 1829.3 kHz, then that is going too far.
So - packet spotting is right out. Using a chat room for setting up skeds is out. This is the "boy and his radio" category. Furthermore, the technology has advanced to the point where it can give assistance that is on par with a human. Having a skimmer, or reverse beacon network, or whatever people come up with in the future that can tell you that VK6VZ is on 1829.3 kHz is also viewed as assistance. Use of this technology is not allowed in the single-op category. We do realize band scopes can show that someone is on 1829.3 - but since they don't tell you who is actually there, that is okay. We suppose this allows the use of "blind skimmers" but we would really like to encourage you to turn off the skimmer and enjoy the contest the way we did back when Stew Perry was around.
We do realize that some stations use remote receivers to eliminate their local QRN issues. We wish to include them in the contest - but need to put some kind of limit on it as we do not intend for people to have remote receivers on the other side of their country - or in other continents. That would totally destroy the concept of awarding extra QSO points for copying QRP stations. Therefore, remote receivers are okay as long as they are not more than 100 kM from your transmitter site. This equates to roughly a grid square. NOTE - we don't intend for you to use a remote receiver so you can do SO2R without QRM from your TX signal. So - if you use a remote receiver - do not use a local one at the same time.
If you are multi-op, you can get assistance from other humans in your shack. We still do not want to you to use the cluster or other spotting methods that happen during the contest. If you have a skimmer - go ahead and use it. Remote receiving sites within the 100 kM are okay. If a networked connected skimmer is within 100 kM of you, go ahead and use it.
While we do want to encourage you to just use the information you find in your headphones - the BARC has chosen to allow the use of callsign databases (Super Check Partial) and even those which can remember the grid squares of stations you have worked in previous events. We do warn that those who rely on those databases too much, typically have higher error rates.
You are welcome to operate using a remote station - as long as all of the radio frequency "stuff" is all located at the remote site and otherwise meets all of the other criteria. It is best not to operate from two different locations with the same callsign - as this would really confuse our log checking software when determining the correct distance for your contacts.
We have seen a few stations employ "dual CQing" methods. We really would like to discourage this activity - as it uses more than your fair share of the band - which sometimes can be very crowded. Feel free to QSY as often as you would like - but if we see a pattern of using two frequencies for an extended period of time - we will feel that you have ignored this advice. It is very easy to see with the RBN (reverse beacon network) when this is happening.
If you want to do something that doesn't fall into one of these two categories (and still want to get on and make QSOs) - this is still a good thing and you can submit your log as a check log. We will still process your log and print your score. You can explain what you were doing in your soapbox comments for all to see. Perhaps if enough people are submitting logs that are doing the same thing you were - we will consider creating a category for that type of operation.
We are sorry that this rule is so long. We really wanted to keep this simple, but that didn't seem possible anymore. If you have any questions after reading this - please let the Boring Amateur Radio Club know and we will be happy to add a few more paragraphs.
Oh - we should mention cheating isn't allowed either - in case that was not clear. This includes operating more than 14 hours and trying to make it look like you operated only 14. It means running more power than you are supposed to in your category and/or country. It also includes using QRZ.COM (or other similar databases) to fill in those missing or questionable grid squares or callsigns. This is a RADIO contest and your log must indicate what you heard during the contest - not what you found on the internet afterwards!!
Thank you for reading rule six.
Score: Final score equals the total number of QSO points. There is no multiplier for different grids worked. Stations running more than five watts, but no more than 100 watts multiply their score by 1.5. Stations running less five watts or less multiply their score by three. Scores will be grouped by category.
Reporting: Your log should be submitted within 14 days of the contest using the Log Upload Tool.
Paper entries will only be accepted for the December event fewer than 50 QSOs. Mail to BARC 50335 NW Hayward Road, Manning, OR 97125.
Plaques will are awarded only for the Big Stew in December. To volunteer to sponsor a plaque, contact Tree, N6TR at firstname.lastname@example.org. A list of the plaques sponsored can be found our web page.
To "apply" for a plaque such as a first time entry - or other special category, please include this information in your SOAPBOX fields on the Cabrillo log. Information contained elsewhere in your e-mail may not be seen by the log checkers. If you use the log uploader tool, there are convenient check offs for the plaques you qualify for.
Only one plaque can be won by any station for a specific contest. BARC will make decisions about which plaque you will win in cases where you qualify for more than one.
Stations may enter two categories (i.e., QRP and High Power), but must use a different callsign for each operation.
The Master of the Four Seasons plaque is issued to the highest scoring single-op station who operates all four Stew events in one year. More information on this award can be found here.