Solar Eclipse QSO Party (SEQP) Rules

Rules will be final as of 1 July 2017. Operating guidelines or suggestions may be added after that date but will not change the rules. Bookmark this page and join the HamSCI-Eclipse mailing list to stay up-to-date.

Version 0.62

10 May 2017

Date and Time

21 Aug 2017 1400 – 2200 UTC (Partial eclipse begins at about 1600 UTC in Oregon ends at about 2015 UTC in South Carolina)

Objective

To generate observations of propagation by the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN – http://www.reversebeacon.net/), PSKReporter (https://pskreporter.info/), WSPRNet (http://www.wsprnet.org), and event logs before, during, and after the eclipse on the amateur bands for the purpose of ionospheric sounding.

Bands

160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meter bands

60, 30, 17, and 12 meters will not be used.

Modes

CW, PSK31, RTTY, Phone

Note on WSPRNet: Because of the primarily one-way nature of WSPR QSOs they should not be logged as two-way QSOs in the SEQP.  WSPR reception reports will be logged on WSPRNet (wsprnet.org) and so WSPR operation during the entire SEQP period is encouraged on the usual WSPR frequencies on any band.  In addition, bonuses are offered for operation of WSPR receive nodes as described in the bonus section below. You can further contribute WSPR data to the Eclipse project by recording the full data and sending it to us for post-processing. Please see https://www.scivision.co/wspr-save-raw-wav-data/ for details on saving WSPR data. Once your data has been posted to Zenodo, e-mail your DOI (Digital Object Identifier) provided by Zenodo along with your station call sign, location, and equpiment description to hamsci@hamsci.org.

Station Requirements

  • All transmitting and receiving equipment used to make contacts must be no more than 1 km apart.
  • RBN nodes can be any distance apart.

Categories (listed separately in the results)

  • Single-operator (one transmitted signal permitted at any time)
  • Multioperator (one transmitted signal per band and mode permitted at any time)

Exchange

  1. Call “CQ CQ TEST DE [your call] [your call] K” using a single code speed, baud, or bit rate during the transmission.  This maximizes the ability of the automated receivers to decode your transmission.
  2. Send the call sign of receiving station, signal report in RST format, six-character grid locator (e.g. EM48ss), and call sign of sending station. To find determine your grid square, visit http://www.arrl.org/grid-squares.
  3. The strength (S) value of RS(T) signal reports should represent the approximate peak S meter reading.  (Readings greater than S9 should be sent as S9.)  A signal report of 599 or 59 is acceptable for any QSO.

Example exchange: If NØAX responds to a CQ by W1AW, NØAX receives “NØAX 579 FN31PR W1AW” and sends “W1AW 589 EM48SS NØAX”.

Scoring

Score = Multipliers x QSO Points + Bonus Points

  1. 2 points for CW or Digital; 1 point for phone
  2. Multipliers: 4-character grid squares counted once per band.
  3. Bonus points earned (see Bonus Points section)

Duplicate contacts on the same band as a previous QSO with a station are allowed after 10 minutes have elapsed since the previous QSO with that station. The same station may be worked on all SEQP bands and modes.

Logging Requirements

  1. Log Date, Time, Band or Frequency, Mode (CW, RY (for RTTY or PSK), or PH), both call signs, signal report sent and received, grid locator sent and received. 6-character grid locator is preferred, but 4-character grid locator is acceptable.
  2. Use any software that supports the Solar Eclipse QSO Party. Links to SEQP compatible software will be available at http://www.hamsci.org/seqp. Any logging software that supports the ARRL VHF contest exchange format can also be used.
  3. Include station power level, 6-character grid square, antenna type, equipment list, and extra comments in the log soapbox. Please use the example format for easy post-event processing.

Example soapbox:

SOAPBOX: power=100 W, grid=FN20Vt, antenna=dipole, equipment=IC7410,
SOAPBOX: comments=Totality was beautiful!

Log and Score Submission

  1. When submitting logs use the Cabrillo format standard.
  2. Cabrillo format logs may be submitted by following instructions at http://hamsci.org/seqp.

Bonus Points

All bonuses will be calculated after the SEQP and included with the final scores.

  1. Operated during totality – add 100 points.
  2. Operate outdoors (so you can see the eclipse) – add 100 points
  3. Operate at a public venue – add 100 points
  4. Provide detailed station operation information – add 50 points each:
    1. Antenna design characteristics (orientation, E and H plane patterns, height above ground
    2. HFTA terrain profile. See K6TU service at http://www.k6tu.net/?q=TerrainProfiles. It is not necessary to be a subscriber to K6TU.net.
    3. Ground conductivity (estimated from online conductivity maps, see https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/m3-ground-conductivity-map
    4. Station Effective Radiated Power relative to a Dipole (ERPD) on each band.
  5. Operate a wideband RBN, PSKReporter, or WSPRNet node during the contest
    1. 50 points per band and mode (including 60, 30, 17, and 12 meters).
    2. 50 points per band for providing the I/Q data file after the event by following instructions at http://hamsci.org/seqp.
    3. Multiple receive sites may be claimed, provided receive sites are spaced at least 100 km apart.
  6. One bonus point will be awarded for each band and clock hour during which your signal was spotted in a grid square other than your own by the RBN, PSKReporter, or DX spotting network. There are eight clock hours and 7 bands available for receiving bonus points. A spot of your signal on any mode will qualify for the bonus point.