J Budzowski <jbudzowski@...>
070 CLUB LOW BAND SPRINTS ROLLING START PRIMER
Note: Although this primer refers to the 40m Sprint, the Rolling Start concept is applicable to all of the 070 Club low band sprints. Understanding the Rolling Start is key to successful participation in these events.
For those of you who have never played in one of our sprints, you should know that this contest features
what is called a "Rolling Start". A rolling start means that the contest does not start and stop at the same time for everyone like a normal contest does, nor are the start and stop times based on UTC or Zulu time, but
instead are based on YOUR LOCAL TIME, 2000-0200. Think of it as six-hour contest windows, opening and closing sequentially around the globe...hmmmm.
The whole purpose of the rolling start is to create a contest venue, where the propagation conditions are more or less the same for everyone around the world. If you think about it, starting a 40m sprint contest at 2000z for
everyone would be great for the guys in Region 1, but not much fun for the rest of the world. On the east coast of North America for example, 2000z is 1600 EDT and 40m at this time is still short skip at best, while in region 1
the contesters would be enjoying long skip conditions. The rolling start attempts to eliminate this problem by equalizing propagation conditions for all competitors in their respective time zones around the world.
So, how does the rolling start work? Everyone's contest window, no matter where they live, is 2000-0200 their local time. In other words, a DL's contest window is 2000-0200 his/her local time, a G's contest window is
2000-0200 his/her local time, a W3's contest window is 2000-0200 his/her local time, a W7's contest window is 2000-0200 his/her local time, etc. Yes, this means that not everyone will be working the contest at the same time, but the contest window overlaps a number of time zones on either side of your own time zone, so there should be enough action to make the contest enjoyable for all. Unfortunately, coastal stations are handicapped somewhat with a lack of land mass on one side, so to compensate our low band sprints are 6 hours long, rather than the normal 4 hours. The 6 hour sprint also increases the chance of low band contest activity between Europe and the east coast of North America.
Now that you have (hopefully) figured out the concept of the rolling start, you should be aware that only contacts you make within your contest window (2000-0200 YOUR LOCAL TIME) count towards your score. If you work a station at say, 1900 your local time, that is outside of your contest window
and the contact does not count...for you! But, if that 1900 local time contact is also working the 40m sprint and the contact was made within his contest window, you did him a favor by giving him a point towards his score.
Working someone outside your contest window is a very hammy thing to do and will not jeopardize your chance for a certificate, because we award certificates for top score in each time zone! So, if you're going to have
the rig fired up early and checking out the props anyways, you might as well give out some points to your fellow contesters. In fact, we encourage you to work sprint contesters outside of your contest window. Who knows, maybe when your contest window opens up, they will hang around and return the favor! We especially encourage you to stay up late if you can and work them left coasters, who every year agonize at hearing all the contest activity while they are anxiously awaiting for their contest window to open, only to hear
the stations go QRT when they are finally able to work them for points! So stay up an hour or two after your contest window is closed and work some of them guys west of you. They will appreciate it!
A final note about logging. Although the 40m Sprint is based on your local time, there is no need to change the times in your log to local time. Leave your logs at UTC and we will figure it out from there.
Hopefully this little primer turned the light on for anyone wondering what the heck this rolling start is all about. If you're still having problems with the concept or have any questions about the low band sprints
in general, please send an email to jbudzowski@... and I will be glad to answer them for you. Hpe to cu on 40m!....73 de Jay N3DQU