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Planning and Operating a Special Events Station

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WB4AEJ, May 25, 2010.

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  1. KU2US

    KU2US Ham Member QRZ Page

    Reply To Fred

    Fred: Thank you so much. Just to let everyone know, the expense involved in one of the larger events is staggaring. I have donated over $900.00 of my own funds just to get the 13 Colonies going! Well worth it! Example: Certificate card stock, thousands of postal stamps, 9x12" envelopes to match, tape, stickers, return labels, QSL cards, mucho printer ink, Long distance calls, and more. The problem is that all of this stuff has to be purchased immediately AFTER the close of the current event for next year! WHY? possible postal rate increases, $$ increases in supplies (which happens every year), and on & on..BUT, the 5 days of operating makes it all worth while. I am not trying to discourage anyone, believe it or not, we work on the event most of all year and it is fun preparation, especially when you have to work with +/-30 operators-all great and dedicated folks. So again I say, heed Fred's advice and plan WELL in advance.
  2. N7RXL

    N7RXL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you very much for a well written article. Not only is it helpful to know the tips in setting up a special event station, along with the comments from other, but also good to know how to find them too.

    Thank you - 73!
  3. WA1YNE

    WA1YNE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the article. I wondered how it was done to get those special calls. Our club has always done field day, but not much else in way of events except support a couple of marathjons.
  4. W5UHQ

    W5UHQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Special Event Certificates

    Thanks to author for all his tips.

    With the rise in postage rates and costs of printing, my Club ( Central Ohio Operators Klub Extra-Novice ) has been experimenting with a hybrid approach for SE certificates. We too feel something to hang on the wall is part of what a Special Event experience is all about. We use a cabrillo output from our event log input to MS EXCEL to generate a two column spreadsheet. That file is then fed to MS Publisher to merge the call and certificate number into the special graphical certificate we have for that event. MACROs can be used if your event is very large. The final step is to print the publisher output in PDF format and upload those files to our website. Not an exotic approach but it works fine for medium sized events. Our web portal contains the instructions for operator to print his own certificate in as high a quality as they want shortly after the event. We also take the EXCEL output, sort it by call, and generate automatic hyperlinks for the online index webpage. We also do all our confirmations on LOTW now with that same cabrillo file. An example of our on-line certificates can be found on . We have found this to be easy on the club budget and still achieves the goal of having some personalized wallpaper for our friends to rember us by. And someday you can sit in your easy chair and browse those ancient certificates on your PDA or kindle.

    The only complaint thus far has been one ham who wondered why his certificate did not print on his computer as soon as the contact was made. ;)

    A challenge for next year.

    73 Eldon Secretary COOKEN
  5. K3KO

    K3KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    While 1x1 may be enticing, consider that many DXpeditions have used such calls in the past--e.g. K4M. Publishing yourself as the QSL manager may mean getting tons of cards meant for the DXpedition.

    de K3KO
  6. W8DEC

    W8DEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the advice. Very helpful.
  7. WX1MAN

    WX1MAN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Special Event

    Great points! One of the enjoyable aspects of working a special event station is feeling as though you are part of the event by making that contact. However, when the operators know nothing of The Sinking of the Titanic or, The Lewis and Clark Expedition (ficticious special events) it makes me feel like they showed up just to get on the air. A special event should be just that - special. I hope when setting up the details for a special event folks will follow your article and educate the operators as to what it is they're promoting.
  8. TA2RX

    TA2RX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very true. I am always concerned about this, too. So, we always stay away from special events that is tied to any commercial organization AND finance all our cards ourselves.
  9. PB7Z

    PB7Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Special Even Stations

    Hi all,
    I did a few SES last year and also this year.We where active from a Windmill with PD6MILL during the National Windmill day.
    Also last year i did PD55EA...what was to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Museum "Ellert and Brammert" in my City.

    Doing a SES is also a kind of advertisemend.Like when we were in the Windmill,people did ask us what we were doing.This way it's also advertisemend for our hobby and we also put the Windmill on the air.

    From the 23th of June i will be active in another SES event.
    PD80TT will be the call,to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dutch TT MOTO GP in Assen.

    I live close by Assen,just 15km from me.The Dutch TT is always a very big event,the biggest in the Netherlands.The week of the TT there will be alot of people coming towards Assen.At the training days there will be around 10.000-15.000 people...and at the raceday it will be around 100.000.

    When i do a SES,i always send to all that make the QSO with me via the buro.This way there are not too much costs for both sides.If someone wants to get the QSL via direct,they have to send me the QSL with SAE.
  10. KU2US

    KU2US Ham Member QRZ Page

    Another Thing!

    Everything depends on how you want to run the special event. If you want to go first class all the way, then expect to pay for first class. With the "13 Colonies" we decided to do the best we can with all first class stuff, after all, the SE topic-Independence warrants this. So, no copy paper, but 67lb bond card stock. The certificate has over 25+/- different colors (Ink costs), no flimsy white rice paper large envelopes, but manilla 9x12's, some QSL cards for the individual colony stations are full color proffesionally printed, no "plane Jane" cards, First class postage only, no media mail or bulk mail, plus all the supplies & time. Operators appreciate this, and deserve this from a SE as large as ours is. Smaller Special Events do not have to be so eleborate, to get the point made, and still have a good time and they do offer a very attractive QSL card. Our situation is kind of unique. We offer a different certificate with a different Independence era topic, each year, so this makes them kind of collectible-in a series. We try to represent ourselves in the best way possible, and at the same time offer something that will be hanging on your shack wall, and not placed in a circular file! So the call is yours, either way, it does not diminish the special event in any way. The goal is to have fun, and to highlite your event..
    KF5KWO likes this.
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