Helvetia Open CW Activity

Our formula for success
Never send faster than your QSO partner does!

HB-OCWA is a project aimed to encourage CW contacts on the HF bands and help ops improve their CW skills.

We welcome all levels, from beginner to advanced. We ask that you lower your speed as needed to help your CW partner improve their skills and gain experience.

When calling CQ, send at a moderate speed that does not discourage others from participating.

Most Active Stations
Pos  Call  QSO   
1    DM2DZM 1719   
2    HB9BMD 1046   
3    HB9CGA 936   
4    HB9AYR 663   
5    HB9EWO 464   
6    HB9AFH 406   
7    DL4FDM 248   
8    SM7BUA 247   
9    HB9GYF 222   
10    HB9BPH 184   
11    DJ6UX 153   
12    HB9BQB 146   
13    HB9BXE 120   
14    HB9BGG 114   
15    HB9EPE 107   
16    HB9DST 104   
17    HB9DEO 100   
18    HB9DAL 94   
19    HB9DBM 89   
20    HB9EGA 75   

Great lottery prizes!
Upon reaching each award level (40/100/250/500/1000 QSOs), you receive one chance in the prize draw to be held at the conclusion of this event (Dec 2020). Get details about our great prizes on the Lottery page.

The "HB Open CW Activity" (HB-OCWA) Award

The object of the HB-OCWA is to mark the 40th anniversary of the Helvetia Telegraphy Club (HTC), help activate the special anniversary callsigns HB40HTC and HB40HC and also inspire amateur radio operators in Switzerland and elsewhere to increase CW activity on the HF bands. The intent of the award is to encourage and reward them for conducting sustained CW conversations rather than short-duration CW signal reports.

The promoter and responsible entity for the award is the Helvetia Telegraphy Club HTC. This activity is sponsored to mark the 40th anniversary of the Helvetia Telegraphy Club.

HB-OCWA encourages CW contacts between and with licensed individual amateur radio operators with Swiss callsigns. Clubs - in particular HB40HC and HB40HTC - are also allowed to participate, but they must register under the name of the club, not an individual (and thus a QSO made with a club callsign does not qualify for the operator's total). Amateur radio operators and clubs from other countries who register on the award website are welcome to participate and qualify for the awards under the same conditions. In this regard, for a QSO to qualify as counting towards the award, at least one of the stations must have a Swiss callsign (HB3, HB4, HB9). These callsigns count for the award even if they are operating mobile, portable or in another country (i.e. EA1/HB9xxx).

This award will be available to successful participants who make qualifying QSOs during calendar year 2020, starting on 0000 UTC on January 1 2020 and lasting until 2359 UTC on December 31, 2020. Participating stations/operators must register and report confirmed contacts as described below.

Participants who achieve any HB-OCWA award participate automatically in the HB-OCWA 40th Anniversary lottery drawing; clubs are not eligible to participate in the lottery. The HTC is offering an attractive range of prizes; for a full list see the Lottery page. A participating station receives one chance for each award level with a maximum of five chances in the prize draw (QSOs: 40/100/250/500/1000), but each station is limited to one prize. The winners will be chosen at random by the end of January 2021 as detailed on the Lottery page.

How to register:
HB-OCWA participants register on line at hb-ocwa.ch

QSOs are to be logged on the HB-OCWA website. To qualify for an award, QSOs must have a duration of at least 10 minutes. Both stations must log the QSO on the website. The starting timestamps (UTC) of each station's logged QSO must match each other within 10 minutes.

A response to the call "CQ HTC" initiates contact with a station participating in the HB-OCWA program.

Frequency Bands:
QSOs are to take place within the IARU's HF band plan.
Recommended frequencies (kHz): 1835-1840, 3535-3540, 7035-7040, 10125-10130, 14035-14040, 18085-18090, 21035-21040, 24905-24910, 28035-28040. However, participants are encouraged to focus on the HTC watering hole / Morse Code broadcast frequencies of 3569, 7033 and 14062.

The first award level can be issued after 40 approved QSOs. At that time, any participating ham can download, free of charge, the HB-OCWA Award directly from the website. There are also awards available for 100, 250, 500 and 1000 QSOs.

Additional notes:
There is a limit of one QSO between any two stations on the same day on the same band. Using different bands is desired and encouraged. Always consider the CW speed of your QSO partner. If that person is sending at a lower speed, please reduce your speed to cut down on errors and to eliminate the risk of confusion.

Project Managing Group:
The HB-OCWA activity project is managed by Paul Schreier HB9DST, Peter Kohler HB9TVK, and Hugo Huber HB9AFH with the support of Urs HB9ABO. The chairperson is HB9DST Paul Schreier (ecm@hb9htc.ch) with HB9AFH Hugo Huber as the alternate. The HB-OCWA project is based closely on the well-known "Scandinavian Open CW Award" activity www.socwa.se whose organizers, in showing great "ham spirit", have provided us with significant support in adapting their program.

Disputes and decisions:
The Project Management Group shall make all relevant decisions and settle any disputes, and its decisions shall be final.