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 1188   
2    HB9BMD 1047   
3    HB9AYR 234   
4    HB9CGA 30   
5    HB9FLM 27   
6    DJ6UX 26   
7    HB9AFH 19   
8    HB9FIH 8   
9    DL4FDM 4   
-    HB9BQB 4   
11    HB9HTC 3   
-    HB9KOG 3   
13    HB9BJL 2   
-    HB9EVX 2   
-    HB9IRF 2   
16    HB9CBR 1   
-    HB9DEO 1   
-    HB9DQJ 1   
-    HB9EWO 1   
-    OE3KAB 1   

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

The object of the HB-OCWA is to 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.

HB-OCWA encourages CW contacts between and with licensed individual amateur radio operators with Swiss callsigns. Clubs - in particular HB9HC and HB9HTC - 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 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 an 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 program was initiated on January 1, 2020, and will continue until December 31, 2023. Participating stations/operators must register and report confirmed contacts as described below.

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 invited to try the HTC watering hole / Morse Code broadcast frequencies of 3569, 7033 and 14062.

The first award level is 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. The QSOs are reset at the beginning of each calendar year, so all award levels can be worked again from the beginning of each new year.

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, 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.

Contact: hb-ocwa@hb9htc.ch