About Snakes and Ladders
Please note that this is an activity and not a contest. Operators are encouraged to have relaxed QSOs, that take at least five minutes to complete. The activity should be equally accessible for the experienced as well as the new operators, so where necessary speed should be reduced (QRS).
How it works
Contacts can be made on any band from 160M to 2M (60M and 4M excluded), but always in accordance with IARU Region 1 band plans applicable at the time of the contact. Contacts must be CW and must be made point-to-point, excluding contacts made through repeaters and satellites. Any station may be contacted and logged only once on any day per band. A qualifying contact must be made station to station. In a multi-station net, an individual station to station QSO outside of the net must be established to qualify for this activity.
The Activity Manager
Entries may be submitted at the end of an operating period. The Activity Manager will adjudicate the entries received during the fourteen (14) days following the activity period. The Activity Manager will ensure that all entries conform to the format(s) required by the rules and that participation is in the spirit of the activity and of ham radio more generally. Nomination of squares.
The Activity Manager will derive four (4) active grid squares with lowest activity recorded (the treasure squares!) from the data set of the operating period concerned. These grid squares will be nominated as ladders or ladder squares. If more than four squares with recorded activity tie for lowest activity, they will all become ladder squares for that period.
The Activity Manager will also identify the Snakes in a similar manner. The three (3) squares with most recorded activity (the easy squares!) will be designated snakes or snake squares. If more than three (3) squares tie in any combination, then they will all be combined to create three groups of snake squares.
Square locators can only become snake once every three months, i.e. once a square is snake, it cannot become snake in the succeeding two periods of activity. The next squares qualifying for snake will then be considered.
Active square locators that are neither ladder (or treasure) square nor snake (or easy) square, are referred to as normal locator squares, or just normal squares.
Those landing on a Snake by claiming a contact in that square will slide down the snake: the highest level by fifteen (15) points, the next by ten (10) points, the lowest by five (5) points, wherein the highest level relates to the square with highest activity. Per period of activity, only one (the highest ranking) snake can bite, and only if directly before a ladder was climbed. It can also not bite if in the current period a ladder is climbed.
For the first fifteen (15) normal squares, five (5) points are given for each three (3) unique squares. The number of contacts made in any square is irrelevant.
Intermediate overviews of points collected will be published three times, as indicated below, for integrity-checking purposes. A final overview of points collected will only be announced on the first of June 2015. Intermediate and final overviews shall be listed by call-sign in ascending alphabetical order.
|Period of activity||Results due by||Results announced by||Overview published|
|April 2014||7. May 2014||31. May 2014|
|May 2014||7. June 2014||30. June 2014|
|June 2014||7. July 2014||31. July 2014||1. September 2014|
|July 2014||7. August 2014||31. August 2104|
|August 2014||7. September 2014||30. September 2014|
|September 2014||7. October 2014||31. October 2014||1. December 2014|
|October 2014||7. November 2014||30. November 2014|
|November 2014||7. December 2014||31. December 2104|
|December 2014||7. January 2015||31. January 2015||1. March 2015|
|January 2015||7. February 2015||28. February 2015|
|February 2015||7. March 2015||31. March 2015|
|March 2015||7. April 2015||30. April 2015||1. June 2015 (final)|
European countries and locator squares
In any individual entry to the Snakes and Ladders Activity, the Activity Manager’s decision on the recognition of a European state will be final; that decision will be applied to every entry for that calendar period. The definition of a European sovereign state will be defined on the first day of each calendar month and no updates to the list of qualifying states will be made until the first day of the next qualifying calendar month.
The grid squares representing the board squares that represent the Snakes and Ladders within the map of Europe, are the 1o by 2o squares of the Maidenhead Locator System, also known as Grid Locator Squares or IARU Locator Squares, or more simply as Grid Squares.
The 1o by 2o squares are represented by a four-character reference, two alpha-characters and two numerics (e.g. JN58 for Munich area). Please visit one of the many sources for Maidenhead Locator information for specific information or other sources to identify European sovereign states.
|160m:||1.828 – 1.838 MHz||(1.836MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|80m:||3.570 – 3.580 MHz|
|40m:||7.030 – 7.040 MHz||(7.030MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|30m:||10.130 – 10.140 MHz|
|20m:||14.060 – 14.070 MHz||(14.060 MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|17m:||18.085 – 18.095 MHz||(18.086 MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|15m:||21.060 – 21.070 MHz||(21.060 MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|12m:||24.905 – 24.915 MHz||(24.906MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|10m:||28.060 – 28.070 MHz||(28.060MHz: QRP activity centre)|
|6m:||50.090 – 50.100 MHz|
|2m:||144.100 – 144.110 MHz|
NOTE: QRP calling frequencies are to be avoided by non-QRP operators
A qualifying contact shall include at least the exchange of the following information, i.e. each station should send all of these items of information:
Call signs of both stations
On-air name or nickname
QTH – Maidenhead 1o by 2o square as four-character reference OR city, town or village;
portable stations must send their grid locator
Signal report – preferably as RST
Entries must be received by the Activity Manager by email (SL(at)eucw.org) before the eighth day of the month that follows the period of operation being recorded. Late entries must and will be excluded, see also the table above.
Each entry must contain the following information
Period of activity (i.e. calendar month)
Call sign(s) used on air
Operator’s name and email
Total number of contacts made (for integrity-checking purposes)
Log entry for each individual contact
Wherein each log entry must contain:
Date and time, preferably on and off times should be included
Signal report sent and received
Operator’s name received
Operator’s QTH received AND Maidenhead 1o by 2o square as four-character reference
Entries may include “general comments”, and each log entry may contain club membership of the counter-parting operator.
Logs in ADIF format are preferably maintained using the free FISTS log-converter that has been adapted for this purpose, and that can be downloaded from the FISTS website as free-ware. This tool, written and maintained by G3ZOD, generates high quality ADIF logs, and is the recommended tool for participating in this activity.
Appendix: European countries (based on and sorted by DXCC code with prefixes in parentheses; Source: ARRL DXCC List, January 2013); European countries include all sovereign states recognised by the United Nations in the continental European land mass and also includes every country that is a member state of the European Union.