Amateur Radio Quiz: Contest Season Refresher


By H. Ward Silver, N0AX

The fall and winter months are packed with contests for every taste: DX, domestic, single-band and specialty events of every stripe. Shake off a little rust with this quiz and get ready to put some QSOs in the log. Remember, too, if you’re not a contest aficionado, most major contests use only one mode and 12, 17 and 30 meters bands are entirely contest-free and wide open!

1) Match the multiplier to the contest:
a. Zone                e. ARRL Sweepstakes
b. Country           f. ARRL International DX Contest
c. Section            g. CQ World-Wide Contest
d. State                h. ARRL 10 Meter Contest

2) Which contest features “QTC” as a way of making extra points?
a. Scandinavian Activity Contest (SAC)
b. Worked All Europe (WAE)
c. VK/ZL Contest
d. North America Sprint

3) What contest offers both phone and CW operation at the same time?
a. ARRL Sweepstakes
b. CQ Worldwide Contest
c. ARRL International DX Contest
d. ARRL 10 Meter Contest

4) What is a “captive rover?”
a. The dog chained up in your neighbor’s back yard.
b. A mobile station that only works the parent club station.
c. Slang for the multiplier hunting position at a multi-op station.
d. A county-hunting mobile station running a list.

5) Match the exchange element with the contest:
a. Name                     g. ARRL International DX Contest
b. Check                    h. North American QSO Party
c. Power                    i. Kids Day
d. Serial Number        j. CQ WPX Contest
e. Age                        k. ARRL Sweepstakes
f. Favorite Color        l. All Asia Contest

6) In the ARRL Sweepstakes, QSOs count for how many points?
a. 1 point
b. 2 points
c. 3 points
d. 4 points

7) The biggest QRP contest of all -- the QRP ARCI Fall Contest -- is held in what month?

8) Can a US station work a Fijian station for credit in the VK/ZL Contest? Can the US station iwork a Japanese station?

9) The proper way to acknowledge a station's exchange and resume soliciting contacts is:
a. N0AX Contest
b. CQ CQ CQ Contest N0AX
c. Thank You, N0AX QRZ?
d. Test de N0AX

10) If you work all possible multipliers in the ARRL Sweepstakes, you have just made a...
a. Slam Dunk
b. Top Ten
c. Grand Tour
d. Clean Sweep

11) Which state QSO party gives out bottles of wine as a prize?
a. Oregon
b. New York
c. Delaware
d. California

12) Which contest is “not a contest,” but attracts more participants than any other ham radio activity in North America?

Bonus Question: Which contest is the oldest contest?



1. a-g, b-f, c-e, d-h
2. b -- The QTC mode of WAE encourages short log extracts to be exchanged, making this contest novel and challenging!
3. d -- The 10 meter band gets mighty lively on the second weekend in December.
4. b -- These stations activate multiple grids in VHF contests for a specific club effort.
5. a-h, b-k, c-g, d-j, e-l, f-i (a name is also exchanged in North American QSO Parties).
6. c -- 2 points per QSO.
7. October -- turn down the power and give it a try; you’ll be amazed at the signals you hear.
8) Yes (Fiji) and No (Japan) -- Oceania stations work the world in this popular regional DX contest.
9) c -- If you don’t acknowledge the information, how is the other station supposed to know that you made the QSO? Many top stations don’t log an unacknowledged QSO.
10) d -- One of the most coveted achievements in contesting results in a swell coffee cup, to boot.
11) d -- Pour it in your Sweepstakes Clean Sweep Coffee Cup and use it to wash down some smoked salmon from the Washington State QSO Party!
12) ARRL Field Day


Bonus Answer: The ARRL International DX Contest first ran in 1927, predating the ARRL Sweepstakes by five years.