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New Contest for Portable Stations to Debut in October


A new amateur radio contest for portable operators — the Fox Mike Hotel Portable Operations Challenge (POC) — will debut October 3 – 4. The event is aimed at leveling the competitive playing field between fixed stations and portable stations. Scoring for the POC, based upon a kilometers-per-watt metric, will be handicapped in favor of the portables. The contest is the brainchild of Frank Howell, K4FMH. Sponsors include National Contest Journal (NCJ) — an ARRL publication — but the POC will not be an official NCJ or ARRL contest.

NCJ’s role is to encourage hams who don’t contest to give it a try,” NCJ Editor Dr. Scott Wright, K0MD, said. “It will encourage activity by operators who are limited by real estate and do not have a full-blown contest station. Events like this stimulate more interest in contesting, and this will have an international scope to give chances to snare some new DXCC entities.”

Other sponsors include the UK DX Foundation (CDXC), the Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia (HARAOA), and the South African Radio League (SARL).

“I think the [POC] steering committee, consisting of both veteran DX contest participants and some of the best portable operators in the world, has come up with something worth giving a go,” Howell said. “With this scoring metric, it’s more about radiosport than radio gear.”

According to the contest rules, scoring will be calculated using the distance between stations (Maidenhead grid squares) in kilometers divided by power output in watts. Fixed (QTH) stations will compete against portable (P) stations on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters. Allowable modes include phone, CW, and digital. For the 2020 event, the number of transmitters concurrently in use will be restricted to two.

Portable stations may not make use of permanently installed amateur radio equipment or facilities but may use ac mains power. The exchange is call sign, station class (P or Q), consecutive serial number, and four-character grid square.

Contact Howell for more information.



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