The ARRL 10 Meter Contest: Get On While the Bands Are Hot!
Ten meters -- in case you haven’t heard, it’s alive in a big way! That means that the ARRL 10 Meter Contest -- coming up the weekend of December 10-11 -- is going to be the one of the best we’ve seen in years! During this event, many propagation modes will be available: Sporadic-E will help you work stateside stations, a touch of meteor scatter in the morning will give you split-second chances to work stations -- you’d better be quick, though! -- and DX stations will be plentiful, thanks to the return of F2 propagation.
Yes, 10 meters is back. During the CQ World Wide DX CW Contest this past Thanksgiving weekend, many stations worked more than 100 DXCC entities on 10 meters. ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, said that he keeps hearing from numerous hams who have been licensed only three or four years, telling him that they’ve never experienced a 10 meter opening before because they weren’t licensed during the last solar cycle peak: “A common phrase I’m hearing is, ‘Now I understand what all the Old-Timers in my club were talking about -- 10 meters is great!’ With a concentration of activity for the contest, there will be an opportunity for the first time in several years to experience the beauty of a wide-open 10 meter band. With so much excitement worldwide over the great conditions, the 2011 ARRL 10 Meter Contest could see the highest level of participation in a very long time!”
Single Operator entrants can use CW only, SSB only -- or a mixture of both. They can choose between High Power, Low Power (150 W or less) or QRP (5 W or less). Want to share the fun with your friends? Invite them over and enter in the Multioperator category. US Novice and Technician class operators can get in on the fun, too. Both classes are permitted SSB operation between 28.3-28.5 MHz with 150 W. You don’t have an antenna for 10 meters? Why not build one yourself! A dipole for 28.4 MHz is about 16.5 feet long -- build it and get it up in the air as high as you possibly can. According to Kutzko, it’s an easy construction project and you will work stations, especially with band conditions like this! Quite simply, this is a weekend not to miss!
In 2010, the ARRL added the 32 Mexican states as multipliers to the 10 Meter Contest. “Activity from our friends in XE spiked in 2010 as a result of the inclusion of Mexican states, and there’s every indication there will be even more activity from the XE’s in 2011, providing even more stations to work and increase your score,” Kutzko said. For a list of the Mexican states, download a free map, provided by Grupo DXXE.
The ARRL 10 Meter Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, December 10 through 2359 UTC Sunday, December 11. Logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 0000 UTC Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Paper logs should be sent to ARRL 10 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.