The ARRL 10 Meter Contest: The Band Is Hot!
Will it be possible to beat the 2011 running of the ARRL 10 Meter Contest? With more than 5300 logs received and worldwide openings last year, that may be a tall order. This past weekend during the CQ WW CW Contest, 10 meters was in great shape, despite a coronal mass ejection that hit on Friday evening. But according to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, one thing’s for certain: There’s going to be a ton of activity, as hams from all around the world look to work some DX on the band!
In the 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. If you don’t have an antenna for 10 meters, 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. “This is an easy construction project and you will work stations, especially with band conditions like this,” Kutzko explained. “Quite simply, this is a weekend you don’t want to miss!”
Single Operator entrants can use either CW only or 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. Stations that operate as a Single Operator are not allowed to use any spotting network; if Single Operator stations wish to use spotting networks, they will be entered in the Multioperator, Single Transmitter category. Even though this is a 48-hour contest, all stations -- be they Single or Multi Operator -- can only work 36 of the 48 hours. This means that operators will have to plan the best strategy to be on the air at the right time to take advantage of the propagation.
In 2010, the ARRL added the 32 Mexican states as multipliers in the ARRL 10 Meter Contest. “Activity from our friends in Mexico spiked in 2010 as a result of the inclusion of Mexican states, and there’s every indication there will be even more activity from these stations in 2012, providing even more stations to work and increase your score,” Kutzko said. For a list of the Mexican states and their abbreviations, as well as information on how “rare” each state is, download this free map, provided by Grupo DXXE.
All stations will send their signal report -- RS(T) -- as part of the contest exchange. In addition, stations in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada will send their state or province as part of the exchange; stations in the District of Columbia stations will send DC. Mexican stations will also send their state. DX stations (including KH2, KP4 and such) will also send a sequential serial number starting with 001. Maritime mobile stations will also send their ITU Region (R1, R2 or R3).
The ARRL 10 Meter Contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday, December 8 through 2359 UTC Sunday, December 9. Logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 2359 UTC Wednesday, January 9, 2013. Paper logs should be sent to ARRL 10 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.