The ARRL June VHF Contest is June 14-16!
One of the most popular VHF/UHF events on the contest calendar is the ARRL June VHF Contest, which gets underway at 1800 UTC on Saturday, June 14, and continues until 0259 UTC on Monday, June 16. The object for participants in the US and Canada (and their possessions) is to work stations in as many different 2° x 1° Maidenhead grid squares as possible, using authorized frequencies above 50 MHz. Stations outside the US and Canada (and their possessions) may only work stations in the US (and its posessions) and Canada. Stations in KH0-9, KL7, KP1-KP5, CY9 and CY0 count as W/VE stations and may be worked by DX stations for contest credit.
You don’t need a big station or an elaborate antenna farm to enjoy operating in the June VHF Contest, and you don’t have to be a contesting “pro” either. Just get on the air and see what you can work. Six meters — the so-called “Magic Band” — often yields surprising openings to various parts of the US and Canada and beyond. DX contacts are even possible on 6 meters.
The June VHF Contest occurs at the start of the summer sporadic E season, and intense openings on 6 meters and even 2 meters are possible. It’s a whole new world of propagation possibilities that also include tropospheric ducting, aurora and even meteor scatter and moonbounce.
There are several entry categories, including portable — for those who enjoy operating low power from a portable power source and using portable antennas, and rover — for mobile operators who enjoy traveling from one grid square to another to hand out contacts. There’s even an FM-only category (50 144, 222 and 446 MHz at a power of 100 W or less).
Even with a modest station, it’s possible to work hundreds of miles on the VHF bands during a good opening. You can find plans for simple VHF antennas at the Technical Information Service area of the ARRL website, as well as in the “Antennas” chapter of the ARRL Handbook or in the “VHF and UHF Antenna Systems” chapter of the ARRL Antenna Book. Direct any questions via e-mail to the ARRL Contest Branch.