Top Off the Year on Top Band in the ARRL 160 Meter Contest
While Solar Cycle 24 is making the high bands the focal point for HF operators, 160 meters -- Top Band -- is still chock full of DX. There’s no better time to get on 160 meters than the ARRL 160 Meter Contest, November 30-December 2.
The ARRL 160 Meter Contest is an all-CW event, with ARRL/RAC Sections and DXCC entities used as multipliers. If you live in a rare Section -- such as North Dakota, Nebraska or any of the rare Sections from the November Sweepstakes contests -- everyone will be seeking you. Hams in Ontario (VE3) will have a new role in this year’s contest: The split of Ontario into four new sections -- Ontario East (ONE), Ontario North (ONN), Ontario South (ONS) and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) -- will give everybody a few new multipliers to hunt for on Top Band.
In this contest, Alaska (KL7) and Hawaii (KH6) can be worked by both DX and US/Canadian stations, as can the Caribbean US possessions (KP1-KP5) and all of the Pacific Ocean territories (KH0-KH9). No antennas for 160? Don’t be discouraged! According to ARRL Contest Branch Manager Sean Kutzko, KX9X, if you don’t have an antenna for 160, put up a temporary length of wire or try to load up whatever you have through an antenna tuner; even a 40 meter dipole through a tuner will make some QSOs.
Since ARRL and RAC Sections are worth 2 points each and count as multipliers, the ARRL 160 Meter Contest is a good way to begin working -- or finishing up! -- your Worked All States Award (WAS). But don't forget about those DX stations -- each DXCC entity is a multiplier and is worth 5 points.
The 2012 ARRL 160 Meter Contest runs from 2200 UTC Friday, November 30 through 1559 UTC Sunday, December 2. Complete rules and entry forms may be found here. Logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 1600 UTC Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Paper logs should be sent to ARRL 160 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.