The ARRL September VHF Contest Has Room for Everyone!
The ARRL September VHF Contest provides a chance for radio amateurs at all levels to experience contesting on the most popular VHF and UHF bands as well as those less-frequented frequencies above 450 MHz. The higher you go, the greater the point value of your contacts! The contest gets underway on September 13 at 1800 UTC and wraps up on September 15 at 0259 UTC. Newcomers and veteran amateurs will be attempting to work as many 2 × 1 grid squares as possible on frequencies above 50 MHz from home stations, from the field, or from “rovers” that travel from grid square to grid square. With a heightened potential for tropospheric conditions, the September VHF Contest offers something that VHF contests at other times of the year often cannot.
New categories — Single Operator, 3 Band, and Single Operator, FM Only — have been added to allow stations with limited equipment to get in on the fun. With just a hand-held transceiver and Yagi, a single operator can take to the air and compete against other stations with similar equipment. Utilizing frequencies that require smaller, lightweight antennas provides an excellent opportunity for homebrewing and finding a favorite hilltop operating location.
Six meters is probably the most popular band for this event, since many newer HF transceivers include 6 meters. Most SSB activity on 6 meters will take place between 50.125 MHz and 50.250MHz, and CW between 50.080 MHz and 50.100 MHz. The frequencies between 50.100 MHz and 50.125 MHz are considered a “DX window” for contacts between US/Canada and DX stations, so avoid US-to-US contacts in that part of the band.
Activity centers for SSB activity are 50.125, 144.200, 222.100, and 432.100 MHz. These are calling frequencies, however, and contest participants should avoid monopolizing them. Those operating FM on 2 meters are reminded that the ARRL General VHF Contest Rules prohibit contest operators from using the national simplex frequency of 146.52 MHz to make or solicit contacts. Check the band plans for details on all bands.
Rules and entry forms are on the ARRL website. All logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 0300 UTC on October 16, 2014. Electronic logs are preferred. Send paper logs to September VHF Contest, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
For more information about the ARRL September VHF Contest, e-mail the ARRL Contest Branch.