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The ARRL September VHF Contest Requests your Presence!


The ARRL September VHF Contest gets under way on September 9 at 1800 UTC and wraps up on September 11 at 0259 UTC. This popular operating event provides a chance for radio amateurs at all levels to experience contesting on the most popular VHF and UHF bands, as well as on those less-frequented frequencies above 450 MHz. Newcomers and veterans alike will attempt 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. Due to rule enhancements made in 2015, assistance is now allowed in all entry categories. This includes the use of assistance to announce your availability for contacts (i.e., self-spotting).

The Single-Operator, 3 Band, and Single-Operator, FM Only categories allow even modest stations to get in on the fun. With just a hand-held transceiver and Yagi, a single operator can 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 the most popular band for this event, since many HF transceivers include that band. Most SSB activity on 6 meters will take place between 50.125 MHz and 50.250MHz, and CW activity 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 are 50.125, 144.200, 222.100, and 432.100 MHz. These are calling frequencies, however, and contest participants should avoid monopolizing them. Check the band plans for details on all bands.

Rules and entry forms are on the ARRL website. Effective with the 2017-2018 Contest Season, all submissions must be uploaded to ARRL's web app or postmarked no later than 10 days after the event — in this case, by September 21, 2017. 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.