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Amateur Radio Quiz: Coming Soon to a Band Near You!


By H. Ward Silver, N0AX

On the last full weekend of every October (that would be October 29-30 for 2011), thousands of hams go pileup to pileup, trying to fill their logs with exotic treats from every corner of the globe! Instead of yelling, “Trick or Treat!” they must instead give their call signs and CQ zones for a QSO to drop into their bag of contacts. I’m talking about the CQ World Wide SSB Contest, of course and this quiz will get you ready to go for “The Big One” of ’phone contesting. (Assume that “zone” refers to CQ Zones in this quiz.)

1) What zones include the contiguous 48 states?
a. 2, 3 and 4
b. 3, 4 and 5
c. 1, 2 ,3, 4, 5 and 6
d. 6, 7 and 8

2) How many zones are there?
a. 24
b. 36
c. 40
d. 88

3) What is the zone for an Alaskan station?
a. 1
b. 2
c. 6
d. 40

4) What is the zone for a Hawaiian station?
a. 1
b. 3
c. 31
d. 32

5) If you hear a DX station giving the contest exchange “59 25,” which of the following is likely to be the country?
a. Japan or Korea
b. Asiatic Russia
c. Guam
d. Micronesia

6) To thank a station that just gave you the exchange “59 16,” what would you say?
a. Gracias
b. Arigato
c. Danke
d. Spacibo

7) Which count for multipliers in the CQ World Wide contests?
a. Zones and Countries
b. Zones and Continents
c. Continents and Countries
d. Countries only

8) What is the lowest transmitting carrier frequency that Extra class stations in the US should use to answer DX stations on 40 meters?
a. 7.100 MHz
b. 7.125 MHz
c. 7.128 MHz
d. 7.300 MHz

9) What is the highest transmitting carrier frequency that US stations should use to answer DX stations on 20 meters?
a. 14.350 MHz
b. 14.347 MHz
c. 14.225 MHz
d. 14.150 MHz

10) For those of you who aren’t into phone contesting, where can you operate to avoid the QRM?
a. 60 meters
b. 12, 17 and 30 meters
c. CW and digital band segments
d. All of the above

Bonus Question: What is unusual about the Orkney Islands in a CQWW Contest?



1) b -- Canada adds zones 1 and 2
2) c -- With some luck, you can achieve Worked All Zones in a weekend!
3) a -- This zone also includes the Yukon and Northwest Territories
4) c -- Many islands will be active from zone 31
5) a -- North Korea (P5) is also in this zone, but don’t expect to work any stations from there!
6) d -- Zone 16 contains Russian-speaking nations, as do zones 17, 18 and 19 (A is Spanish, B is Japanese and C is German for “thank you.”)
7) a -- These are counted once per band per the CQ Country list
8) c -- If your filtering is quite good, you could use 7.1275 MHz, but that’s pushing the limit on LSB to keep your signal inside the US band -- resist the temptation to call lower than that.
9) b -- Similar to Question 8, you might go as high as 14.3475 MHz, but be careful!
10) d -- The CW bands are often quiet during big phone contests, except on 40 meters where DX stations can use the low end of 40 meters.

Bonus -- The Orkney Islands are part of Scotland (GM, not the South Orkney Islands, which is VP8O), but count as a separate country according to the CQ Country List.



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