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Time to Tune Up on Top Band: The ARRL 160 Meter Contest is December 5-7


The beginning of December marks the return of the ARRL 160 Meter Contest. The action gets underway at 2200 UTC on Friday, December 5, and wraps up at 1559 UTC on Sunday, December 7. This is a 42-hour event with no operating time limit. If you have ever yearned to try your hand at Top Band contesting, this is the perfect opportunity!

The ARRL 160 Meter Contest is an all-CW event, with ARRL/RAC Sections and DXCC entities serving as multipliers. If you live in a rare Section (think, North Dakota, Nebraska, Newfoundland-Labrador, or Delaware), everyone will be seeking you, even if can’t generate a killer signal. Some successful operators even venture forth each year with just 5 W!



In this contest, both DX and US/Canada stations can work Alaska (KL7) and Hawaii (KH6), as well as the US Caribbean (KP1-KP5) and Pacific territories (KH0-KH9). Contacts with US/Canada stations are worth 2 points, while DX contacts are worth 5 points. The segment 1.830 to 1.835 MHz should be kept available for intercontinental contacts only.



No 160 meter antenna? No problem! Put up something temporary, just for the contest, or load up whatever antenna you have available through a suitable antenna tuner. A lot of hams repurpose HF dipoles for 160, using the vertical feed line as a single-wire radiating element and the horizontal portion as top loading, plus a few radials (temporarily) laid out on the ground below and connected to the shield side of your coax feed line. Even one elevated quarter-wave radial will make a big difference, if you have room. You may even be able to put out enough signal to make a few contacts simply by loading up your existing 40 or 80 meter dipole. Improvise!

Three new categories have been added for Single-Operator Unlimited: QRP, Low, and High Power. For the first time, Single-Operator entrants may use spotting assistance without having to compete in the Multioperator category. Check out the Cabrillo Tutorials to ensure you enter in the correct category.

Complete rules and entry forms are on the ARRL website, or see the November issue of QST, page 91. Logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 1600 UTC on Tuesday, January 6, 2015. Send paper logs to ARRL 160 Meter Contest, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. 




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