Add’l Info and Thoughts About FM Simplex Contests — Also Refer to Pg. 79 in the Jan. 2010 QST

   10am Sunday (Feb. 2, 2014)  

   Most of the info below comes from a post I made here at back in Dec. 2011.   The goal is to get you thinking about FM Simplex operations and having some fun contests along the way.  

    There was a nice article in the Jan 2010  QST about FM contests being a great training ground for VHF/UHF contesters.   It was written by (former) ARRL Contest Branch Manager  KX9X.   Sean’s article is on page 79 of the Jan, 2010 QST.   Check it out, take it to your club meeting and try something new in your area.  Then follow up by making sure your club knows about the larger ARRL VHF/UHF Contests in January, June, August, and September.   Plus the CQ WW VHF Contest in July.   And the VHF Spring and Fall Sprints in April and October.

    FM Simplex contests are popping up all over the country.   I’ve read of others in IL, IN, OH, PA, NJ and ME.    I’m sure there are many more.  Ask around and see if there’s one in your area.  If not, go ahead and start something.   This will motivate hams in your area to get on the air.   Heck, if it becomes popular, go ahead and have a couple a year, or one every quarter.   Having different contests at different times of the year will make even casual VHF’ers better aware of how propagation can improve.  Along those lines, consider having at least one contest during the mid-late evening or early-mid morning hours, because prop often improves in the early-mid morning and the mid-late evening.  (Has to do with thermal profiles in the lower atmosphere shifting as the day starts and ends. This effect is most pronounced during warmer weather, especially when the weather gets calm and stagnant under high pressure in the summer and fall)    
   Make sure you hand out certificates, or perhaps even a first-place plaque/trophy to the participants.  The recognition on the ham shack wall will serve as a good reminder about VHF/UHF contesting for the rest of the year. 
    The Pittsburgh, PA area has an FM Simplex contest that uses zip codes as the multiplier.  What a nifty idea!  Think about how rovers could go to town activating different zip codes!   

     There’s far more V/UHF activity than most hams realize.  The challenge is to let every ham know when and where the activity is.    That’s what this website does, and what many of you also do.   Thanks for helping.  In this spirit, you are 100% encouraged to share this post with hams everywhere.  No permission needed and I hope I can help in some small way.

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