Summer Contest Calendar for 2010

   Since Wednesday is the busiest day for this website, I’d better get a contest calendar up.   It’s 7:05am local, and I should have this update done in the next 15-20 minutes.   Hit refresh for the latest version.

   Tonight, Apr 28th, 7-11pm  — Spring 70cm Sprint.  
   Sat. May 1st, 6am-1pm  — Spring Microwave Sprint.   All bands from 900 MHz on up.
   Sat. May 8th, 2300-0300Z time — Spring 50 MHz Sprint.   Rules link to spring sprints
http://groups.google.com/group/springsprints/web/2010-announcement-rules

   Sat. June 12th 1800Z until Mon., June 14th 0300Z (33 hours) — ARRL June VHF QSO Party.   All V/UHF bands from 50 MHz on up thru 10 gig and beyond are in play for this big contest.   6 meters often is open for long stretches, and when that happens, it’s the most a VHF band will ever sound like 20  meters.    Ton of fun.
    The ARRL website doesn’t seem to have a working rules link just yet.  

   Sat. July 17th 1800Z until Sun. 2100Z July 18th —  CQ WW VHF Contest.   This is a fun one.   6 and 2m only, which are the bread-and-butter bands of VHF.   Not a lot of band switching, 6m is usually open with DX via sporadic E skip propagation and especially in the Midwest, we just seem to have a lot of stations get on for this contest.   Last July, I counted over 2 dozen new calls in my contest logs in this contest alone.   If you go back to posts from July 19-20th last year, you can read about the details from the July 2009 CQ WW VHF.  
   Here’s the rules link:  http://www.cqww-vhf.com/

   Sat. Aug 7th 1800Z until Sun. Aug 8th 1800Z — ARRL UHF Contest.   All bands from 222 MHz and higher are in play for this one.  
   The UHF Contest has a special Midwest angle because back about 2002-2003, ARRL was all but ready to ax this contest, due to dwindling participation.   Northern Lights Radio Society out of the Twin Cities said “NO WAY” and implemented Rovermania!   (go to www.nlrs.org and poke around their excellent website for more detail)   Nowadays, log submissions in the Aug UHF are up quite a bit and especially here in the Midwest, this contest has become a big deal.   If you have any gear for 222 (or 223 FM) or 432 (or 440 FM) and especially if you have bands like 900, 1296, 2304, 3456, 5 gig, 10 gig… then make time for this 24-hour contest.

    Sat. Sept. 11th 1800Z until 0300Z Mon. Sept. 13th (33 hours).   ARRL Sept. VHF QSO Party.   This is the same deal as the ARRL June and January contests.   All bands from 6m on up thru 10 gig and beyond are in play.   Operate as much as you care to.  

    Come October, we’ll have the Fall Sprints start up again.   Same format as the Spring ones you’ve been reading about for the past several weeks.  
    Then it’s quiet until the ARRL Jan VHF in 2011.   I’d assume it will be on the weekend of Jan 22-23, but stay tuned. 

    Save these dates and enjoy V/UHF action this summer.   Although V/U contests are far more laid back than the HF ones, it’s still the one time (outside of big band openings) when our bands come alive.   That’s why I love the contests so much — because of the widespread activity.   Even if you’re not really into contests, you need to know that many times, rare grids are activated only in the contests.   Many V/UHF ops will only get on for the contests.   After 7 years, I know this first-hand.   Rovers go interesting places and can be highly sought-after.   I could go on and on about contests.

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