Noon Saturday –
Want everyone to know that in 2 weekends, we have the CQ WW VHF. This contest is 6 and 2m only – the bands where most VHF activity occurs. Nice 27 hour contest that many enjoy, including me. Starts 1800Z on Sat., July 21 and runs until 2100Z Sun., July 21. Operate as little or as much as you like. Here’s the link to the rules: http://www.cqww-vhf.com/rules.htm Make sure to give those rules a good read, as there are differences from the ARRL contest rules.
The most fun I’ve had in a VHF contest was in the July 2006 CQ WW VHF. Sometimes it’s nice to just concentrate on 2 bands. (Aug. 2008 UHF contest and Sept. 2009 ARRL V/UHF contest were a close 2nd and 3rd — both had good propagation and great participation, with lots of rovers)
If 6m opens up with E skip (like it usually does) and if we get some good long-haul enhancement on 2m (like we’ve had for several weeks now) the 2012 CQ WW VHF will be a dynamite contest. Tell your ham buddies to make plans to get on 6m and 2m on July 21-22.
There are two other multi-band V/UHF contests later this summer…
Aug. 4-5 http://www.arrl.org/august-uhf 24 hours, from 1800Z Sat. until 1800Z on Sun.
All bands from 222 and 432 MHz on up thru the microwaves, into 10GHz and beyond. The UHF contest can be a lot of fun, but you have to have gear for at least 222 and/or 432 MHz to play. Mid-late summer into fall often has periods of great tropo. If you’re looking to find out how well you can get out on the higher bands, including 902/903 MHz, plus 1296 and even bands like 2304, 3456, and 5 and 10 GHz, here’s a can’t-miss event.
Ever since I’ve gotten on board (2003-04) the UHF contest has struggled with participation. Please do whatever you can in your area to get all hands on board for this contest. Rovers, head out and put a few grids on the map, even if you can only go out for 4, 6 or 8 hours. The yagis are so easy to work with on the higher bands — the UHF ‘test should be a natural for rovers.
I think the UHF ‘test struggles because it falls in the middle of a very busy period for V/UHF’ers. Every year, the Central States VHF Society has their annual convention the weekend prior to the UHF contest. (if you need more details about this year’s convention in Cedar Rapids, IA go here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5974 )
Then you have the 10 gig contest, which runs TWO weekends. (This year it’s Aug 18-19 and Sept. 15-16) How a contest for a single esoteric band ever merited two weekends, I’ll never know. Those two weekends of 10 gigging dilute the activity in the UHF and Sept. V/UHF contests. It’s only natural — who’s going to be V/UHF active for as much as 6 out of 9 weekends, during the July 21-22 to Sept. 15-16 timeframe?
As you can tell, I’m not a 10 gigger. But, to be perfectly honest, 10 gigging is alive and growing in/around the Midwest and Great Lakes. And while 10 gig grows, the multi-band UHF contest declines. If you want more info about 10 GHz, I’d suggest you contact someone with NLRS, out of the Twin Cities/Minnesota. Their numbers on 10 G keep growing.
Sept 8-9 http://www.arrl.org/september-vhf-qso-party
33 hours — 1800Z Sat. until 0300Z Mon. (Sunday evening local time)
Like the January and June ARRL VHF Contests, the Sept. uses 50 MHz (6 meters) on up thru 2m, 220 and 432 MHz, and higher. You may use as many or as few bands as you care to. The majority of VHF contesting is on 50 and 144 MHz. Most hams have either 6m or 2m, or both. That’s why I’m always pushing for hams everywhere to get involved.
Share this info with your ham buddies. You have the VHF Contesting School Articles if you need them. (Available at this link: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5931 ). You have a VHF/UHF Contesting calendar. The only thing we need now is lots of signals on the airwaves.
I’m not going to lie. From where I sit, both the Aug UHF and Sept. V/UHF contests the past two years have been down. We’re going to need a heckuva lot more voices than just mine to reverse that trend. The June contest is doing great because so many HF’ers are crossing over to 6m, and discovering how much fun 6 is. But as far as getting more signals on 144 MHz and higher, that’s a challenge.