Amateur Radio Contesting is a competitive activity in which stations, operated by an individual or a team, try to contact as many other amateur radio stations as possible in a given period of time to exchange information.
Contesting is not just about bagging as many contacts in a short time to reach the top of the league. There are those who take the competitive element very seriously, but we have found contests offer far more – such as opportunities to:
- work DX (make long distance contacts) on otherwise quiet bands
- test your station performance, improvements, new antennas etc.
- brush up on your operating technique
- Socialise, particularly on field day events
MKARS operate in a variety of different contests, most commonly the monthly UKAC VHF/UHF contests on 6m,4m,2m,70cm,23cm which are typically on Tue/Thu evenings – see the diary for details. We don’t currently operate on SHF (microwave) contests but have some ambition there for the future.
Some members operate /P (portable) erecting masts in a field to try and get a better score and escape from the XYLs (their partner). Others operate from home with a range of equipment. It is possible to give it a go with very basic vertical antennas and hand held devices.
If you want to try contesting but aren’t sure how to proceed and would like some guidance or to come and watch some of the regular operators, post a message on the club Facebook site and one of the regular contesters will make contact or come to the club and speak to any of the committee.
For further information, our contesting team recently gave a presentation detailing how contests work and what tools and software are available to help people get started. This presentation can be viewed by clicking the image below.
As a club, we also take part in field day contests, where we setup remote stations in a field with several transceivers and antennas for a 24 hour session. These are usually well attended by members of all levels of experience and skills and are quite a social event. The VHF field day is in July and HF field day is in September.
The club is listed as a Local Club with the RSGB contesting groups and we try to compete with the other local clubs, our ambition to climb the league table. The fun of doing it is what drives us, but it’s nice to have a bit of competition. The 2019 club positions can be found here: