Past Feature Articles (Newest to Oldest)
Contest Stations Around the World

The Other Side of the World by N6VI
January 2020
CQWW at 3B8M CQWW DX CW From 3B8 by Marty Woll, N6VI

Many of us have had the chance to operate DX contests from outside the Lower 48, but how far from home can you get, really? The answer, of course, is about 12,000 miles – yes, the other side of the globe! I had the chance to do just that last month (November).

The adventure began when Olof G0CKV started assembling a team to operate the CQ Worldwide CW contest from the island of Mauritius, which lies east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Dick N6AA got an invitation for himself and Art W6XD from Olof, but the team size was limited by the expected number of operating positions and the number of people the location could house. As some of the original participants dropped out, room opened up for another, and I was pleased to fill that spot. The final team consisted of Olof, Dick, Art, me, Denny KX7M from Northern California and past ARRL CEO Dave K1ZZ.

N6NB - Contesting For 61 Years
November 2018
N6NB Rover Wayne Overbeck is no stranger to SCCCers. He has been contesting for 61 years! That's longer than some of us have been alive! His tower trailers have also been used for SCCC contesting (think XE2SI in the 1980s for example.) His web site is chalk full of contest and other good stuff. I asked Wayne to tell us a little about his VHF and up roving activities and was honored to get his story below.

I've been on the air for 61 years now. I've been operating VHF contests for almost that long, but I didn't manage to win a VHF contest nationally for a lot of years. It's never been easy to be competitive in VHF contests in the west. I finally reached #1 in the single operator category in June, 1973. Then I was #1 in five June contests in a row (1973-1977). After a year with almost no sporadic E here but excellent E skip in the east in 1978, I took a van and tower trailer to the northeast in 1979. I ended up winning 12 VHF contests nationally as a single operator before ARRL section multipliers were replaced by grid square multipliers in 1984.
I Wanna Take You Higher by N6VI
May 2018
N6VI on 10 GHz I Wanna Take You Higher (Boom Shaka Laka Laka)

So, ten meters isn't open to anywhere. What to do? HF'ers will say, "Go lower", but I did the opposite. I went higher - much higher - to 10 gigahertz, a.k.a. the 3 cm band.

The first weekend in May is the 2 GHz & Up contest, sponsored by the San Bernardino Microwave Society, so I took a 24" dish with a 2-Watt transverter up to Frazier Peak and spent the day. Like its HF counterpart, conditions on 10 GHz were not very good this weekend, but I managed over two dozen contacts with distances up to nearly 600 km. Just as on HF, when conditions are not good enough for SSB, I went to CW for several of the more distant contacts, and that did the trick.

HH2AA Remote Operation in ARRL DX Phone by W2GD
March 2018
W2GD at HH2AA Even after five decades of contesting, there is always something new to try. My first attempt at remote operation turned out to be an amazing and unique adventure. My tale below is rather long - there were so many twists and turns.

First a few words about HH2AA, a station that has been on the Remote Ham Radio (RHR) network for a few years. This is a proof of concept project supported by RHR in cooperation with the Radio Club of Haiti. All proceeds from station rentals are returned to the people of Haiti through donations to the Haiti Air Ambulance Service organization - The station is a test platform used to try out off shore construction and operation techniques. It is located on a mountain at 6,300 feet ASL near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, solar powered, and remotely controlled using proprietary RHR software.

The SO9Q Contest Station - Piotr Sanecznik SP9QMP
December 2014
Our club was founded in 1994, with assigned call SP9YDX. Responsible operators at that time were Jan SP9EIJ, Alek SP9NLK i Roman SP9FOW. Right now after a few changes the list of responsible operators is as follows: Peter SP9QMP, Woj SP9PT, Zygi SP9IJU.

The exact location is within the small town of Rydultowy in close proximity to the border with OK and OM. Our club is hosted at Auto Service PTA Sanecznik – car service owned by Peter SP9QMP, where all the antennas and shack are located. Peter SP9QMP is a well known polish dx`er and he is also a president of the SO9Q club.

Since 2006 we use the special call SO9Q. We take part in most major contest events such as: ARRL DX Contest, Russian DX Contest, WPX Contest, Worked All Europe, SP DX Contest, IARU HF Championship, CQ World Wide DX Contest, both in CW and SSB. Sometimes we are active in RTTY contests.    more
The K9CT Contest Station - Craig Thompson K9CT
September 2014
The K9CT Contest Station was created as a project and challenge for myself. The spark that lead to this was the compromises of living in close quarters to my neighbors and finding out what could be done to get to the next level in contesting. My curiosity of all of the technologies and designs that could be implemented whet my appetite for the project. But most of all, the camaraderie of the dxpedition team environment lead me to the multi-operator contesting setup.

I wanted a blank canvas to work with and needed some land for the project. My search for property started in 2008 and continued until 2009 when I acquired 18 acres of flat land about four miles from my home and station. I did some research before looking for the land. Contesters were surveyed and responses were gathered. Generally, I was advised to find a flat rectangular plot of about 10 to 20 acres. The long portion of the rectangle needed to run north-south so that the towers would line up and the EU and JA paths would provide isolation between antennas.    more
The DF0HQ Contest Station - Ben Bieske DL5ANT
September 2014
The contest club station DF0HQ is located on a small hill (550m asl.) in Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germany, JO50LQ. The first activity at this QTH started in 1970 setting up a 3 band cubical quad antenna using the famous call Y34K. This is our favorite antenna type up to now.

Over the years five different quad antennas were designed using EZNEC and covering the bands from 40m to 10m.

For the low bands we use loops, ground planes and Beverages in five directions.

The rigs are mostly Kenwood TS 950 and 850 installed in 6 places for 6 Bands operating at the same time.

Since 2005 we use WinTest contest software as a replacement for CT.    more
The YT8A Contest Station - Dušan Ćeha YU1EA
September 2014
The station is located about 45 km from Belgrade. Me and my friend and neighbour Ivan-YU1LA are using this location only for contesting.

There is a field of different kinds of HF antennas such as verticals, log periodics, rombics and some wire antennas: beverage for USA, beverage for Japan, beverage for Brasil (all 380m long).

My favourite category is SOSB 40m HP, sometimes SOAB HP. The most favorable bands are 40m, 80m and 160m but I have the best results on 40m.

My favourite contests are: CQ WW CW/SSB/RTTY, CQ WPX CW/SSB/RTTY, CQ160 CW/SSB, Russian DX Contest, IARU Contest, EU HF Contest, ARRL CW/SSB.    more
The LY2W Gang - Sam Zalnerauskas LY5W
August 2014
LY2W is the personal callsign of Arturas Snipas (ex-UP2BGF, LY2GF). You can find this call on all bands during the major contests of the year: CQ WW DX Contest, CQ WW WPX Contest.

For these contests a Multi-Operator team is usually organized, mostly in the Multi-Two category. The quantity of operators varies from 5 to 12, depending on people available.

At present we have verticals for 160 and 80 meter bands, 3 element full size Yagi about 30 meters up. For the 20 meter band we have a 5 element monobander about 20m high. For 15 meters a 6 element monobander is put on a 20m high tower. The antenna for the 10 meter band is in the design process, temporarily a 5 element Yagi is used at a modest height.    more
Jumanji Contest Station HK1NA - Jorge Prieto HK1R
August 2014
Since I started in HAM radio in the early 80´s the activity that interested me the most were the contests. Ham radio contesting in Colombia has taken a huge step forward in the last 4 years.

Many Colombian amateur radio enthusiasts, sometimes encouraged by some foreign ham operators, made timid appearances in various competitions and categories with the only intention to participate and not winning.

Some ham operators made individual efforts in stations that had many limitations because they were located in a big town with thousands of electric cables and noise and interference from all sorts of electric devices, which made them less competitive.    more
The G5W Contest Station - Don Beattie G3BJ
August 2014
My interest in contests goes back some forty years. With a modest station in a suburban location, I was able to win, or almost win, some of the RSGB contests of those days. But of course, things have changed. Over those forty years, beam antennas have become the “norm”, towers are much more easily obtained and big linears are commonplace. And so my contesting aspirations changed as well.

In the 1990’s, with a slightly less modest station in a semi-rural village location, I began to build a multi-single capability. We formed a contest club (at a time when only clubs could be allocated short contest calls) and acquired the rights to what would eventually settle down as G5W. In the 90’s, however, the year influenced the call – so I have operated as G6W, G7W etc etc. Eventually, our regulator took a progressive attitude towards contest calls, “froze” the number (we could choose which) and opened the short contest calls to everyone who had a genuine interest in serious contesting.    more
The YE2R Contest Team - Martinus Jap YB2LSR
August 2014
In the beginning in Indonesia (YB-land) there were not so many contesters who took part in International contests.

Hans, YB2DX and I had an idea to create a contest team. We went to see our former ORARI Central Jawa (call area 2) Chairman Tim Hadi Dhanuwidjaja YB2AA (now SK).

We told him about our plan and asked for his advice, he was very helpful and supportive of our plan and after we got his permission we gave our contest team the call YE2R.

Just a note, previously the call sign YE2R had been used by Rivai YE3AA (ex YB2MTA) for an expedition in 2002.    more