This coming weekend is the ARRL 222 MHz and Up Distance Contest. Taking place on the VHF, UHF, and microwave bands, all licensed US amateurs have full privileges for frequencies in this contest. Most of the action will take place on weak-signal modes (single sideband, Morse code, and various digital modes), but there is still room to play on FM!
All it takes to get started is a dual-band FM handheld. Under the rules of the contest, you can coordinate contacts (i.e. plan frequency, mode, and time with another station) via internet, cell phone, or other amateur band. For FM on 70 cm, set your radio to 446.000 MHz and make sure that the radio is set to simplex (no repeater offset). You will also need to know your 6-digit gridsquare.
If you’re interested in getting into VHF/UHF contesting, there are two guides under the Membership | Resources tab. One is a two-page quick-start guide to VHF/UHF contests, and the other is a more comprehensive introduction to the subject.
With FM contesting, it helps to target a specific time to get on. I’d encourage everyone to try to be on from 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM local (2100-2130z) on Saturday, and 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM local (1700-1730z) on Sunday. I hope to hear you on the air, and don’t forget to submit your log after the contest!
The fourth annual Civilian Conservation Corps On-The-Air weekend will be held the second full weekend in August, 12 and 13, 2017. The event will start Saturday at 14:00z (10:00am EDT) and run until Sunday 21:00z (5:00 pm EDT). The Civilian Conservation Corps came into being in the spring of 1933. Its goal was twofold: to provide needed economic relief to families suffering from the effects of the Great Depression and to protect and develop the natural resources of the United States. As radio played a big part in how the camps communicated with each other, we want to honor the contribution that “The Boys” of the corps made to our country by putting the sites of the CCC camps back on the air. We would encourage you to activate the actual location of one of the camps however, if it is no longer accessible or you cannot get permission to set up on the site, you may operate from one of the project sites the camp worked on. Many state and local parks have buildings that were constructed by the “CCC Boys” and would make a suitable place to not only honor them but also promote amateur radio at the same time. For more information see our website www.qsl.net/ccc or contact KG8JK via email: email@example.com .
Field Day 2017 was a great success. Those who missed it should plan to be attend in 2018. Those who were there are already making plans to make next year an even bigger event. Andrew Wig, of the Sun Current, wrote a fine article on our activation at the Richfield Community Center.
Radio operators have fun, prepare for the worst