International DX Context March 5-6

https://www.contestcalendar.com/weeklycont.php#12756

One of the biggest international DX contests of the year is this weekend, this is a Single Sideband Contest. You can work stations around the world on 10, 15, 20, 40, 80 and 160 meters.

If you are not into contests it’s a good weekend to practice your FT8 I guess.

Timing is based on UTC so it starts at 8 PM Eastern / 5 Pacific Friday Night.

I saw someone in another forum talking about how difficult it was to get in to some of the stations and copy their exchanges. A couple of notes:

  • It’s more difficult on the lower bands like 20 and 40 than it seems to be on 15 and 10 meters. More room to spread out.
  • It’s more difficult in the opening and closing hours of a contest. Hop on Saturday or Sunday morning and you’ll hear stations calling and calling.
  • Everyone is “59” in the contest so don’t worry about a good signal report. You want to hear their exchange, and in this contest the DX station is sending “Power Level” Typical exchanges I hear are 100, 400 and K for kilowatt.

For someone new to contesting, joining in on a VHF/UHF contest is a good idea. National simplex frequencies such as 146.520 MHz are prohibited, but you’re going to work everyone you hear on these bands. Once you get your feet wet there, then you will feel more confident making the jump to HF contesting. It’s always so much fun working as many stations as possible and find other stations wanting to work you because you are in a rare grid square or county.

I know that we have passed the date for this competition but do you guys have any thoughts on preparing for future competitions? I am still working on my technicians license (the test in my area doesn’t happen for a few weeks yet so I think I will get my general at the same time). I have a very low budget and will probably have to just start out with my Baofeng UV-82 handheld transceiver and maybe a magnetic car antenna. Anyhow I was wondering what options are available to me with that kind of equipment? Thanks

~Tristan

Plenty of options. I would look for a VHF/UHF contest to play in. I found this quick link: VHF contest calendar 2022 Looks like April - June would be good months.

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