Introduction To Contesting & Field Days
What is a Contest ?
Contests are a popular aspect of the amateur radio scene. Contesting gives you an opportunity to practice and develop your operating techniques, and to see how well your station is performing. All contests have one main purpose - to get plenty of stations on the air and to increase the opportunities for making contacts.
Contesting is popular worldwide, and through the year there are a number of local, Australia wide and international contests. There are contests to suit the interests of most amateurs. There are challenging contests and fun contests. There are contests for the HF bands, for the VHF-UHF bands, and for all bands. Some contests have special sections for particular modes, such as CW and RTTY. Most contests have different sections for individual amateurs and multi-operator or club stations.
What is a Field Day ?
A Field Day is a contest especially for portable stations. Amateurs competing in Field Days find a good location, usually on a hilltop, and often camp out overnight. Apart from having fun, Field Days are the ideal opportunity to check out your equipment in the field and to experiment with light weight, easily transportable equipment and antennas.
The WIA runs a number of contests throughout the year. They include:
Remembrance Day Contest
This contest is held every year on the anniversary of the end of World War II, in honour of the Australian amateurs who lost their lives in wartime. This contest is unusual because the trophy goes to the Australian state or territory that scores the highest level of activity.
Trans Tasman Contest
This contest is especially for operators on the 160 and 80 metre bands. The aim is to make the greatest possible number of contacts between Australia and New Zealand.
Oceania DX Contest
This is an international contest for the 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 metre bands, held in October each year. The aim is to make the greatest possible number of contacts between stations in Oceania and stations in other parts of the world.
John Moyle Memorial Field Day
This contest is a Field Day for stations on all bands, HF and VHF.
VHF-UHF Field Days
The Summer Field Day has been held in January each year since 1989. The Spring Field Day (November) was introduced in 1998. These two popular events have been joined in 2008 by a new Winter Field Day. These Field Days are open to individual amateurs and also to multi-operator or club stations.
Ross Hull Memorial VHF-UHF Contest
This is a DX contest for stations on the VHF, UHF and microwave bands. The aim is to make as many contacts as possible over the greatest possible distances.
If you haven't participated in a contest, why not give it a try? The main aim of contests and Field Days is to have fun on the air and to meet up with as many of your fellow amateurs as possible. You don't need to have a super station, and it doesn't really matter who wins!
Page Last Updated: Friday 7 September 2012 at 7:25 hours