A Guide to April 2023 Contests

In this traditionally rainy period of the year at DX Engineering headquarters near Akron, Ohio, here’s hoping that the month of April brings a shower of QSOs to your station. While April doesn’t include any of the year’s major contests, there is certainly a deluge of opportunities to get on the air.

Why not celebrate this time of renewal by trying something new? There’s a nice selection of State QSO Parties, QRP events, RTTY action, and ARRL’s annual Rookie Roundup, SSB. Don’t forget, Dayton Hamvention is quickly approaching (May 19-21), where you’ll get the chance to stop by the DX Engineering booth and check out the latest equipment to give your station an edge when contesting season hits full stride.

JIDX CW Contest, April 8, 0700Z to April 9, 1300Z. Visit the Japan International DX Contest page for complete details.

IG-RY Worldwide RTTY Contest, April 8, 1200Z to April 9, 1800Z. The Interest Group RTTY (IGRY) was founded in January 2017 to promote radioteletype. All amateur operators are invited to contact as many stations as possible using RTTY Baudot Mode (45, 45) on 3.5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 MHz.

QRP ARCI Spring QSO Party, April 8, 0000Z to 0600Z. QRP American Radio Club International—a club for low-power enthusiasts worldwide—sponsors this annual spring event for hams who strive to do more with less. The HF CW-only contest offers all-band, single-band, high-band (20M, 15M, 10M) and low-band (80M, 40M) entrance categories. To participate: “Get on any of the HF bands except the WARC bands and hang out near the QRP frequencies. Work as many stations calling CQ QRP or CQ TEST as possible, or call CQ QRP or CQ TEST yourself! You can work a station for credit once on each band,” per the QRP ARCI website. 

In addition, the EA-QRP CW Contest (sponsored by the EA-QRP Club) will be held April 15-16. Find details here.

For a comprehensive look at QRP operating, DX Engineering carries these reference books from the Radio Society of Great Britain:

  • QRP Scrapbook—a collection of articles from UK’s G-QRP Club’s journal, SPRAT, featuring the latest low-power techniques and loads of projects (paperback, 240 pages)
  • QRP Basics, 3rd Edition—solid advice on choosing QRP equipment, simple antennas and operating tips, and practical wisdom on building your own gear (paperback, 208 pages)
  • International QRP Collection—noted hams from around the globe explore everything QRP, including building your own devices, modifying equipment, reviews of gear, QRP theory, and operating (paperback, 173 pages)

Also find portable QRP tuners, end-fed half wave antennas, speech compressors, loop antennas, and more at

ARRL Rookie Roundup, SSB, April 16, 1800Z to 2359Z. Rookie’s exchange information with as many other stations as possible on the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. If you’re new to the game, the ARRL recommends that you read the article, HF Contesting-Good Practices, Interpretations and Suggestions.

Also check out this OnAllBands article from blogger Sean Kutzko, KX9X, on contesting tips for Technicians. And if you’re looking for an easy way to build your first base station, check out the DX Engineering Getting Started Base Radio HF Package, featuring the Icom IC-718 transceiver. 

North American SSB Sprint Contest, April 23, 0000Z to 0400Z. This single-operator contest on 80, 40, and 20 meters provides a four-hour adrenaline rush for top operators and those looking to hone their skills during a frenzied window of activity. If you’re used to making hay by planting yourself on a frequency and running stations at will, that won’t work here. The contest’s special QSY rule makes sure nimbleness ultimately wins the day. Per the sprint contest website:

“Unlike most contests, the SSB Sprint has a QSY rule that prevents contestants from CQing on the same frequency over and over. In the SSB Sprint, if you call CQ and then work a station, you must QSY at least 5kHz before you can call CQ again or at least 1kHz before calling another station. Because of the Sprint QSY rule, most competitors find Searching and Pouncing (S&P) for new QSOs to be more rewarding than it is to call CQ. S&P QSOs generally make for two quick QSOs per frequency rather than one.”

While it’s only a single-ops contest, participants can combine separate scores to earn team awards. Sound like fun? It sure does to us! Click here for complete rules.

ANZAC Day Contest, April 24, 1200Z to April 25, 1159Z. The ANZAC Day Contest is held in honor of the alliance of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, which dates back to 1915. The phone, CW, and digital event is also meant to boost activity with stations in Australia and New Zealand. Amateurs in VK and ZL are encouraged to contact hams worldwide.

U.S. State and Canadian QSO Parties:

  • New Mexico: April 8, 1400Z to April 9, 0200Z
  • Georgia: April 8, 1800Z to April 9, 0359Z; April 9, 1400Z to 2359Z
  • North Dakota: April 15, 1800Z to April 16, 1800Z
  • Nebraska: April 15, 1300Z to April 16, 0100Z; April 16, 1300Z to 2200Z
  • Michigan: April 15, 1600Z to April 16, 0400Z
  • Ontario: April 15, 1800Z to April 16, 0500Z; April 16, 1200Z to 1800Z
  • Quebec, April 16, 1200Z to 2000Z
  • Florida: April 29, 1600Z to April 30, 0159Z; April 30, 1200Z to 2159Z

State Parks on the Air

  • Texas: April 15, 1400Z to April 16, 0200Z; April 16, 1400Z to 2000Z

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