A Guide to February 2022 Ham Radio Contests

In this month when love is in the air, OnAllBands salutes all the couples who share a mutual passion for ham radio. With respect to Jeff Foxworthy, you may be one of these amateur radio lovebirds…

  • If your vows included the phrase, “To love, honor, cherish, and obey the DX Code of Conduct.”
  • If you both requested a box filled with DX Engineering coaxial cable assemblies rather than chocolate-covered cherries for Valentine’s Day
  • If you’ve ever written this poem inside a card: “Roses are red, violets are blue, my favorite QSO was when I hooked up with you!”
  • If your wedding band was actually a guy ring

Whether you’ve found romance through ham radio or not, there are plenty of opportunities to fall in love with amateur radio contesting in February, including PSK31, RTTY, CW, 10 meter, vintage radio, and State QSO Party events. Here are a few highlights:

EurAsia HF Championship, February 5, 0600Z to 1800Z. Organized by the Russian Contest Club, this SSB and CW (160 to 10M) annual event is expected to attract 4,000 participants this year. Read all the rules here.

Classic Exchange, CW, February 6-7 and February 8-9, 1400Z to 0800Z. According to the Classic Exchange website, this is a “a no-pressure contest celebrating the older commercial and homebrew equipment that was the pride and joy of ham shacks many decades ago. The object is to encourage restoration, operation and enjoyment of this older, classic equipment.”

10-10 International Winter Contest, SSB, February 5, 0001Z to February 6, 2359Z. This QSO party (one of nine held by the organization annually) is open to new and prospective members of Ten-Ten International Net, Inc., which was formed in 1962 as the Ten-Ten Net of Southern California to promote activity and good operating practices on the 10 meter band. Over the years the group has expanded internationally, with more than 75,000 10-10 numbers issued worldwide. Here is a list of affiliated chapters. From the Ten-Ten website:

“In order to keep the interest up on the 10 meter band, the idea of collecting ‘10-10 numbers’ as an incentive in keeping the 10 meter band occupied was developed. The ultimate benefit is to keep the 10 meter band for Amateur Radio. Personally, each member enjoys the camaraderie of kindred spirits, whether the activity is informal rag-chewing or numbers chasing or a more formal 10-10 QSO party.”

NAQCC CW Sprint, February 9, 0130Z to 0330Z. With more than 10,000 members in 103 countries, the North American QRP CW Club hosts these CW sprints throughout the year. Open to licensed and shortwave listeners who have an interest in CW/QRP operation, these events and other club activities encourage “the use of CW and helping all hams increase CW speed and proficiency…using simple wire antennas,” per the NAQCC CW Club website.

CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest, February 12, 0000Z to February 13, 2359Z. This annual event draws more than 20,000 RTTY enthusiasts trying to make as many contacts with as many different callsign prefixes as possible. Also, get ready for the North American RTTY Collegiate Championship, February 26, 1800Z to February 27, 0559Z. It will be running simultaneously with the North American QSO Party, RTTY. For a primer on RTTY, check out these OnAllBands articles from Ed Muns, W0YK: Getting Started in RTTY and The Origins and Evolution of RTTY.

PODXS 070 Club Valentine Sprint, February 14, 0000Z to 2359Z. For those with a soft spot for PSK31 mode, this is a Valentine’s Day treat that will let you make connections without the use of Cupid’s arrow. Work as many stations on 160/80/40 meters as possible using PSK31 mode during a six-hour block. This event is open to all amateur radio operators licensed to operate on the HF bands.

AWA Amplitude Modulation QSO Party February 12, 2300Z to February 13, 2300Z. You don’t need to be a member of the Antique Wireless Association to participate in this annual celebration of the AM mode. Per the AWA website:

“Although vintage gear is encouraged, you will hear modern gear on during this event. Whatever generates an AM signal may be used. This event has some of the friendliest people you will hear on the air. You will notice a nice relaxed format where people often chat between QSOs. In addition, there are some pretty good multipliers based on the power of your transmitter. If you have a great antenna, it pays to turn down the power.”

ARRL International DX, CW, February 19, 0000Z to February 20, 2359Z. W/VE amateurs (anyone from the U.S. or Canada): Work as many DX stations in as many DXCC entities as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. DX stations: Work as many W/VE stations in as many of the 48 contiguous states and provinces as possible.

Per the ARRL, the contest’s objective is to “encourage W/VE stations to expand knowledge of DX propagation on the HF and MF bands, improve operating skills, and improve station capability by creating a competition in which DX stations may only contact W/VE stations.”

CQ 160 Meter Contest, SSB, February 25, 2200Z to February 27, 2200Z. This annual contest challenges amateurs around the world to contact other amateurs in as many U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and countries as possible utilizing the 160 meter band.

Want to boost your Topband capabilities in 2022? Check out the high-performance, 55-foot-tall DX Engineering 160 Meter Thunderbolt Antenna, rated at 5,000 watts SSB and CW. Its high-efficiency design features a capacity hat engineered for top performance, rugged construction, an adjustable matching network to help you achieve the lowest SWR, low take-off angle to reduce local QRM, and the ability to withstand steady winds of 50 MPH.

State QSO Parties

  • Vermont, February 5, 0000Z to February 6, 2400Z
  • Minnesota, February 5, 1400Z to 2400Z
  • South Carolina, February 26, 1500Z to February 27, 0159Z
  • North Carolina, February 27, 1500Z to February 28, 0100Z

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