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A Guide to March 2020 Ham Radio Contests

As the expression goes, March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. For those Hams in Northeast Ohio, where DX Engineering is headquartered, experience tells us that we can expect March to be pretty much all lion—a good chance and a good time to stay warm in our shacks and participate in these contests:

ARRL International DX, SSB (March 7-8) 0000 UTC to 2359 UTC. 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 mission of the contest 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.”

Stew Perry Topband Challenge (March 14-15) 1500Z to 1500Z. Hams can enter this annual 160 meter, CW-only contest as “single operator or multi-operator; high, low or QRP power. Low power is 100 watts or less output. QRP is 5 watts or less. High power is 1,500 watts output or whatever you can legally run in your country, whichever is less,” per the Stew Perry website. The challenge uniquely awards QSO point values based on distance between stations. Click here for complete rules.

EA PSK63 Contest  (March 14-15) 1600 UTC to 1600 UTC. Open to all licensed Amateur Radio operators, this contest—organized by the Unión de Radioaficionados Españoles (URE, or Spanish Amateur Radio Union)— is all about using BPSK63 to make QSOs on the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands. The maximum power allowed is 50 watts. Both single and multi-operator contesting categories are offered. Founded in 1949, the URE celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. Today, the organization, which represents the interests of Hams and shortwave listeners in Spain, has 8,000 members.

CQ WW WPX Contest, SSB (March 28-29) 0000Z to 2359Z. The objective of this 48-hour contest is for contestants to contact as many amateurs and different prefixes as possible.

Also check out these state QSO parties:

  • Idaho: March 14-15 (1900Z to 1900Z)
  • Oklahoma: March 14-15 (1500Z to 0200Z) and March 15 (1400Z to 2100Z)
  • Wisconsin: March 15-16 (1800Z to 0100Z)
  • Virginia: March 21-22 (1400Z to 0400Z) and March 22 (1200Z to 2400Z)
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