A Guide to May 2021 Ham Radio Contests

While May doesn’t include any of Ham radio’s signature contests, there are still plenty of opportunities to get on the air and make some QSOs. Here are a few highlights:

VHF-UHF FT8 Activity Contest (May 5, May 12) 1700Z to 2000Z. Open to all licensed Hams, this contest runs the first Wednesday of every month for 2M and the second Wednesday for 70cm. Its purpose according to event coordinators: “Increased activity will provide the possibility of working new DXCC or squares; also can make use of short-lived propagation or even detect openings which otherwise can go unnoticed.”

55th Alessandro Volta Worldwide RTTY Contest (May 8-9) 1200Z to 1200Z. Hosted by the SSB and RTTY Club COMO and the Associazione Radioamatori Italiani, this annual event is designed to “increase interest in RTTY mode and to honor the Italian discover of electricity, Alessandro Volta.” Read contest rules here. And check out these recent OnAllBands articles from Ed Muns, W0YK, on RTTY:

Hamvention QSO Party (May 22) 1200Z to 2400Z. For the second year in a row, COVID-19 has put a damper on the world’s largest annual celebration of all things Ham radio. But while the in-person version of Dayton Hamvention® has been canceled for 2021, you can still get in the spirit of this much-beloved gathering of amateur operators from around the world (and pretty much the whole DX Engineering crew) by experiencing the fun of Hamvention® on the air. The QSO Party will be held May 22, the Saturday of what would have been the actual event.

The objective is to work as many stations as possible on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters SSB and CW during the 12-hour period. The exchange should be the signal report and the first year you attended Hamvention (use “2021” if you’ve never attended). Scoring: Count one point for each unique call worked on each band and mode. W8BI, the club call sign of the Dayton Amateur Radio Association, will be a bonus station worth 10 points per band and mode.

Click here for the latest news on what’s happening with virtual Hamvention, including Contest University on Thursday, May 20, and Virtual Forums on Zoom, Friday, May 21.

YOTA Contest (May 22) 0800Z to 1959Z. This CW and SSB operating event, organized by IARU R1 Youth Working Group in cooperation with MRASZ (Hungarian Amateur Radio Society), hopes to increase youngsters’ activity on the air, strengthen the reputation of YOTA programs, and support the pursuits of the new generation of Hams around the world. A second and third round of the contest is scheduled for July 17 and December 30.

Check out these posts from OnAllBands blogger and IARU Region 2 Youth Liaison Sterling Mann, N0SSC:

All About YOTA—History, Present, Future

There Is Youth in Ham Radio

U.S. State QSO parties:

Arkansas: May 8-9 (1400Z to 0200Z)

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