Guide to August 2021 Ham Radio Contests

Even during the Dog Days of August, there’s a great deal of activity in the ham world, whether you’re into bouncing signals off of meteors or making QSOs with temporary island stations. We’ve compiled a few of the many amateur radio contests that should keep you occupied as we move ever closer to Contest Season.

European HF Championship (August 7, 1200Z to 2359Z). Organized by the Slovenia Contest Club, this single-operator CW, SSB event challenges European operators to contact as many other European amateurs on bands from 1.8 MHz to 28 MHz, except for WARC bands. Only EU to EU contacts count toward being crowned European HF Champion.

ARRL 222 MHz and Up Distance Contest (August 7, 1800Z to August 8, 1800Z). Work as many stations as possible on the 222 MHz through 241 GHz bands using any allowable mode. A station in a specific grid locator may be contacted from the same location only once on each band, regardless of mode.

MMMonVHF/DUBUS 144 MHz Meteorscatter Sprint Contest (August 11, 1500Z to August 13, 1459Z). MMMonVHF, in cooperation with the magazines DUBUSand Funk-Telegramm, invites you to take part in the 14th edition of the “144 MHz Meteorscatter Sprint Contest” during the maximum of the Perseid meteor shower. Based on predictions from the International Meteor Organization, this maximum will occur on August 12, 2021, between 19:00 GMT and 22:00 GMT.

This is a great chance to take a crack at one of the coolest aspects of the hobby. Better yet, it’s an activity that’s open to Technician license holders. For other ideas on getting the most from punching your ticket, check out this article by OnAllBands blogger Sean Kutzko, KX9X, on 15 Things to Do with a Technician License.

Here’s another way to get involved in the excitement. Founded in 1988, the International Meteor Organization is a collection of 250 meteor observers from around the world who ensure “the comprehensive study of meteor showers and their relation to comets and interplanetary dust,” per the group’s website.  Check out how to become a member.

Kentucky State Parks on the Air (August 14, 1400Z to 2200Z). The Murray State University Amateur Radio Club (MSUARC) is sponsoring its second annual Kentucky State Parks on the Air event. Activators will have an opportunity to operate from the Bluegrass State’s 50 parks and nine national sites, while chasers can make CW, SSB, and Digital QSOs with hams enjoying the diversity of the state’s outdoor areas.

ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest (August 21, 0600 Local to August 22, 2400 Local). If you’re a fan of operating on the Super High Frequency (microwave) spectrum, this is your chance to shine. North American amateurs will attempt to contact as many stations in as many different locations as possible in North America on bands from 10 GHz (3-centimeter) through Light. Amateurs are encouraged to operate from more than one location during this event. Contesters may enter in either “10 GHz only” or “10 GHz and Up” categories. The second weekend of the contest will be September 18-19.

North American QSO Party, SSB (August 21, 1800Z to August 22, 0559Z). All amateur licensees are eligible to work as many North American stations as possible during the 12-hour contest period.

Keymen’s Club of Japan Contest (August 21, 1200Z to August 22, 1200Z). Formed in 1976, the Keymen’s Club of Japan is devoted to promoting CW operation on the amateur bands. Find club history and contest rules at the KCJ website.

ARRL Rookie Roundup, RTTY (August 22, 1800Z to 2359Z). From the ARRL, the Rookie Roundups “encourage newly-licensed operators (“Rookies”) in North America (including territories and possessions) to operate on the HF bands and experience competitive Amateur Radio operating. Experienced operators (“Non-Rookies”) are strongly encouraged to participate and help new operators—either on the air or in person.”

W/VE Islands QSO Party (August 28, 1200Z to August 29, 0300Z). The W/VE Islands QSO Party invites operators worldwide to contact stations on islands in the United States and Canada during the 15-hour event. The objective of the contest is to “promote the U.S. and Canadian islands programs to amateurs worldwide.” Choose from two classes: QRP (5 watts or less) or QRO (greater than 5 watts).

Now in its 27th year, the U.S. Islands Awards Program centers around activating and chasing U.S. river, lake, and shore islands. Per its website, “The W/VE Islands QSO Party is our once a year ‘contest’ that has a class for just about any individual or group. Operate from a friend’s island ‘Fixed’ QTH, take your club on a single island ‘Expedition,’ or go on a mobile or waterborne ‘Rover’ adventure.”

Thinking about activating an island? Here’s a state-by-state U.S. island directory.

Also check out these state QSO parties:

  • Maryland-DC: August 14-15 (August 14, 1400Z to August 15, 0400Z)
  • Hawaii: August 28-30 (August 28, 0400Z to August 30, 0400Z)
  • Ohio: August 28-29 (August 28, 1600Z to August 29, 0400Z)
  • Kansas: August 28-29 (August 28, 1400Z to 0200Z; August 29, 1400Z to 2000Z)

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