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Guide to December 2020 Ham Radio Contests

As you bid adieu to 2020, there are still plenty of opportunities to get on the air with these December contests, including a new weekly event perfect for Hams just getting the hang of Morse code, ARRL’s Rookie Roundup, and challenges for fans of the 160 and 10 meter bands.

  • ARRL 160 Meter, CW (December 4-6) 2200Z to 1600Z. For amateurs worldwide to exchange information with W/VE amateurs on 160 meters. Check out these OnAllBands posts on operating on 160 meters:
  • K1USN Slow Speed Test (December 7) 0000Z to 0100Z. Held every Monday, this new CW contest is “for those who prefer a more leisurely CW pace or are new CW operators or contesters,” according to the K1USN SST website. If you copy under 25 words per minute and are looking for a welcoming place on the air to improve your CW speed, this might be just the ticket. The contest is the brainchild of members of the K1USN Radio Club, who are also members of the CW Operators Club.

Need keys, paddles, bugs, electronic keyers, code practice oscillator kits, pocket size Morse code tutors, paddle pads, and absolutely everything CW? You’ll find it at DXEngineering.com.

  • ARRL 10 Meter, CW, SSB (December 12-13) 0000Z to 2359Z. For Amateurs worldwide to exchange QSO information with as many stations as possible on the 10 meter band.
  • ARRL Rookie Roundup, CW (December 20) 1800Z to 2359Z. Rookies exchange information with as many other stations as possible on the 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands.

Interested in the Rookie Roundup or other contests for newbies? Read this OnAllBands article from blogger Sean Kutzko, KX9X, on contesting tips for Technicians.

  • DARC X-Mas Contest (December 26) 0830Z to 1059Z. This popular two-and-a-half hour SSB/CW sprint sponsored by DARC (Deutscher Amateur Radio Club) is the final competition which counts toward the German annual club championship. DARC invites all amateurs to join in the fun, noting that you’ll likely hear “Frohes Fest” (Merry Christmas) or “FF” in CW tacked onto more than a few QSOs.
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