Guide to February 2020 Ham Radio Contests

It’s February, and love—of Ham Radio, of course—is in the air! There’s plenty of opportunities to challenge yourself and your fellow Hams this month. Here are a few highlights:

  • CQ WW RTTY WPX Contest (February 8-9) 0000Z to 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.
  • NAQCC CW Sprint (February 12) 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 website.
  • 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 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 15-16) 2300Z to 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 15-16) 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 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 21-23) 2200Z to 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.

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