Guide to November 2021 Ham Radio Contests

Welcome to the season of tri-banders, tuning, toroids, transceivers, and turkey (or tofu, if you’re so inclined). Despite fewer opportunities to get together in person, amateur operators still have a great deal to be grateful for in this time of giving thanks, including a feast of contests that makes this one of the best months to be a ham. Here are a few November highlights:

  • ARRL November Sweepstakes, CW: November 6, 2100Z to November 8, 0300Z. The objective is for stations in the U.S. and Canada to exchange QSO information with as many other U.S. and Canadian stations as possible on the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meter bands.

Never participated in this annual event? Read blogger Sean Kutzko, KX9X’s recent article, Why ARRL Sweepstakes is the Best Contest of All,” and find out what makes it different (the lengthy exchange, for one thing), and why you need to get in on the fun.

  • Antique Wireless Association (AWA) Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party: November 13, 2300Z to November 15, 0300Z, and November 20, 2300Z to November 22, 0300Z. Started in 1991, this is an annual CW event in which operators use an original transmitter they own or one they have built based on “the designs, techniques, and tubes that were available in 1929 and earlier,” according to the AWA website. The goal is to contact as many other 1929 stations as possible. You do not need to be an AWA member to participate. Bruce Kelley, W2ICE, who championed the contest in its seminal years, was an AWA co-founder.

“Since early designed gear is used, it is a wonderful blend of whooping, chirping, buzzing, clicking, drifting, swishing, swaying, warbling, and other interesting signals,” the AWA website reads. “This is what ham radio sounded like in 1929, and it’s 1929 again on the ham bands!”

Also check out the Homebrew and Oldtime Equipment Party (November 21, 1300Z to 1500Z on 40M and 1500Z to 1700Z on 80M).

  • 10-10 International Fall Contest, Digital: November 13, 0001Z to November 14, 2359Z. This QSO party (the last of nine held by the organization throughout the year) is open to new and prospective members of Ten-Ten International Net, Inc., which was formed in 1962 as the Ten-Ten Net of Southern California to promote activity and good operating practices on the 10 meter band. Over the years the group has expanded internationally, with more than 75,000 10-10 numbers issued worldwide. Here is a list of affiliated chapters.
  • ARRL’s EME—50 to 1296 MHz: November 20, 0000Z to November 21, 2359Z. Work as many amateur stations as possible via the earth-moon-earth path on any authorized amateur frequency above 50 MHz.
  • CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW: November 27, 0000Z to November 28, 2400Z. The CW and SSB (held in October) CQ WW is the largest amateur radio competition in the world, boasting 35,000 participants attempting to make as many contacts with as many different DXCC entities and CQ Zones as possible.

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