Guide to November 2023 Ham Radio Contests…and Some Special Words of Thanks

As we enter this season of giving thanks, all of us at OnAllBands and DX Engineering would like to offer our most sincere gratitude to those who continue to make amateur radio the world’s best hobby. Our heartfelt thanks to…

  • Organizations that sponsor contests—both small and large—that keep the bands humming with activity all year long
  • Elmers who offer new operators their wisdom and technical skill
  • Emergency operators who are prepared to serve their communities and citizens halfway around the world when disaster strikes
  • Hams who volunteer their time and talents to deliver support at public events
  • Scientists and everyday operators who devote themselves to using amateur radio to help us gain a better understanding of our universe
  • Innovators who create devices that make operating easier and more enjoyable
  • Mentors who provide young operators—the future of ham radio—with opportunities to improve their skills and pass on what they’ve learned
  • DXpeditioners and their sponsors who give DXers worldwide a chance to capture rare DXCC entities, parks, islands, and summits
  • Groups that passionately advocate for the interests of ham radio operators everywhere
  • Blog contributors and social media guests who share their insights and knowledge for the benefit of the ham radio community
  • You—the reason we work hard every day to advance the art and science of amateur radio

73 to all. Now let the November contesting excitement commence!

ARRL November Sweepstakes, CW: November 4, 2100Z to November 6, 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 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.

IPARC CW and SSB Contests: November 4, 0600Z to 1800Z (CW) and November 5, 0600Z to 1800Z (SSB). The International Police Association Radio Club (the largest and oldest worldwide fraternal organization of active and retired law enforcement personnel) hosts this 80-10M worldwide contest open to all radio amateurs. Per its IPA USA website, “The Association promotes global and cultural friendship among peace officers. The emphasis of the organization is friendship.” The IPA USA radio club website notes, “The Radio Club is one of many special interest groups within the IPA that enjoys the hobby of amateur radio and the worldwide communication capabilities available for contacting fellow officers around the globe having similar interests.” Read complete rules here.

Antique Wireless Association (AWA) Bruce Kelley 1929 QSO Party: November 11, 2300Z to November 13, 0300Z, and November 18, 2300Z to November 20, 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!”

FIRAC HF Contest: November 12, 0700Z to 1700Z. The Fédération Internationale des RadioAmateurs Cheminots (the International Federation of Railway Amateurs) hosts the SSB portion of this annual 80-10M contest the second Sunday in November. Get complete rules here.

10-10 International Fall Contest, Digital: November 11, 0001Z to November 12, 2359Z. This QSO party 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.

4 States QRP Group Second Sunday Sprint: November 13, 0100Z to 0300Z. This two-hour SSB/CW event runs the second Sunday of every month. Participation is limited to 4SQRP members, but QSOs with non-members count for one point as long as they are also running QRP power. The 4 States QRP Group (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas) is devoted to low power amateur radio building and operation. Visit their website for many more details.

South American Integration Contest CW: November 18, 1800Z to November 19, 2100Z. The objective of this annual contest is to “promote the integration of radioamateur operators in South America, aiming at the highest number of valid contacts between its participants.” Find complete rules here.

ARRL November Sweepstakes, SSB: November 18, 2100Z to November 20, 0259Z. See November Sweepstakes, CW, above.

ARRL EME Contest—50 to 1296 MHz: November 25, 0000Z to November 26, 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, CWNovember 25, 0000Z to November 26, 2359Z. 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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