Guide to September 2022 Ham Radio Contests

The ham radio banquet that is “Contest Season” is around the corner, but September serves up its own tasty appetizers of on-air opportunities to keep you filling logbooks until the year’s major events, including a nice selection of State QSO Parties, State Parks on the Air activations, and CW challenges. Here’s to a bountiful fall for amateur operators everywhere!

International G3ZQS Memorial Straight Key Contest, September 1, 2300Z to September 3, 2300Z. Run by the CW FISTS Club, this event is a great opportunity to hone your straight key skills and pay your respects to a ham who was determined not to let the rhythmic sounds of dots and dashes fade quietly into the past. Founded in 1987 by Geo, G3ZQS, the CW FISTS Club (The International Morse Preservation Society) is dedicated to promoting Morse code around the world. The organization boasts chapters in the Americas, Australia, Europe, and East Asia. Learn more about the club’s activities here. And for straight keys, paddles, electronic keyers, cables, and CW accessories, you’ll find everything you need at DX

All Asian DX Contest, Phone, September 3, 0000Z to September 4, 2400Z. Now in its 63rd year, this event is hosted by the Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL). JARL’s Ham Fair 2022 was held in Tokyo August 20-21. Celebrating its 44th year, the 2022 event’s theme was: “CQ CQ Ham Radio! Communication Beyond the Ages.” Per its website, the Ham Fair is held “to promote the healthy development of ham radio and improvement of technology.” Look for OnAllBands articles on new products from major manufacturers unveiled at the fair in the days ahead.

ARRL September VHF Contest, September 10, 1800Z to September 12, 0300Z. Amateurs in the U.S. and Canada will be trying to work stations in as many 2 degree x 1 degree Maidenhead grid squares as possible using authorized frequencies above 50 MHz. Stations outside the U.S. and Canada may only work stations in the U.S. and Canada. All legal modes are permitted, including CW, SSB, FT8, MSK144, FM-Only, PSK31, FSK441, and JT65.

Ohio State Parks on the Air, September 10, 1400 UTC to 2200 UTC (10 am to 6 pm Eastern Time). With DX Engineering proudly rooted in the Buckeye State, this annual event is near and dear to our ham radio hearts. Tom, KB8UUZ, DX Engineering technical writer, is the chairman of what will be the 15th edition of this outdoor operating event that highlights Ohio’s beauty and diversity. If you’ve never activated a park, here’s an OnAllBands article on what you’ll need for successful portable operations.

Also, don’t miss the flora, fauna, frequencies, and fun of Wisconsin Parks on the Air, September 17, 1600Z to 2300Z (11 am to 6 pm local/CDT), sponsored by the Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club, W9ZL. If you’re very lucky, you may spot Wisconsin’s state animal, the wedge-shape-headed badger, which can be found throughout the state. However, because the animal is notorious for its ability to elude humans, you’re more likely to catch a glimpse of one on the state flag or on the many T-shirts featuring Bucky Badger, the University of Wisconsin’s red-pinstriped mascot.

CQ World Wide DX Contest, RTTY, September 24, 0000Z to September 25, 2359Z. This annual event attracts more than 15,000 RTTY enthusiasts from around the world.

2nd Annual Masonic Lodges on the Air, September 24, 1400Z to 2200Z. “The idea for the Masonic Lodges on the Air Contest grew out of the realization that many Freemasons have a love for Amateur Radio,” the event’s official website reads. The idea is to see how many Masonic Lodges you can contact in a day on 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters SSB. You do not need to be a Mason to participate, but organizers ask that you get permission from your local lodge to contest from their property. Get complete rules here.

U.S. State QSO Parties:

  • Colorado: September 3, 1300Z to September 4, 0400Z
  • Tennessee: September 4, 1800Z to September 5, 0300Z
  • Alabama: September 10, 1500Z to September 11, 0300Z
  • Texas: September 17, 1400Z to September 18, 0200Z, and September 18, 1400Z to 2000Z
  • Iowa: September 17, 1400Z to September 18, 0200Z
  • New Jersey: September 17, 1600Z to September 18, 0359Z
  • New Hampshire: September 17, 1600Z to September 18, 0400Z, and September 18, 1600Z to 2200Z
  • Washington State Salmon Run: September 17, 1600Z to September 18, 0700Z, and September 18, 1600Z to 2400Z (find more details on the Salmon Run official website)
  • Maine: September 24, 1200Z to September 25, 1200Z

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