What is a contest?

RSGB VHF National Field Day

Contesting is the competitive side of Amateur Radio; an opportunity for an Amateur Radio operator to pitch themselves, their equipment and their location against those of their fellow licensed operators.

Operators, modes, locations and power

Some contests are entered by individuals and they compete against each other for honours. Other contests are entered by clubs and several club members take part in order to win honours for their club. Some contests are operated from homes, club HQ’s, etc., whilst others are for portable operators located in fields, on top of mountains, etc. In some contests, operators use as much power as they can, whilst in others they may be restricted to a given maximum power. Finally, their are contests for specific modes (CW, phone/voice, SSTV, PSK31, etc.).

In short, there’s something for everyone in contesting and it’s a great way to hone your skills and operating practices.

Contest organisers

There is no one body governing contesting around the world so you will find that local clubs, special interest groups, national organisations and even Amateur Radio magazines will run their own contests. In this country, the following organisations run contests:

  • RSGB – Radio Society of Great Britain
  • BARTG – British Amateur Teledata Group
  • BERU – British Empire Radio Union
  • PW – Practical Wireless

There are also plenty of organisations around the world that organise contests, a simple search on Google will reveal them.

Contesting with SADARC

The Southport & District Amateur Radio Club enters the RSGB VHF National Field Day and RSGB Affiliated Clubs contests on a regular basis. We have around ten members that get actively involved, though the more operators we have, especially for the Affiliated Clubs contests, the higher up the league (and closer to top honours) we will be.

You don’t need any special equipment to take part in these contests and there are plenty of members willing to give you as much help as you need.

Further information

For more information, please contact our Contest Manager.