Next weekend is Memorial Day in the US, which means it is time to get serious about summer activities. Here’s what I am plugging into my calendar. You will note a clear emphasis on activities here in Colorado but most of these events are nationwide:
ARRL June VHF QSO Party (June 11-12) This is the best VHF/UHF/Microwave contest of the year, because we almost always have some nice openings on 50 MHz. I think of this as “VHF activity weekend” that happens to be a contest. My favorite amateur radio event of the year.
ARRL Field Day (June 25-26) This is arguably the most popular ham radio event in North America. The great thing about FD is that you can make it whatever you want it to be: make it a contest, use it for public relations, just go camping, etc.
CQ Worldwide VHF Contest (July 16-17) This is the only Real VHF Contest, since it is limited to the 6 Meter and 2 Meter bands. (The ARRL contests include the UHF and higher bands and the scoring emphasizes these bands.) We usually get some 6 Meter openings on this weekend, as well, making it a lot of fun.
Colorado 14er Event (August 7) The Premier Mountaintop Ham Radio Event, with a Colorado emphasis. The concept is simple: activate the 14,000 foot mountains and have fun working everyone you can.
Colorado QSO Party (Sept 3-4) A state QSO party focused on working stations in Colorado. There will be lots of mobile and portable operators out to activate Colorado counties. Contacts are valid on HF, VHF and higher.
Colorado FM Sprint (Sept 10) This FM-only contest runs concurrently with the ARRL September VHF QSO Party. The FM Sprint runs for 5 hours on Saturday afternoon, so it is another great opportunity for some mountaintop operating. The Sprint rules are compatible with the ARRL contest, so you can always work both of them!
I hope to work you during these events.
– 73, Bob K0NR