Summer is nearly here, and that means it’s time for the ARRL June VHF Contest, June 13-15! Participants in the US and Canada (and their possessions) work stations in as many different 2 × 1° Maidenhead grid squares as possible, using the bands above 50 MHz. Stations outside the US and Canada may only work stations in the US and Canada (and their possessions). Stations in KH0-9, KL7, KP1-KP5, CY9, and CY0 count as W/VE stations and may be worked by DX stations for contest credit.
The June VHF Contest occurs at the start of the summer sporadic E season, and intense openings on 6 meters and even 2 meters are possible. It’s a whole new world of propagation possibilities that also include tropospheric ducting, aurora, and even meteor scatter and moonbounce. With many HF transceivers on the market equipped for 6 meters and sometimes for other VHF/UHF bands, getting on the air for this event is easier than ever.
Several entry categories are available, including portable — for those who enjoy operating low power from a portable power source and using portable antennas, and rover — for mobile operators who enjoy traveling from one grid square to another to hand out contacts. There’s even an FM-only category (50, 144, 222, and 446 MHz at a power of 100 W or less).
In January 2015, the ARRL Board approved some rule modifications for General Rules For ARRL Contests Above 50 MHz, and these changes become effective with the 2015 June VHF contest. Assistance is now allowed for all entry categories. This includes the use of assistance to announce your availability for contacts (ie, self-spotting.) The new rules allowing assistance eliminate the need for the Single-Operator Unlimited categories, and these have been removed. An FAQ on the June VHF webpage may help answer your questions about the recent rule changes.
The ARRL June VHF Contest begins at 1800 UTC on Saturday, June 13, and continues through 0259 UTC on Monday, June 15 (this is Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening for most of the US and Canada). Rules and entry forms are on the ARRL website. All logs must be e-mailed or postmarked no later than 0300 UTC on Wednesday, July 15. Contact the ARRL Contest Branch for more information.