One of the premier VHF/UHF events on the contest calendar — the ARRL June VHF Contest — gets under way at 1800 UTC on Saturday, June 10, and continues until 0259 UTC on Monday, June 12. Whether you are new to VHF or new to contesting altogether, the ARRL June VHF Contest offers all licensees a chance to explore what they can do on VHF and UHF — the bands above 50 MHz.
The object for participants in the US and Canada (and possessions) is to work stations in as many different 2° × 1° Maidenhead grid squares as possible, using authorized frequencies above 50 MHz. Stations outside the US and Canada (and their possessions) may only work stations in the US (and its possessions) and Canada. 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.
June is a favorable month for 6-meter band openings, and the contest occurs at the start of the summer sporadic E season, offering intense openings on 6 and even 2 meters. Propagation opportunities also can include tropospheric ducting, aurora, and moonbounce or meteor scatter. K1JT’s WSJT-X software suite now includes a new mode for scatter communications — MSK144. It offers 15-second sequencing and improvement in signal decoding for meteor scatter work, and many VHF operators are talking about using it on 6 and 2 meters during this event.
Newcomers to VHF contesting may want to try one of these categories:
- Single-Operator, Portable: For those who enjoy operating low power from a portable power source and using portable antennas.
- Rover: For mobile operators who enjoy traveling from one grid square to another to hand out contacts.
- Single-Operator, FM-only: A category for the 50, 144, 222, and 440- MHz bands running 100 W or less.
- Single-Operator, 3-Band: Restricted to 50, 144, and 432 MHz (power limits apply).
Pick a band or mode, and have fun in the June VHF Contest!