The Twin Cities Amateur Radio Club Contesters of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

-- 2M FM Challenge --

(Sunday, March 30, 2008: 7pm-8pm Illinois Time)

Last updated: 28 February, 2008

What: A contest.
Where: 2m FM simplex
When: Monday, March 31, 2008, 0100-0200 GMT. This translates to Sunday, March 30, 2008: 7pm-8pm Illinois Time (1 hour duration)
Who: Open to any licensed radio amateur.
Why: To introduce contesting to a larger population of hams.
Object: Make as many two-way QSO's with as many different hams as possible in as many different cities as possible in a 1-hour time period.

Entry Categories:

Single Operator: One person performs all transmitting, receiving, spotting, and logging functions as well as equipment and antenna adjustments. You may not receive assistance from any other person for anything related to the contest.

Multi-operator: More than one person performs the transmiting, receiving, spotting, logging functions and antennas adjustments during the contest. This allows team entries. Example: One person operates the radio while another person logs the contacts. Multi-operator efforts may only be conducted from fixed locations.

a) Single operator, fixed location, 5 watts or less.

b) Single operator, fixed location, greater than 5 watts but less than 20 watts.

c) Single operator, fixed location, greater than 20 watts but not greater than 50 watts.

d) Single operator, fixed location, more than 50 watts.

e) Multi-operator, fixed location. No power limit.

f) Rover/mobile: Participant operates from a vehicle, with the option of activating more than one multiplier during the duration of the contest. No power limit.

"Fixed Location" means the participant must operate the entire duration of the contest from one specific location. This category would also include setting up a temporary, portable station at a remote location, "Field-Day" style.

You may enter only one category for the contest. If a station gives out more than one multiplier during the contest, that station will automatically be entered in the "Rover" category. Exception: If you operate both as a rover/mobile and as a fixed station location, you must submit separate entries for each operation. (Example: You operate mobile while coming home from a party. Once you are home, you operate from your home antenna. In this case, you must submit a separate entry for your mobile and fixed locations.)


Frequencies: Anywhere within the 2-meter simplex range. According to the ARRL Band Plan, FM simplex is permitted between 146.400 to 146.580, as well as 147.420 to 147.570. QSO's made through repeaters are not allowed.

Exchange: Give your callsign, your name and the city you are operating from. For fixed location stations, "city" is defined as the address your mail is sent to. Example: KX9X lives in the country, but all his mail is addressed to Ogden, Illinois. For this contest, KX9X lives in Ogden. Rovers/mobiles MUST be within city limits of whatever city they claim to be operating from.


Fixed location stations: 1 point for each complete QSO. Multipliers will be the different number of cities worked. Total score will be the total number of QSO points multiplied by number of unique cities contacted. (Example: You work 10 different stations in 9 different cities. 10 QSO's x 9 multipliers = 90 points)

Rovers/Mobiles: 1 point for each complete QSO. Multipliers will be the different number of cities worked PLUS the unique number of cities you operate FROM. Total score will be the total number of QSO points multiplied by number of unique cities contacted plus number of multipliers. (Example: A Rover works 15 different stations in 12 different cities, and the Rover transmits from 3 different cities. 12 cities contacted, plus 3 cities operated from = 15 total multipliers. 15 QSO's x 15 multipliers = 225 points)

Stations may only contact any given station 1 time for QSO points and/or multiplier credit.

Rovers/Mobiles may be worked for QSO/multiplier credit 1 time for every unique city they operate from.


All duplicate QSO's must be removed from the log that is submitted. If a log contains more than 1 contact with any given station, the penalty will be a deduction of 3 contacts from your final score. Note that this can affect your multiplier total, too. This penalty will be applied for every duplicate contact found in an entrant's log.

Contacts with aeronautical mobile stations do not count.

All antennas must be physically connected to the transceiver being used for the contest by wires. No remote operation is allowed.

Soliciting QSO's:

The use of non-amateur communications to make a pre-planned QSO (i.e: phone, e-mail, carrier pigeon, etc.) is not in the spirit of this event. You should test your ability to make contacts without any pre-planning.

Contest entrants may not transmit on repeaters or repeater frequencies for the purpose of soliciting contacts.

Rules For Rover/Mobile Stations:

A Rover/Mobile is a station that operates from more than one city (multiplier) during the duration of the contest.

Rovers are allowed to have one additional person act as the driver of the vehicle. However, no assistance is allowed for operation of the transceiver or antennas or logging of QSOs.

Rovers may operate with only one callsign during the duration of the contest.

Rover vehicles must transport all of the radio equipment, power supplies, cables, antennas and logging tools with them. No equipment of any type may be dropped off at a pre-determined location for use during the contest, nor may Rovers use pre-existing antennas at any fixed or temporary portable location. In short, you can only use what you bring with you.

Rovers must sign /Rover during the contest. Example: "KX9X/Rover, QRZ Contest."

A Rover/Mobile shall use the city or town they are in at the time of any given QSO as their city. Mobile/Rovers must be within the city limits in order to give QSO credit for that city. If a mobile station is not within a city, such as on an interstate or intrastate highway or a county road, they should sign mobile" as their location. "Mobile" counts as a unique multiplier.

(NOTE: The multiplier "mobile" refers to ALL operations outside of a city limit and may be counted only ONE TIME as a unique multiplier. Example: KX9X/Rover operates from Urbana, then operates "mobile" between Urbana and St. Joseph, then operates from St. Joseph, then operates mobile" between St. Joseph and Ogden. KX9X/Rover has operated from 3 multipliers; Urbana, St. Joseph, and "Mobile." There is no distinction for the mobile operation between Urbana & St. Joseph and between St. Joseph and Ogden; both count as the same multiplier.)

Rovers/Mobiles may be worked for QSO points and multiplier credit one time for each city the mobile operates from. (Example: It is okay if KX9X works K9BF/Rover in Champaign, then works K9BF/Rover again when K9BF is in Urbana. However, if K9BF/Rover returns to Champaign, KX9X is not allowed to contact K9BF again, since KX9X already worked K9BF when K9BF was in Champaign.)

Rovers/Mobiles are permitted to contact stations one time for each unique city the Rover operates from. (Example: K9BF/Rover is in Urbana. He works NO9Z in Ogden. K9BF/Rover then drives to Champaign. He again works NO9Z in Ogden. That is allowed by the rules. However, if K9BF/Rover drives back to Urbana, he cannot work NO9Z again, as K9BF/Rover has already contacted NO9Z when K9BF/Rover was in Urbana.

Rovers/Mobiles may record their participation in the contest with an audio recorder and produce a paper or digital log for the contest at a later time. A paper or digital log must be prepared for submission with all the required information - the recording will not be accepted as a log. But it can be difficult to log while driving. Your safety is important to us!

Disqualification: A contestant my be disqualified for the following reasons:

a) Violating any of the rules of the contest.

b) Breaking the terms and conditions of their Amateur Radio license.

c) Excessive duplicate contacts in their submitting log (more than 10 percent of the QSOs in the log).

d) Falsifying any information in their submitted log.

Prizes: Certificates will be awarded to the top scoring entrant in each Entry Category. NOTE: To facilitate activity, stations who have won their entry category for the previous running of the FM Challenge are ineligible to win that category again. In other words, you cannot win the same entry category twice in a row.

Logging Format: Each entrant's logs must be in the following format: QSO #, Time, Station worked, exchange sent, exchange received, checkmark if new multiplier. Example: I work NO9Z for my first QSO in the contest, I work K9BF/Rover for my second QSO in the contest, and I work N9GOC for my third contact in the contest. My log should look like this:

QSO# Time Callsign Exch sent Exch Rec'd New mult?




Sean, Ogden
Sean, Ogden
Sean, Ogden

Lynn, Ogden
Ben, Champaign
Pat, Champaign


If any of the required information is incorrect or missing from a QSO, that QSO is considered null and void, and no points or multiplier credit will count from that contact.

Log Submission: Logs must be received no later than 11:59 pm on Monday, April 14, 2008. Decision of the judges is final. Send logs to:
Zack Widup W9SZ, 1003 E Washington Street, Urbana IL 61801-4415

Downloadable log forms and summary sheets:

Electronic logs must be in Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel format only. Handwritten logs must be legible.
Illegible contacts in logs will be rendered null and void.

Contact Zack, W9SZ for any questions.

Operating Tips:

You can either scan the FM simplex frequencies listening for people to work, or you can call CQ on a simplex frequency. I would suggest calling "CQ FM Challenge" or something like that, so people know that you're participating in the event. It would also be a good idea to open your squelch up, so you can hear weaker stations.

Be sure to check the upper portion of the FM simplex band (147.420 to 147.570 MHz). Few people venture outside the lower simplex bracket, so there's a lot of QRM-free spectrum you can use.

Make sure you copy the information from your QSO correctly. If you missed the operator's name, ask for a repeat, and make sure you spell it correctly. Reporting incorrect information in your log will count as a penalty, so make sure you take the time to get it right.

READ THE RULES. If you have any questions about anything regarding this contest, ask W9SZ BEFORE the contest starts.

Results from the February 5, 2001 2M FM Challenge

Results from the June 7, 2001 2M FM Challenge

Results from the November 6, 2001 2M FM Challenge

Results from the February 26, 2002 2M FM Challenge

Results from the February 23, 2004 2M FM Challenge

Results from the March 19, 2006 2M FM Challenge

Results from the January 28, 2007 2M FM Challenge

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