1. Objective

The main objectives are to make as many contacts as possible and to have fun. Other objectives may include improving your operating skills, testing new equipment configurations and techniques, expanding your horizons by operating on the microwave bands and exploring radio propagation.


2. Definitions

  • Station: set of antennas, transmitters and receivers used during the contest on each frequency band (i.e. multiband setups are composed of multiple stations).
  • Location: geographical area with diameter of no more than 500 meters where the station resides during the contest.
  • Call Sign: identification of the station during the contest. Added prefix and/or suffix do not generate different call sign (i.e. S50AAA/p or DL/S50AAA are the same call sign as S50AAA).
  • Operator: an individual that operates the station during the contest using the station’s call sign. Operator may reside inside (local operator) or outside (remote operator) the location. During the contest an operator may operate only stations that form one entry.
  • Entries:
    • MULTI operator: stations from the same location, operated by more than one operator and using one callsign on all bands.
    • SINGLE operator: stations from the same location, operated by the same operator and using one callsign on all bands, with no operational assistance of another person during the contest.
    • 6 HOURS: stations from the same location, operated by any number of operators and operating according to the 6 hours’ time rule. The 6 hour time segment can be divided into maximum two periods. The time of the first QSO sets the start time of the first period. When operating in two periods, the pause between the periods must be longer than 2 hours. The first time difference of 2 hours or more between two consecutive QSOs marks the pause segment. Only the QSOs that fall into the combined 6 hour time segment will be counted for points. Participants are welcome to operate longer than 6 hours and in such case they shall send their complete log (the contest robot will automatically extract the 6 hours part from the log, while the rest of the log entries will be used for cross-checking purposes).
    • LOW POWER: multi or single operator entries, transmitting with total of up to 100 W PEP from the transmitter and using only one directional or omnidirectional antenna system. The same antenna must be used for transmit and receive. Directional antenna system is a single directional antenna or a group (array) of single directional antennas, grouped together to achieve maximum obtainable gain in a given direction (that is, all the antennas in the group shall be pointed in the same direction). Omnidirectional antenna is an antenna with a radiation pattern that has approximately the same gain in all azimuth directions.


3. Conditions for entrants

All licensed radio amateurs in Region 1 may participate in the contest.

The entrants must operate within the letter and spirit of the contest. Entrants must operate according to the license conditions of the country where the station resides. Stations operating under special high power license can only entry as check logs.


4. Date of contests

  • The 50/70 MHz contest will begin on the third Saturday of June.
  • The 145 MHz contest will start on the first Saturday of September.<
  • The UHF/Microwaves contest will start on the first Saturday of October.

The contest will commence at 1400 hours UTC on the Saturday and end at 1400 hours UTC on the Sunday.


5. Contest sections


50/70 MHz Contest:

The contests shall comprise the following sections for:

  • 50 MHz band:
    • SINGLE (SO): single operator entries.
    • MULTI (MO): multi operator entries.
    • 6HOURS (6H): 6 hours entries.
  • 70 MHz band:
    • SINGLE (SO): single operator entries.
    • MULTI (MO): multi operator entries.

145 MHz contest:

  • SINGLE (SO): single operator entries.
  • MULTI (MO): multi operator entries.
  • SINGLE LOW POWER (SO-LP): single operator low power entries.
  • MULTI LOW POWER (MO-LP): multi operator low power entries.
  • 6HOURS (6H): 6 hours entries.

UHF/Microwaves Contest:

The contests shall comprise the following sections for:

  • 435 MHz band:
    • SINGLE (SO): single operator entries.
    • MULTI (MO): multi operator entries.
    • SINGLE LOW POWER (SO-LP): single operator low power entries.
    • MULTI LOW POWER (MO-LP): multi operator low power entries.
    • 6HOURS (6H): 6 hours entries.
  • 1.3 GHz, 2.4 GHz, 3.4 GHz, 5.7 GHz, 10 GHz bands and for the Millimetre group (the combined group of amateur bands above 10 GHz):
    • SINGLE (SO): single operator entries.
    • MULTI (MO): multi operator entries.


6. Operating

Only one signal on the band is allowed at any time.

Station must operate from the same location throughout the contest time.


7. Contacts

Each station may only be worked once per band. If a station is worked again on the same band, only one contact may count for points. Any duplicate contacts should be logged without claim for points and clearly marked as duplicates.

Contacts made via active repeaters and EME contacts do not count for points.

Competitors are obliged to follow the common definition for a valid QSO (as defined in the VHF Managers Handbook and replicated below). The contest exchange (call, report, QSO number and locator) shall be sent and confirmed on the band where the contact started and only during the contact.

No attempt should be made during the QSO to obtain any part of the required exchange information via other communication methods such as the Internet chat channel, DX Cluster, talk-back on another amateur band, telephone etc.. Such a secondary method invalidates the contest QSO.

Self-spotting is permitted on all media except the DX Cluster (sending lots of self-spots to chat rooms is not recommended and is discouraged).

Acceptable examples when using a secondary method:

  • “Shall we make a sked on 144.388?”
  • “I have QRM, let’s move to 144.218 kHz and start again”
  • “Nothing received, please try again” and the QSO starts again
  • “Thank you for a nice QSO” – Note: Only after the QSO has completed on the radio!

Unacceptable examples when using a secondary method:

  • “I need your serial number”
  • “Please repeat all information”
  • “Please confirm <report>, <serial number>, <locator> etc.”

Definition for a valid contest QSO:

A valid contact is one where both operators during the contact have

  • received a contest exchange, and
  • received a confirmation of the successful identification and the reception of the contest exchange.


8. Type of emission

Contacts may be made in A1A(CW), J3E(SSB) or F3E(FM) / (G3E(PM)).

MGM (Machine Generated Mode) modes are allowed during the 50/70 MHz contest. Every MGM contact shall be properly marked in the LOG with EDI mode code 7.


9. Contest exchanges

All times must be logged in UTC.

Call signs logged must be the same as those exchanged over the air by the entrants during the QSO.

For contacts on 50 MHz, outside of Region 1, the received locator can be 4 digits and “MM” will be added as 5th and 6th digit.

Correction of logged exchanges after the contest, by use of any database, recordings, email or other method, is not allowed.


10. Scoring

For the amateur bands up to 10 GHz inclusive, points will be scored on the basis of one point per kilometre, i.e. the calculated distance in kilometres will be truncated to an integer value and 1 km will be added. The centre of each locator square is used for distance calculations. In order to make contest scores comparable, for the conversion from degrees to kilometres a factor of 111.2 should be used when calculating distances with the aid of the spherical geometry equation.

All QSOs including those with unique stations shall count for points (unique station is a station that appears in the log of only one contest entrant).

For the combined higher bands (Millimetre group) the score will be the sum of the points scored on each of the bands, using the following multiplication factors for the number of kilometres scored on each band:

  • 24 GHz 1 x
  • 47 GHz 2 x
  • 76 GHz 3 x
  • 122 GHz 4 x
  • 134 GHz 8 x
  • 245 GHz 10 x


11. Entries

The entries must be set out in EDI digital/electronic form (refer to VHF Managers Handbook) separately for each frequency band. EDI header shall as a minimum contain the following fields:

  • Callsign and WWL used (PCall and PWWLo)
  • Section and band (PSect and PBand)
  • Operators callsigns (RCall for SO entries, RCall and Mope1, Mope2,… for MO entries)
  • E-mail address (RHBBS)
  • TX power in watts (SPowe)
  • Antenna (SAnte); it shall be clearly identifiable how many antenna systems were in use

Logs shall be sent no later than the second Monday following the contest weekend. Late entries will be accepted as check logs.

By submitting the contest or check log, an entrant agrees that he / she has:

  • understood the contest rules and agrees to be bound by them,
  • operated according to all the rules and regulations that pertain to his and/or station license,
  • agreed the cross-checked log may be made open to the public, except for the personal data in PAdr1, PAdr2, RName, RAdr1, RAdr2, RPoCo, RCity, RCoun, RPhon and RHBBS lines of EDI file format,
  • agrees the contest organizer can score, amend, publish, republish, print, and otherwise distribute (by any means including paper or electronic) the entry either in its original format, in any other suitable format with or without modifications or combined with the entries from other contestants for entry into the specific contest, other contests, or for other reasons including training, development and advancement of amateur radio,
  • accepts all decisions of the contest organizer as final.


12. Judging of entries

All logs are checked using custom software and human judgement.

The claimed contact shall be disqualified for any error in the information logged by the entrant.

When there is high evidence that the error is due to the wrongly logged information of the transmitting station (i.e. wrong date/time or call/UL) such a LOG shall not be used for adjudication purposes.

The final judging of the entries shall be the responsibility of the contest organizer whose decision shall be final.

Entrants deliberately contravening any of these rules, attempting fraud or flagrantly disregarding the IARU Region 1 band plans shall be disqualified. Each VHF Manager and/or national Contest Committee can propose to the contest organizer disqualification or penalization of an entrant.


13. Awards

  • Section winners:

Certificates will be issued by the contest organizer to the winners of the sections on each band up to 10 GHz and for the Millimetre group.

  • Overall winners for UHF/Microwave contest:

The overall winner of the IARU Region 1 UHF/Microwaves contest will be declared separately for the SO and MO sections.

For the overall results tables, the scores of the entrants operating on at least two of the following bands will be combined, using an adaptive multiplier system:

  • 435 MHz
  • 1.3 GHz
  • 2.4 GHz
  • 5.7 GHz
  • 10 GHz
  • Millimetre group

Note: SO entries to the 6H section on 435 MHz will be included in the Overall SO classification if the entries on all bands are SO. MO entries to the 6H section on 435MHz will be included in the Overall MO classification.

The band multipliers for the overall score are calculated as follows:

  • The multiplier for 435 MHz is one.
  • The multiplier for each of the other bands is equal to the winning score on the 435 MHz band divided by the winning score on each band. The multiplier on each band for the SO and MO sections are determined separately.
  • Example:
    • Winning score in SO on 435MHz is 200,000 points
    • Winning score in SO on 1.3GHz is 20,000 points
    • The multiplier for SO on 1.3GHz is 200,000 divided by 20,000 = 10
    • So, all scores in SO on 1.3GHz are multiplied by 10 for the Overall SO results table
  • The overall millimetre group scores are calculated according to rule 9 before the multiplier for the millimetre group is calculated.


EDI format

Contest participants should use the electronic data file format to submit their logs to the contest manager in time.
To be able to do this, participants must use a contest program capable of generating a REG1TEST file.


Keywords are defines as the word in front of the actual argument. The keyword is separated from the argument with an equal sign (=).


REG1TEST;1 is the file identifier and the file version. It serves as indicator for which format and version is being used and where data begins.


Argument describes the name of the contest in which the station participated.


Arguments describe the beginning and ending dates of the contest. Arguments are separated with a semicolon (;). Arguments are written as


Argument describes the callsign used during the contest.


Argument describes own World Wide Locator (WWL, Maidenhead, Universal Locator) used during the contest. Maximum length is six characters.


Argument describes own Exchange during the contest. This can be any type of information, e.g. Province, DOK, County, State, Power, Name.
Maximum length is six characters.


Argument describes the address of the QTH used during the contest, line 1.


Argument describes the address of the QTH used during the contest, line 2.


Argument describes in which section the station is participating. Synonyms to the meaning “section” are: class, category, group etc.


Argument describe which band was used during the contest. Please note the bands and which frequency range they represent in the table below:


New Contest rules 2018

they are published on de IARU-R1 website:

The new contest rules were discussed after analysing the contest survey results. The most important changes/clarifications are:

•Merging Single and Multi operator in the 6H category

•New Low Power category with antenna restrictions

•New rules about self-spotting

•Definition of a valid QSO

•The use of MGM during the 50/70 MHz contest

•Changes in the header of the EDI contest file


IARU R1 VHF-UHF-MW Newsletter 2You can find more comments in the document: “Commentary to the “RULES IARU R1 50/70 MHz, 145 MHz and UHF/MICROWAVES CONTESTS”.


The original contest rules in the current VHF Handbook (version 8.01) are NO LONGER VALID. The new contest rules will be integrated in the next edition of the Handbook. Contest results From now on you can find the contest results of the IARU-R1 VHF contests on our webpage. For the moment the official results of the 50/70 MH z contest and the 144 MHz contest are published. The UHF/μWave contest will follow soon.Here is the link for the results:
Beacon coordination

Our new VHF/Microwave beacon coordinator Mathias, DH4FAJ, is very active and keen to get a real view about the actual situation about the beacons.

The old beacon database was not accurate. So we need to build a new reference database and webpage. You can all see a preview at


OE Beacons added

After the next Region-1 EC meeting (in February), Mathias will ask for an update. One of the main objectives is to delete obsolete beacons that are not active anymore during years.

Survey of frequencies above 148 MHz

The IARU Administrative Council (IARU-AC) asked us to make an inventory of the use of our frequencies above 148 MHz. With the cooperation of DARC the survey was online from 15 th November until 17 th December. Overall, 24 Member Societies filled in this survey. I want to thank them for their   cooperation. Most of those member societies were from countries of CEPT, so this give us a quiet good view about the use of our frequencies above

148  MHz. For the moment we have the raw results in an Excel file. This will be processed in to a report for the IARU-R1 EC and the IARU-AC. You will be informed a bout this report after the EC meeting.

IARU R1 VHF-UHF-MW Newsletter1

International Amateur Radio Union

Region 1

VHF – UHF – μW Newsletter


Some advice for newcomers, from Neill Taylor G4HLX.

Have you ever thought of entering a VHF contest? If it seems a bit daunting, it needn’t be. Getting started can be really straightforward and a lot of fun. There is the excitement of the competitive spirit, the friendly trial of your equipment and operating skills against others. But there’s a lot more: you can expect some contacts over much greater distances than you usually achieve, thanks to many stations operating from good VHF sites far away. You should make a large number of QSOs, including some in regions, squares or counties that are normally hard to find. If you have chosen to go portable, there’s the pleasure of a day in the great outdoors. And finally there’s the satisfaction of seeing your callsign in the results listings. Oh yes, and of course there’s just the sheer delight of playing with radios all day long!

The Practical Wireless 144 MHz QRP Contest is an ideal event for your first go at VHF contesting. The rules are simple, the log-keeping and scoring straightforward, and the 3 watt transmitter power limit makes it easy to compete effectively even with simple equipment. Year after year we receive reports from first-time entrants who are amazed by the DX they have achieved with their simple station. And after your first experience of a VHF contest, you might like to move on to operate in some of the many VHF/UHF contests organised by the RSGB.

The first thing to stress about entering a VHF contest is that preparation is essential. Planning is the key to success, and it starts with taking stock of what you will need, in terms of radio equipment and other requirements. And right at the start you must decide if you are going to go-it-alone as a single operator, or get together with some friends to form a group. There’s a lot to be said for this, in terms of pooling of resources such as equipment and antennas, and sharing of the work on the day – not only operating the station, but getting everything set up and running.

Article first published in Practical Wireless, May 1999.