Notes from the shack… DMR contesting
Contesting has been a part of the great wide world of amateur radio since at least 1928 in the US. Typically contests involve spending hours in the shack on the HF bands (160M, 80M, 40M, 20M, 15M, 10M) and in some contests there will be VHF/UHF activity on 6M, 2M and up.
Virtually all contests exclude contacts made through repeaters and satellites. There are some good reasons for those rules.
I had never heard of using DMR in contests until I saw the posting reproduced below.
This appeared on the N3FJP Software Users Group.
You say, “therefore it can’t be counted for any regular 2-way ham radio award”. Times have changed. There are special events and contests that are allowing VOIP contacts. Earlier this summer I participated in a 10 day special event from the UK called, “GOTA” – Gateways On The Air. I used the Allstar network exclusively and logged every contact. It’s a good thing I did. I won the International Operator Award for most contacts from bona fide GOTA stations.
There will be more of these types of special events and contests coming as more involve themselves with VOIP. Contesting and events are not exclusive to RF only.
DMR radio has already been adapted by some 3 million users world-wide and seems to be the entry level radio of choice in the US at the moment. DMR is especially popular in Europe. Like it or not, DMR is changing the hobby.
I have done no research to see which contests are accepting DMR contacts.
It is amazing that someone like Glenn K3SWZ can devote a weekend to HF contesting and earn 600K points or more. It is even more incredible that a brand new Technician Class licensee can conceivably reach even more places with a simple DMR HT and a hot spot.
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Editor’s Note: Let me say that every operator should read and understand the rules of any contest he or she chooses to enter. If the rules specifically allow the use of DMR, VOIP, repeaters or similar technologies then you have a “green light” to go ahead and use those technologies in that contest. Likewise, operators who pursue ham radio awards have a similar obligation to understand and honor the rules as to what constitutes a valid contact.
AF3I — Editor