Updated January 2015



1. Introduction

The PEARS National VHF/UHF contest will take place on 16 –18 January 2015, and is open to all licensed amateurs in the RSA, as well as non-members of the SARL, including those from the neighbouring states. The aim of a VHF/UHF contest is to stimulate activity on these bands, make as many long distance contacts as possible, establish new records, encourage the improvement of VHF/UHF equipment and advance amateur radio. This is a 44-hour dual contest for analogue and digital modes, it will reflect changes of propagation over the two days and offer a wonderful camping period with lots of fun for field stations. Amateurs are requested to participate in both the contests and keep the bands alive.


2. Dates and Times.


The first 22 hour session of the VHF/UHF contest starts at 18:00 CAT on Friday 16 January and closes at 16:00 CAT on Saturday afternoon 17 January. The second 22 hour session commences immediately after 16:00 CAT on Saturday and ends at 14:00 CAT on Sunday 18 January 2015.


3. Categories


(a) Base Station - a base station is the normal home or fixed station. It may be operated by one or more amateurs as long as they use their own call signs.


(b) Field Station - a field station is a temporary station set up in a caravan, tent or motor vehicle and may erect any type of antenna system but must use their own portable power supply. One or more amateurs may operate it but they must use their own call signs.


(c) Club Multi-Operator Station - A Club Multi-operator station can only operate under the Club’s call sign. It may use many operators, since all five bands can be worked at the same time, and beginners should be encouraged to participate. A club multi-operator team may operate either from a base or a field station as desired.


(d) Rover Category – A Rover is a mobile station that operates from  a stationary position in any four grid squares during a session. Rover activity should be encouraged as they create a lot of extra activity during a VHF contest and could appeal to townhouse amateurs.


(e) Limited Category – This category is  limited to a total of 4 hours divided into two 2 hour periods during each session, and may be scheduled during any part of a session operating from any fixed grid position as a base or field station or from a stationary mobile.


(f) New 144,400 MHz FM Category – The main objective of this new divisional category is to encourage the younger generation, or even some old-timers, to participate and get the taste of a VHF contest using simplified rules. You may operate any type of equipment or antennas on 144,400 MHz FM, fixed or mobile, to make many contacts and only exchange signal reports, learn about propagation, have fun and short chats to compare notes etc. You can score 10 points for each contact that you make in your own division or 20 points from another division. Stations from other categories and divisions may also QSY to this frequency and give you some points, of course, they will score their normal one point per kilometre, but you must give them your grid locator. There are two sessions so you can work the same station twice and score extra points, or hook up with a station that you missed during the first session. Sponsors have been approached in different divisions to provide prizes for their divisional winners in this category. The names of the sponsors and prizes will be posted on the SARL VHF Forum. (Rory Norton, ZS2BL, has kindly offered to donate a dual 2M/70cm Yagi antenna valued at R850-00 to the Division 2 winner in this category. Thank you Rory).


4. Contest Frequencies


50,200 – 50,250 MHz SSB/CW

50,250 – 50,300 MHz Digital

50,350 – 50,400 MHz FM


70,100 – 70,150 MHz SSB/CW

70,150 – 70,175 MHz Digital

70,200 – 70,275 MHz FM


144,200 – 144,250 MHz SSB/CW

144,250 – 144,300 MHz Digital

144,350 – 144,400 MHz FM


432,200 – 432,250 MHz SSB/CW

432,250 – 432,300 MHz Digital

432,350 – 432.400 MHz FM


1296,200 – 1296,250 MHz SSB/CW

1296,250 – 1296,300 MHz Digital

1296,350 – 1296,400 MHz FM


NOTE 1:  To avoid pile-ups on the calling frequencies of 50,200 MHz or 144,200 MHz SSB, it is suggested when activity is high to call on these frequencies but continue the contact 5 –15 kHz higher up the band, as done during HF DX contests. So tune around at times.


NOTE 2:  CW stations call 1 kHz above the SSB frequency, (for example 50,201 MHz), so as to be audible to SSB stations too, but must work CW stations 20 kHz higher in frequency (i.e. 50,220 MHz).


NOTE 3: In view of the fact that VHF amateurs are widely spread out across the country, it is important to know when and in what direction they are transmitting. Therefore spotting and any form of liaison will be permitted to solve this problem.


5. Contestants


All  *ZU/ZR/ZS amateurs may participate as well as amateurs from the six neighbouring states i.e. Namibia (V5), Botswana (A2), Zimbabwe (Z2), Mozambique (C9), Lesotho (7P), and Swaziland (3DA), and only contacts with these states will count. [*ZU stations are currently not permitted to operate on 50 MHz (6 metres) or 1296 MHz (23 cm) according to the Government Gazette].      


6. Reports & Scoring


A valid contact consists of an exchange of call signs, signal reports and the location, such as the 6 digit Maidenhead Locator or co-ordinates. Stations in five categories (a – e) claim one point per kilometre, but points may only be claimed for one (1) analogue and one (1) digital contact per station on the same band during a session. Rover stations can be worked from different grid squares and will count as new contacts. The number of four digit grid squares worked on a band by Rovers multiplies the scores on that band.


7. Log Sheets


(a) Separate log sheets are required for digital or analogue, but please separate the different bands. The top of each log sheet must indicate CATEGORY, FULL NAME, CALL SIGN, LOCATOR and E-MAIL ADDRESS. All certificates will be e-mailed.


(b) The simplified log sheets require only the DATE, TIME, FREQUENCY, CALL SIGN of station worked, SIGNAL REPORTS received and LOCATOR of station worked. Please note that Rover stations must add the suffix /R to their call signs (e.g. ZS6XYZ/R).


(c) All entries must be submitted to PEARS not later than 15 February 2015 and their decision will be final. The postal and e-mail addresses are given below. The names of the winners as well as a complete list of all the scores will be posted on the SARL VHF Forum and the PEARS website in March 2015.


8. Awards


PEARS will award certificates to the analogue and digital winners as listed below, and sponsors will donate their prizes directly to the respective divisional winners.


(1) The grand overall national winner and first and second runner-up on analogue or digital modes are based on the stations which scored maximum points on all the bands in the three categories (a) Base, (b) Field and (c) Club Multi-operator.


(2) The longest distance on analogue or digital achieved on each band exceeding 400 kilometres.


(3) The Divisional overall winners who scored the most points on all the five bands in each of the three main categories (a, b and c) on analogue or in the digital modes. This will offer every division an opportunity to win certificates in the main categories.


(4) Participants in the Rover and Limited categories, can only qualify as an overall winner or runner-up based on their maximum scores on all the five bands. Likewise the 144 MHz FM category will only feature a winner and runner-up but in their respective divisions.


9. Further Information


For further information please contact the Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society, PO Box 10402, Linton Grange 6015, Port Elizabeth, or e-mail: or Cell No. O84 612 9600.