Updated February 2020



1. Introduction


1.1 The PEARS National VHF and UHF contest will take place from 17 to 19 January 2020 and is open to all licensed amateurs in

the RSA, including non-members of the SARL, as well as amateurs from the neighbouring states.

1.2. The aim of a VHF and UHF contest is to stimulate activity on these bands, make many long-distance contacts possible, establish new records, encourage the improvement of VHF and UHF equipment and advance amateur radio.

1.3 This is a 44-hour dual contest for analogue and digital modes, which is divided into 2 sessions that will spread out activity

over the contest period and reflect changes of propagation.

1.4 So, watch out for Tropo Ducting or Meteor Scatter in the early mornings or at night on 50 MHz and 144 MHz, while in the

daytime look out for Rover stations, Aircraft scatter and possibly Sporadic-E. This is also 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 and UHF contest starts at 16:00 UTC on Friday 17 January and closes at 14:00 UTC on Saturday afternoon 18 January. The second 22-hour session commences immediately after 14:00 UTC on Saturday and ends at 12:00 UTC on Sunday 19 January 2020.


3. Categories


3.1. 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.

3.2. 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.

3.3. Club Multi-Operator Station. A Club Multi-operator station can only operate under the

Club 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.

3.4. Rover Category. A Rover is a mobile station that operates from a stationary position in any four 4-digit grid squares during a session. Rover activity should be encouraged as they create a lot of extra activity during a VHF contest and should appeal to townhouse amateurs.

3.5. Limited Category. This category is limited to a total of 4 hours per session 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.  

3.6. The 144,400 MHz and 145,500 MHz FM Category. The main objective of this divisional FM category is to encourage the younger generation, novices or even some old-timers, to participate and get the taste of VHF contesting using simplified rules. You may operate with any type of equipment or antennas on 144,350 144,400 MHz FM and/or 145,500 145,575 MHz FM, fixed or mobile and try and make as many contacts as possible. You only have to exchange signal reports, but could learn about propagation, have fun and compare notes. You can score 10 points for each contact you make in your own division or 20 points from another division. Stations from other categories and divisions may also QSY to these frequencies and give you some points, of course, they will score their normal one point per kilometre, but you must now give them your grid locator too. 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.


4. Contest Frequency Channels


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

145,500 145,575 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


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

4.2. CW stations call CQ 1 kHz above the SSB frequency, (for example 50,201 MHz or 144,201 MHz, to be audible to USB stations too, but you must work CW stations 20 kHz higher in frequency, i.e. 50,220 MHz CW or 144,220 MHz CW).

4.3. Since VHF amateurs are widely spread out across South Africa, 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 ZR/ZS/ZU 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.


6. Reports and Scoring


6.1 A valid contact consists of an exchange of call signs, signal reports and the locator, such as the 6-digit Maidenhead Locator or co-ordinates. Stations in the five categories (3.1 to 3.5) 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. A Rover station can be worked from four different 4-digit grid squares and each will count as a new contact.

6.2 A multiplier, based on the total number of four-digit grid squares worked on all bands, will multiply the scores achieved on all bands and categories. The motive behind this is to encourage long distance operation and to log as many 4-digit grid squares as possible on all the VHF and UHF bands to boost your score.


7. Log Sheets


7.1. Separate log sheets are required for analogue and digital. The top of your log sheet must indicate Category, Full Name, Call Sign, Locator and E-mail Address.

7.2. The log sheets require only the Date, Time, Frequency, Call Sign of the station worked, Signal Reports received, the Locator of station worked. Please note that Rover stations must add the suffix /R to their call signs (e.g. ZS6XYZ/R).

7.3 All entries must be submitted to PEARS not later than 14 February 2020 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 web site early in March 2020.


8. Awards


PEARS will award certificates to the analogue and digital winners and runners-up as

listed below:

8.1. 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 (3.1) Base, (3,2) Field and (3.3) Club Multi-operator.

8.2. The longest distance on analogue or digital achieved on each band exceeding 400 kilometres.

8.3. The Divisional overall analogue winner and first and second runner-up who scored the most points on all the five bands in each of the three main categories (3.1, 3.2 and 3.3) on analogue mode. This will offer three participants in every division an opportunity to be awarded with certificates.

8.4. Participants in the Rover and Limited categories can qualify as an overall winner or first runner-up or second runner-up based on their maximum scores on all the five bands.

8.5. The 144 MHz and 145 MHz FM category will also feature an overall winner and first and second runner-up 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, e-mail at contest[at]