Bill Erickson HF Challenge
  -- by Dawn, KC9LQS

Following is a summary of how the HF Challenge works for those who are new to the event. If you haven’t worked the Challenge lately, or if you’re new to the club or HF operation, you are strongly encouraged to get involved!

The Goal: To contact as many of the states, provinces and DX entities as possible from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. You may record two contacts with each state, province and DX entity. New for 2014, you can report two contacts with the same station in a state, province or country, one between January and June, and another between July and December. (For current participants, please note that this is the only change for 2014. Last year, the rules of the Challenge specified that two different stations had to be contacted.)

The Categories: Participants may enter the challenge in the following classes.
LIMITED CLASS is a niche for those who choose to operate within selected limitations, including CW only, QRP (5 watts or less), digital mode, or single band.
OPERATOR CLASS is for those making contacts with 250 watts of power or less, in any mode.
QRO CLASS is for those using any mode with any legal power output.
RAG CHEWER CLASS only counts contacts that last at least 10 minutes, in any mode.

The Operation: The purpose of the Bill Erickson HF Challenge is to stimulate operating activity. The main requirement, of course, is that you get on the air. Resources are in the works to help those who need a hand in order to do that. If you need help configuring your station or aren’t yet sure how to go about calling CQ or working a pile-up, watch for articles, operating events and mentoring opportunities to help you get started.

The Reporting: Presumably, everyone has a logging program with which they are comfortable; from your log, record your HF contacts on the Challenge reporting sheet on a regular basis. (See Joe NA9A for the worksheet, or email your request to challenge [at]

The ArcOver: Part of the fun is seeing how other participants are doing throughout the year, so operators are encouraged to submit their total scores via email to challenge[at] by the 15th of each month. Joe has shared an Excel form he’s been using for this purpose. If you choose to use it, you can easily report your updates each month and be assured that all the necessary information will be included.

The Results: More on-air activity! Joe emphasizes that the Challenge isn’t a contest in the usual sense. Although a little friendly competition makes it more fun, the real purpose of this activity is to provide a framework within which to operate, so that more of us will get on the air more often and exercise the operating privileges we worked so hard to earn!

“In any class, just one contact on any HF band, in any mode, means you met the challenge,” Joe wrote in the worksheet, “and you’ll receive a beautiful certificate documenting your achievement.”

Everyone who participates in the HF Challenge will be acknowledged and receive their certificates during the FRRL annual awards banquet in January.

Direct your questions and comments to Joe during our monthly meetings, or via email to challenge[at] Happy DXing!

Monthly Updates

For Monthly update reports see the Bill Erickson HF Challenge section of the ArcOver Newsletter.