AFS Contest Operating Tips

Here are some operating tips which should be relevant to all three AFS Contest weekends.

Given that the stations entering will mostly be from the UK and, therefore, relatively close by in HF terms, the maximum useable frequency (MUF) will not be high compared to those for circuits between England and, say, central Europe. In fact, the intra-UK MUF may possibly drop below 7MHz shortly after 1500hrs, making the 40m band unproductive. Therefore, I would recommend that you do the bulk of your 40m operating before that time. On approach to dusk, you may end up only being able to work Scots and those on the continent, lying at greater distances than G and GW stations.

That said, with 40m likely to be very busy during the first hour or so of the contest, if you have a low-power station, you may want to try 80m at this time, as there may not be so many other stations on that band to compete with. Similarly, you may find that 7MHz is open unexpectedly late – when the bulk of your opponents will be on 3.5 – thereby making your signal stand out.

Good luck.


Evan M0TJU