There’s a new contest debuting October 3–4, 2020 for portable Amateur Radio Operators, and those living under onerous HOA restrictions or the realities of limited real estate: the Portable Operations Challenge (POC). Potential participants are encouraged to add this event to their calendars and review the Operator Resources.
This contest—developed by Frank Howell, K4FMH—is “aimed at leveling the competitive playing field between fixed stations and portable stations”1 through the use of a scoring system which gives portable stations a handicap advantage. In the words of the contest founder:
The POC aims to make portable operations “on par” with more typical QTH-based operations while preserving the enjoyment of being in a new operating environment. Moreover, QTH-based operators can also easily participate in the action, challenging the handicapped-scoring for portable ops. Can the Super Station contester best the Little Pistol portable operation? If we use a scoring metric that reduces the advantages of QTH-bound stations to that of pure radio sport operating, is there a chance that an efficient portable operator or team can come out ahead of the current winning contest station operators? That’s why this is called the Portable Operations Challenge2
The Grand Prize Donor for the POC is MFJ Enterprises.
The POC is endorsed by four Amateur Radio Entities:
- ARRL National Contesting Journal
- UK DX Foundation
- South African Radio League
- Hellenic Amateur Radio Association of Australia
Despite the ARRL NCJ endorsement, this contest is neither an ARRL nor an NCJ official event.
The POC—mentioned by RRRA member on the Club Announcements and Club Discussions mailing lists—was featured in the ARRL News story: New Contest for Portable Stations to Debut in October on August 18, 2020.
Operation Time Limit
POC Operators must adhere to the contest operation time limit posted on the contest page:
Contest operation time—8-hour contiguous window within the 48-hours—chosen by the contestant to suit the appropriate region in the world where the entrant resides. The organisers wish the contestants to consider all dangers in the time window that they chose (e.g. putting up or taking down a portable station in the dark is not recommended). Operation outside of this 8-hour window contacting other POC competing stations is not allowed and will be controlled through log checking—this is to avoid entrants “cherry picking” of the best 8 hours from their log should the contestant operate a longer period than 8 hours in the POC. Contestants must also work within any local regulations, such as those to control the COVID-19 pandemic.3
This limit is also discussed on page 1 of the POC rules document.
This information is hidden under the POC “tab” on the Portable Operations Challenge page:
- Rules and Scoring
- Rules Document
- Codes of Conduct and Helpful Suggestions
- Steering Committee
- PR Material
“New Contest for Portable Stations to Debut in October”, ARRL The National Association for Amateur Radio, accessed August 22 2020, http://www.arrl.org/news/new-contest-for-portable-stations-to-debut-in-october. ↩︎