The Milwaukee Radio Amateurs’ Club (MRAC), one of the oldest, continuously operating amateur radio clubs in the world, invites you to join us for our annual MRAC FM Simplex Contest. 


This year’s contest takes place on the afternoon of 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The purpose of this contest is to encourage amateurs to learn the basics of contesting and simplex operations, and to expand the scope of their VHF-UHF operating techniques beyond what’s needed for standard repeater operation. 


  1. Contest Information:
    1. This event is a sprint, lasting 3 hours from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm CST. 
    2. Contacts are limited to FM Simplex on the following amateur bands: 
      1. 2 meter: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
      2. 70 centimeter: 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm
      3. 6 meter: 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
      4. 1.25 meter: 3:00 pm – 3:30 pm
      5. Digital voice QSOs (using D-Star or Fusion modes): 3:30 pm – 4:00 pm 
        1. Any band may be used for these contacts, though 2m and 70cm primary frequencies are recommended (see below). 
  2. Contest Frequencies
    1. Contest frequencies fall within the Wisconsin Association of Repeaters band plan.
      1. 2 meters:
        1. Primary: 146.550, 146.565, 146.580, and 146.595 MHz
        2. Secondary: 147.540 147.555 147.570, and 147.585 MHz
        3. Digital Modes: 
          1. D-Star: 145.670 MHz
          2. Fusion: 145.5625 MHz
      2. 70 centimeters
        1. Primary: 446.025, 446.050, 446.075 and 446.100 MHz
        2. Secondary: 446.125, 446.150, 446.175, 446.200 MHz
        3. Digital Modes: 
          1. D-Star: 446.100 MHz
          2. Fusion: 446.150 MHz
      3. 6 meters:
        1. Primary: 52.550, 52.570, and 52.590 MHz
      4. 1.25 meters
        1. 223.520, 223.540, 223.560, and 223.580 MHz
    2. Frequencies essentially follow the ARRL VHF Contest rules and Wisconsin Association of Repeaters’ band plans:
      1. On 2 meters: 
        1. No contacts on the 146.520 MHz calling frequency, or the guard channels 15 kHz above and below 146.520MHz. 
        2. Any entry from a station heard making QSO’s on these frequencies will be disqualified.  
          1. Try to limit activity to the primary and secondary frequencies. 
      2. As a matter of courtesy and good amateur practice, contacts on other calling frequencies of 52.525, 223.500, and 446.000 MHz are not allowed. 
      3. Solicitation for simplex contacts on repeaters is allowed. 
  3. Exchange
    1. Call Sign and four-character Maidenhead Grid square.
  4. Scoring
    1. Point Values
      1. 2 meter QSOs are worth one (1) point. 
      2. 70 centimeter and 6 meters QSOs are worth two (2) points.
      3. 1.25 meter QSOs are worth three (3) points. 
      4. Digital mode contacts are worth three (3) points. 
    2. Working the Bands
      1. A station can be worked once per band.  
      2. A mobile or HT station may be worked more than once per band if it moves to a different grid square. 
      3. When operating Digital voice, you are allowed to work a station in both Fusion and DStar. Please indicate the digital mode used for each contact. 
    3. Multiplier – Grid Squares
      1. Each unique grid square can be used once per band as a multiplier. 
      2. You cannot count grids already worked in FM while operating digital. Only a new grid worked while in a digital mode.
    4. Calculating Points
      1. The score is calculated by multiplying total QSO points by total multipliers. 
      2. Technicians may multiply their final score by 1.5 for a bonus.
      3. A bonus of 100 points is added to the final score for working club station W9RH once on any band.
  5. Entry Classifications:
    1. There are four (4) entry classifications:
      1. BASE
        1. Less than 150 watts on 6m and 2m and less than 100 watts on 1.25m and 70cm.
      2. MOBILE
        1. Must work from a minimum of two (2) grid squares on any of the bands and power levels same as those specified for the BASE station classification.
      3. HT (not a mobile radio run at reduced power)
        1. Non-amplified, using any type of antenna, mobile or fixed operation (This is to encourage innovation and creativity. For example you could operate from a tall building or observation tower). 
      4. CLUBS
        1. Compete by having their members note their affiliation when they send in an entry.  
  6. Awards: 
    1. First Place awards are given in each of the four entry classifications: Base, Mobile, HT, and Club.
    2. Additional First Place awards are given for individuals with the highest score for an individual band and in each classification where significant logged activity exists: 2m, 70cm, 6m, 1.25m, and Digital 
      1. So a total of nine (9) First Place awards are possible for each year’s contest.
    3. Second and Third Place awards are at the committee’s discretion.
    4. Awards will be published on the MRAC website ( no later than May 1 of the contest year. 
  7. Contest Entry Submission:
    1. All entries must include a copy of the contest log showing the following data for each QSO:  
      1. Band –  Time – Call Sign of Station Worked – Grid Square  
    2. An entry must state: 
      1. The number of QSOs
      2. QSO points
      3. Grid square multipliers by band
      4. Claimed total score
      5. A copy of the contest log.  
        1. Club affiliation is limited to only one club.
    3. Entries should be sent in by March 18th, 2024. 
    4. Submit logs online at Fill out the Google form and attach you log. We prefer a Cabrillo file but will take a text, CSV or scanned paper log. 



Before the contest starts 

  1. Program memory channel with suggested simplex frequencies. Make sure to program these memories with CTCSS and Tone Squelch (Encode – Decode) and repeater offset off. Some Yaesu radios may add a repeater offset if using the radio in VFO mode. 


If you take advantage of the rule that permits solicitation of contacts on a repeater.

    1. Find an open simplex frequency from the secondary frequencies. 
    2. Listen for 60 seconds to make sure it is clear. 
    3. Provide this frequency to the stations on the repeater.


The Maidenhead Grid Square is the most common multiplier in VHF/UHF contests and is more important than states.  

    1. Stations can also look up their grid square at:
    2. In the Milwaukee area, four grid squares intersect near the intersection of Beloit and 70th Street. The exact location is at N 43 00’ 00” W 88 00’ 00”.  
      1. In relation to that intersection:
        1. Northwest quadrant is: EN53
        2. Southwest quadrant is: EN52
        3. Northeast quadrant is: EN63
        4. Southeast quadrant is: EN62


Logging can be done by hand or by PC logging. N3FJP has a VHF Contest log program. It will not tally our scoring system however we will accept the Cabrillo file format for log submission along with our summary sheet. Please submit you log online here


Download the FM-Contest-Rules-2024-Booklet here.