DARC, AMRAD and RSGB 136kHz Transatlantic Challenge

The LF Transatlantic Challenge is a memorial to the late Peter Bobek, DJ8WL/DA0LF, for his work on 160m and 136kHz. The DARC, AMRAD and RSGB collectively sponsored the Challenge.

Details of the challenge

Two pairs of trophies are to be awarded one for each of the pair of amateur stations who make the first confirmed 2-way LF Transatlantic QSO on the 136kHz amateur allocation. Awards will also be issued for reception and distance records. The details are given below. For the purpose of this challenge, by Transatlantic, we require that one of the two Amateur Radio stations be located in the US or Canada, and the other one in Europe. For the purpose of this challenge Europe is taken to mean Continental Europe, Gt. Britain, Northern Ireland and Eire (regrettably we have decided to exclude Greenland, Iceland and the Azores from qualifying for the challenge).

1. An Award will be issued to recognise the first European amateur or SWL to receive either a USA or a Canadian amateur station operating at 136 kHz once the band is allocated to the Amateur Radio Service in either country.

2. An Award will also be issued for the first USA station and another Award for the first Canadian station to receive a European amateur 136 kHz station. Both awards have now been made to Dexter McIntyre, W4DEX and John Curry, VE1ZJ respectively.

3. The LF Transatlantic Challenge is pair of Trophies for the first two-way Europe-USA 136 kHz contact once the band is allocated to the Amateur Radio Service. For the purposes of this Challenge a 2 way QSO is considered to have been completed with the exchange of callsigns and signal reports, between the two stations, during a continuous period of operation not exceeding 24 hours.

4. Additionally, a pair of Trophies will also be awarded for the first two-way Europe-Canada 136 kHz contact, conditions as defined above. The Canadian Award has been shared by two groups – the contact between VE1ZZ, VE1ZJ and G3LDO on 13th February ’01, and also the contact between VA3LK and G3AQC between 5th and 19th February 2001.

5. A necessary condition for making the award of the Trophies is that the claimant(s) must provide a reasonable explanation as to how their transmitting station conformed to their licence conditions.

6. Prior to the award of the Trophies, Certificates were awarded to the pair of amateur stations who currently held the distance record on the 136kHz amateur band. Certificates were awarded in the following categories:

a) 2-way QSO, with callsign and signal report exchange using receiving and transmitting equipment and communication modes common on the HF bands, e.g. normal speed CW, PSK31, etc.

b) 2-way QSO, with callsign and signal report exchange using receiving and/or transmitting equipment where low-information rate techniques are used which require something in excess of 30 minutes and less than 24 hours to complete a QSO.

c) A reception report verified by the transmitting amateur-station.

Since the winning of the Trophy for the two-way transatlantic contacts the issuing of these certificates has been discontinued. The remaining trophy will only available for being won, if and when US amateurs gain licenses for full amateur operation on 136kHz.