The Backpackers Series of Contests

Aims :

a. To promote the fun of contesting and to develop skills in contesting and operating.

b. To increase access to major contesting events.

c. To encourage low power portable operation with operators working fellow low power enthusiasts from a variety of hill-top sites within the UK.

d. To introduce the art of contesting to those who, for various reasons are unable / unwilling to form / join contest groups or those who simply do not have the time for "full-blown" contests.

e. To promote innovation, home construction and an awareness of how equipment actually works, particularly in the development of receivers, transmitters, antennas, pre-amplifiers and feeder systems.

It is in the spirit of the contests that the equipment should be capable of being carried to the operating site by the operator(s) or being transported / erected outside a car.


"Socially acceptable" FOUR hour periods. Timing of the contests should allow participants time to (walk) reach their destination, set-up, operate, clear away and return home with a good margin of daylight. Times will be staggered to co-ordinate with existing contests. For dates and times, see the individual contest rules table.

Modes : All mode.

Sections : a) 10W Single Operator Portable. b) 10W Multi-Operator Portable.

c) 3W Single Operator Portable. d) 3W Multi-Operator Portable.

The listed power is output from the transmitter. Participants will be expected to demonstrate how their power level was determined, particularly where the basic commercial equipment is rated at higher output power.

Restrictions :

1. All operators must be RSGB members.

2. The contest is open to all stations, but only portable stations may submit a contest entry.

3. Although any number of antennas or groups are permitted, no fixed or mobile towers, cranes or any other "significant structure" (in excess of 2" outside diameter) is to be used as support. The highest feed-point of the antenna(s) driven element will be limited to 30' (9m)part of any antenna will be limited to 10m above ground level.

4. All equipment must be battery powered. If a mains rotator is envisaged, they must also be powered from a single source battery (with suitable converter circuitry) supply not exceeding 28V.

5. Petrol / Gas / Diesel generators for charging are not permitted. This includes a motor vehicle engine. If operating from a vehicle supply, the engine must be switched off for the duration of the contest. Wind and solar power generation and charging is permitted.

6. In addition, the 1999 General Rules apply.

Scoring : This is at 1 point per km (general rule 5a) with a multiplier applied. The multiplier type differs between individual contests in order to match the exchange in the main contest running at the same time - check the individual rules table carefully.

Award : Each session should be treated as a separate contest. Please submit an entry after each session. Session winners and runner's-up certificates will be awarded. In addition, a certificate will be awarded to the leading station running one watt or less into a single antenna for each session.

On 144 MHz, The Backpacker's Trophy will be awarded to the leading stations in either category, the best three placings out of a maximum of five sessions. Scores will be normalised as in general rule 5c. In the event of a tie, if appropriate, the remaining session will be taken into consideration. The 50MHz Backpackers Trophy will be determined from the two sessions.

Recommendation : If stations intend to enter any of these Backpackers contests, they are requested not to call stations in the major events which run alongside from home before the contest as they may, in effect, appear to be working the same station twice. This in fact is not the case as the Backpackers series should be seen as separate, independent events. However, the reality of the situation is such that stations operating in the major events will effectively register the second, portable contact as a "dupe", thereby causing some confusion and delay. Should this happen, the second contact should be corrected and scored at a later time. This anomaly has arisen as a result of attempting to create more activity by co-ordinating two quite different contests simultaneously. Backpacker's participants, in particular, are requested to bear this in mind in order to help both contests to run as smoothly as possible.