The Scandinavian Activity Contest is one of my favourites (especially when there’s propagation which hasn’t been the case on the bands for the last few months).
To work the SAC from North America you do need a beam for 20-15-10 and a reasonably good 40 meter antenna (full size dipole at least 33 feet up in the clear with the broadside oriented towards the north-north east).
The Russian DX Contest is very much the same and these medium-sized contests offer great opportunities for new contesters to get their feet wet in time-limited, fairly friendly competitive environments.
Best of all this year the SAC committee has put out a rather nice PDF summary of contest results along with stories from participants. There’s a story from a guy in Japan who runs the 50-watt Japanese mobile power limit (Bet you didn’t know that there was a power limit on mobile operation. I sure didn’t.). And another story was about a guy who ran QRP completely exceeding his expectations and then there are stories from guys who ran serious contest stations.
This rather wonderful report is an insight into contesting in all its forms. With contesting season wrapping up in the next few weeks it’s time to use the nice weather to fix antennas and add radials to the vertical and checking he grounding connections.
I’ve already started my list for small parts from my annual trip to Dayton (two runs of coax, some inside station connectors, more crimp-on connectors, maybe another QRP rig….)