SBMS 2.3 GHz and Up Contest and Club Challenge


These rules follow the same basic framework as the ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest rules.  Major differences:  all bands above 2.3 GHz count and there is a bonus for working bands above 24 GHz (three points per km of distance worked on 24 GHz and six points per km of distance worked on 47 GHz and up). Also, there is a club competition and individual winners are recognized for high scores on each band as well as on all bands.

These web pages were created by Wayne Overbeck and first appeared on

1. Object

Licensed radio amateurs work as many amateur stations in as many different locations as possible in North America on bands from 2.3 GHz through light.

2. Date and Contest period

Date and Contest Period:  the date is the weekend that includes the first Sunday in May. Usually that is the weekend prior to Mother's Day weekend in the U.S.  The date in 2023 is May 6-7. Operations may take place for 24 hours total out of the 42-hour contest period, which begins at 6:00 AM local time Saturday and ends at 11:59 PM local time Sunday. Listening time counts as operating time, but driving time between locations does not count as operating time. Times off must be clearly indicated in the log.

3. Entry Categories

3.1. Individual entries:  operate any or all amateur bands above 2.3 GHz.  Overall scores as well as the highest scores on individual bands will be published in the results.

3.2. Club competition:  club aggregate scores will be published.  The club score consists of the sum of the individual scores of club members.

4. Exchange

Six-character Maidenhead Locator (see April 1994 QST)

5. Miscellaneous

5.1. Scheduling of contacts is both permissible and encouraged.  Regardless of how a contact is arranged, call signs and exchanges must be sent, received and acknowledged on the microwave band where the contact is claimed. 

5.2. Stations are encouraged to operate from more than a single location. A station may be reworked on each band for additional distance-point credit if either station moves to a point at least 16 km (10 miles) from any previously used location, as measured in a straight line by any method described in Rule 6.5.

5.3. The shared hilltop rule:  All equipment must be capable of communicating over a distance of at least 1 km.  Because microwave operators often congregate on a hilltop, contacts over distances of less than 1 km. may be counted by any station that makes at least one other contact over more than 1 km. with the same equipment on the same band.  Contacts over less than 1 km. carry zero distance points, but the 100 QSO points for an initial contact may be counted. 

5.4. A transmitter used to contact one or more stations may not be used subsequently under any other call during the contest period except for stations shared by members of a family.  The intent of this rule is to prohibit "manufactured" contacts.

5.5. Contacts with aeronautical mobiles do not count.

6. Scoring

6.1. Distance points: For each contact, count one distance point for each whole kilometer of straight-line distance between the two stations. (See rule 6.5)

6.1.1.  Higher band bonuses:  On 2.3, 3.4, 5.7 and 10 GHz, QSOs count for one point per km.  However, on 24 GHz contacts count for three points per km.  Contacts on 47 GHz and above count for six points per km. 

6.2. QSO points: Count 100 QSO points for each unique call sign worked per band. Portable indicators added to a call sign are not considered as making the call sign unique.

6.3. Total score equals distance points plus QSO points.

6.4. There are no geographic multipliers.  Six-digit grid squares are exchanged only to facilitate distance calculations.

6.5. In making the distance calculations, a string (or ruler) and map may be used. However, calculations by computer program are preferred.  For purposes of making calculations, stations are defined as being located in the center of the 6-character locator sub-square (most computer programs make this assumption).  Computer programs that calculate distances based on the exact geographic coordinates of the two stations may also be used.

6.6  Multiband scoring example:  N6TEB on Signal Peak (DM13co) works WA6CGR on Frazier Mountain (DM04ms), a distance of 170 km., on 2.3, 3.4, 5.7, 10 and 24 GHz.  The score is as follows:  500 points for working a unique call sign on five bands plus 170 distance points each for the QSOs on 2.3, 3.4, 5.7 and 10 GHz plus 510 distance points for the 24 GHz QSO.  (500+170+170+170+170+510=1690 total points)

7. Reporting

7.1. Logs and summary sheets are available on the SBMS website for hand logging.  Computer logging is preferred.  KK6MK's spreadsheet for 10 GHz, linked to the SBMS website and available here, may be adapted for this contest.  The log should include the date, time, band, calls and six-digit grid squares exchanged plus the distance point value of each contact (distance in km times 1 for bands up to 10 GHZ or distance times 3 on 24 GHz and times 6 on higher bands).  The initial contact with each station on each band should also be flagged and the 100 initial QSO points noted.  Each log should be accompanied by a summary sheet giving the name, address and call of the operator and the club affiliation, if any.  In addition, the summary sheet should include a score on each band and the total score.  Please also include “soapbox” comments and photos.

7.2. Logs must be submitted no later than 0000 UTC, May 28, 2023.  Electronic logs or scans of paper logs should be emailed to

8. Awards and club rankings

All individual scores and club aggregate scores will be posted on the SBMS website and on other relevant online sites.  All clubs are eligible to compete by having members submit their logs, indicating their club affiliation in the summary sheet.