Please note that the rules for 2023 have changed from previous years. Please read all rules carefully.


A six hour contest to inspire amateurs around Ohio to operate all-mode simplex to simulate emergency communications.

1 Period

The Ohio VHF+ Simplex contest occurs on the second Saturday of January. The contest period extends from 1000 AM EST to 1600 PM EST. All stations may operate the full six hours. The 2023 contest will be January 14.

2 Bands & Modes

2.1 Bands

Operation on all bands from 50 MHz (6m) and up are permitted. For the most common bands, the following frequencies are recommended:

  • 6m: 52.525 MHz, 52.540 MHz, 52.510 MHz
  • 2m: 146.490 MHz, 146.460 MHz, 146.520 MHz
  • 70cm: 446.000 MHz, 446.100 MHz, 446.050 MHz

2.2 Modes

Operation on all modes permitted from 50 MHz (6m) and up are permitted. Modes for the purposes of the rules and scoring in this contest will be grouped as follows:

  • FM Analog Voice
  • Phone – SSB and AM analog voice
  • CW
  • Digital Voice – any non-analog voice mode carrying voice traffic (e.g. D-STAR, YSF, DMR, etc.)
  • Digital Data – any non-voice/audio data mode generally accepted for emergency use by NBEMS/ARES and supported by FLDigi all count as the mode “Digital Data” regardless of emission type and modulation – e.g. MT63-2K, OLIVIA, etc.

2.3 Simplex Requirement

All contacts must be made using station to station simplex transmissions. No repeaters, hotspots, or other types of relaying are permitted. Cross-mode or cross-band contacts are not permitted.

2.4 Multiple Stations Contacts

All stations, except for Rovers, may be worked one per band per mode. Contacts between two stations on the same band but different modes count for two QSOs. For example, W1AW may be contacted on both 6m FM and 6m SSB as separate contacts. Rover operations may be worked once per band and mode combination for each county from which the rover operates.

3 Entry Categories


Any fixed station operating from a permanent installation of transceiver or antenna regardless of power source.


An Emergency Operations Center is defined as any amateur radio station at an established EOC communication site or field-deployed in a manner consistent with ARES support of Served Agencies. Stations may utilize equipment and antennas temporarily or permanently installed at the “EOC” consistent with the following:

  • Any station using equipment and antennas permanently installed at an Agency EOC as described in ARRL Field Day Rule 4.8.1
  • Any station operating from a mobile EOC command post vehicle so long as the mobile EOC is owned by an EMA and is a purpose-built/purpose-designated EOC vehicle (e.g. mobile command center)
  • A privately-owned vehicle/trailer that is purpose-designed for EMA/EOC support and is regularly operated in support of served agencies as part of exercises or deployments – i.e. it cannot be used just for contesting or as part of a general system (e.g. a camper, general-purpose trailer, etc).
  • An “in the field” deployment established according to defined operating plans/principles previously determined and exercised as an ARES operation in support of a Served Agency


Any station established in a temporary location that does not normally have a radio and antenna installed. Such stations must be located in places that are not regular station locations and must not use facilities installed for permanent station use. Commercial electric may be used by a PORTABLE station, if available however bonus points are awarded for non-commercial power operation.


A station that operates from non-permanent locations in two or more counties. A rover may operate stationary or in motion. A rover must be a single vehicle that transports all equipment, antenna and power for the station. A rover vehicle may transport only one operation using a single call sign, however rover may operate more than on transceiver. Rovers must sign “rover” on Phone and /R on CW and digital modes after their call sign. Rovers may be worked or work other stations once per band + mode per county the rover travels through. For example, a rover in Summit County worked on 2m and 6m FM Voice may again be worked on 2m and 6m FM Voice when it moves to Medina County.

4 Exchange

The exchange must include your station callsign, your county, and location identifier. The location identifier is your six-character maidenhead grid square or the phrase “QTH” noting you’re operating from your home station. Rovers must report the county and grid square from which they are presently operating. Non-Ohio stations send their state, county, and location identifier. Entry categories of EOC must include that the station is an EOC by appending “E” or “EOC” to the exchange. Ohio ARES Officials (see rule 7.1) operating in the contest should identify themselves as part of the exchange for the other party’s bonus points.

Stations are encouraged to announce the station details if you wish so that other stations can judge the performance of their equipment. This is NOT a part of the required exchange.

An example exchange:
Station A – CQ CQ this is WW8TF for Ohio VHF+ Simplex
Station B – WW8TF this is W1AW
Station A – W1AW this is WW8TF Summit County EN91DB
Station B – Thanks WW8TF, I am Holmes County QTH

5.1 Scoring

5.2 QSO Points

A QSO is counted as one contact between stations per band and mode (e.g. 2m FM, 2m SSB, 6m FM, and 6m SSB would be four QSOs).

  • Each QSO scores 1 point except for on 6m
  • Each QSO on 6 meters scores as 10 points.
  • For each QSO with an EOC operation (see rule 3.2) adds an additional five points to the QSO score (QSO would score as 6 points normally, 15 points for 6m).
  • For each QSO with an ARES Official (see rule 7.1) adds an additional ten points to the QSO score (QSO would score as 11 points normally, 20 points for 6m).
  • An Ohio ARES Official (see rule 7.1) operating from an EOC scores both bonus points – EOC and ARES Official. A non-6m QSO would be worth 16 points and a 6m QSO would be worth 25 points.

5.3 Multipliers

  • Multiply your QSO Points by the total number of counties contacted.
  • Rover operations receive a double multiplier – QSO Points x Counties x 2

5.4 Bonus Points

  • ROVER stations add 25 to your final score.
  • EOC stations add 200 to your final score.
  • PORTABLE stations add 100 points to your final score.
  • PORTABLE and FIXED stations using power supplied by anything other than commercial electric service add an additional 50 points to you final score. Batteries, including HT batteries, charged by commercial power is acceptable as long as all charging occurs before operations begin and may not be charged during the contest.
  • Any station beaconing their location over APRS or sending contest location information (such as a rover station tracking itself or an information broadcast about the contest) add 15 to your final score. See 7.4 below.

6 Reporting

6.1 Logs

All entrants are required to log all QSOs and retain those logs for three months following the contest. The logs must include the time, band, mode, callsign, and exchanged county. QSOs with rovers and various bonus stations must be noted.

6.2 Submissions

All entrants must report their score using the form at No paper submissions will be accepted.

Checklogs from non-participants are not required for participants to receive points for a QSO.

7 Miscellaneous

7.1 Ohio ARES Official

For this contest, an “Ohio ARES Official” counts as the following as described in the ARRL ARES Manual (rev 2015) Chapter 1 – Section Manager, Section Emergency Coordinator, District Emergency Coordinator, Assistant DEC, Emergency Coordinator (i.e. County EC in Ohio ARES), Assistant Emergency Coordinator. In addition, and only for the purposes of this contest, “Ohio ARES Official” includes appointed ARRL Official Emergency Stations.

7.2 Coordination of QSOs

All entrants, regardless of category, are permitted to pre-plan or “spot” themselves using APRS, Internet, social media, etc. Entrants may advertise on nets, newsletters, etc. Repeaters may be used to coordinate contacts or announce operations. Rover operations are permitted and encouraged to publish their routes.

Participants should not self-spot to the “DX Clusters”.

7.3 Multi-Multi / SO2R

All entry categories may be operated multi-operator multi-station (“multi-multi”) or single operator two radio (“SO2R”) but only under a single callsign and entry.

7.4 APRS

All participants are encouraged to transmit APRS beacons to announce their station, the contest information, or to track their movements (e.g. rovers). Transmission of APRS packets may be from any radio or Internet-connected system (i.e. APRS-IS). Any one APRS broadcast counts for the bonus. Please broadcast at responsible intervals (e.g. fixed location stations once per hour, rovers use “smart beaconing” based on speed).

8 Rulings and Disputes

Decisions on eligibility of participants, interpretations of rules, decisions on disputes, or any adjudication of submissions is executed by the Section Emergency Coordinator and the Section Manager. Their decisions are final.