2
$\begingroup$

I have noticed that participants in an HF exchange will often give number and a letter followed by a state, e.g. 1E Wisconsin. What does this mean?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 19 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ Hi John, a very similar question has been asked and answered here. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 19 at 21:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MikeWaters shoot, I searched and didn't find that one. Voting to close. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 19 at 21:54
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? What does "THREE ALPHA in Virginia" mean? $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 19 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @rclocher3 It would be better if we first shared the reason why (with links), especially because John is a newbie, and he did ask a good question. We don't want to scare him off. :-) $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 19 at 23:52
3
$\begingroup$

So in a radio contest, there are definite rules about what information must be sent and received for the contact to be valid for contest points. The information that must be traded is known as the "exchange", in contesting lingo.

The example you gave sounds like the ARRL's Field Day. The ARRL don't describe Field Day as a contest; they describe it as "a local event and an opportunity for local amateur radio clubs to showcase the skills, science and technologies that make radio communication such a wonderful hobby and a valuable public service." However, in the course of this event, contacts are made according to rules. To many contesters, if it looks like an elephant, acts like an elephant, and smells like an elephant, then it's probably an elephant; in other words, many contesters view Field Day as a contest, and treat it as such.

According to the Field Day 2020 Rules (PDF), the exchange is the Field Day operating class and the ARRL or RAC section. In your example, "1E" is the operating class, which means a single-transmitter station running from a permanent location (i.e. home), but on emergency power. The ARRL section in your example is Wisconsin. Many ARRL sections have the same borders as US states, but not all; some states include several sections. Here's a web page that has several ARRL and RAC section maps.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We should point out that Field Day is probably the only "contest" that uses that number-letter information. Other contests, (and in operating in general) you'll also hear two letters followed by 2 numbers (e.g., EM59) which is a grid locator square, (q.v.) or a short-hand notation for roughly where the station is located. $\endgroup$ – Duston May 20 at 12:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ All sorts of data are passed as part of contest exchanges: ARRL section, grid square, output power, CQ Magazine zone, ITU zone, serial number, club membership number... Contest administrators like to be creative. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 20 at 15:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.