The 2019 Lightbulb QSO Party

Many thanks to buddy, David Day (N1DAY), who shares the following announcement from his website:

Announcing the 2019 Lightbulb QSO contest, March 9th 20:00 UTC through March 10th 20:00 UTC.

We’ve all heard the stories…..Joe Elmer was so good at antenna matching that he made a 100 mile 20M QSO on an ordinary 100 watt household lightbulb.  So here is your chance to try it out.  Go traditional and compete with just a lightbulb dummy load.  Or, get creative and invent an antenna design that uses the lightbulb as a key component that makes your antenna work. Five categories of competition give you different paths to gaining bragging rights as TOP BULB in the 2019 Lightbulb QSO contest.  Categories of competition are:

1.  Household – an antenna constructed of any lightbulb available for purchase in normal home use applications.

2.  Commercial/Industrial – an antenna constructed of any lightbulb available for purchase  in commercial and/or industrial applications.

3.  Homebrew – an antenna constructed of any home made light bulb that radiates visible light when power is applied.

4.  Dummy Load – any lightbulb  that normally serves as a dummy load (see miscellaneous rules).  Please note that the administrators do not recommend this category of operation because it puts both the operator and RF sensitive equipment in close proximity to the load.  However, several, lightbulb purists wanted the category so here it is for entry at your own risk.

5. Freestyle – ?anything goes. Get creative and string all of your Christmas lights together, what ever you want and as many lightbulbs as you want.  Bring down the power grid if you must.. we just don’t care, but certainly want to reward extreme creativity.

For additional information on how a lightbulb antenna works, click  this link:  https://hamsignal.com/blog/light-bulb-antenna-basics-and-faq

Objective: 

The Objective of the Lightbulb QSO contest is to build and use an antenna constructed in a manner so that the lightbulb is a key component of the antenna and to promote understanding and practical application of antenna matching concepts that allow a lightbulb to be used as a radiator in two way radio communications.

Dates:

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 20:00 UTC through  Sunday, March 10th, 2019 20:00 UTC.

Bands of Operation:

160M, 80M, 40M, 20M, 15M, 10M, 6M

As you might notice, this isn’t the typical QSO Party.

I love the idea–it reminds me of a QSO party I did once which challenged you to use unconventional antennas (I logged a number of contacts using a pair of trampolines!).

I also appreciate the opportunity to build something new and participate in a contest that (obviously) doesn’t take itself too seriously. What fun!

David has spent several months building a variety of lightbulb antennas.  Here are a few of his creations:

If a Lightbulb QSO Party sounds like fun to you, start planning your antenna now!

David passed along the following links for guidance:

  1. https://hamsignal.com where all the research, observations, schematics, downloads etc. are located.
  2. https://hamsignal.com/blog/the-lightbulb-qso-party the page for the QSO party – rules date, times, etc.

Thanks for putting this contest together, David!

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