To promote and explore the hobby of amateur radio. Providing quality training for all amateurs and in all aspect of the hobby.

The First Poundshop Challenge

Welcome to our first Poundshop Challenge. Here are the outline rules of the competiton. These might change between now and the beginning of the competition in July so please check back.

Broadly the rules are :-

1) The antenna must cost no more than £5 excluding the feeder (the feeder includes one socket at the feedpoint of the antenna)

2) The antenna can be a simple wire antenna such as a dipole. However, we can tell you now, that it won't get many points for Engineering Ingenuity or Artistic Merit. That would be too easy!

3) No existing junkbox items may be used - no insulators, nuts, bolts, tie-wraps, string etc. All items must be new and unused. You may solder components together but the solder must not form a significant part of the antenna (i.e. you can't use solder as a driven or parasitic element!) You may also use existing stocks of glue (super, hot melt, epoxy, UHU, whatever takes your fancy) for fastening stuff together.

4) Receipts must be kept and the only items that can be used for creating the antenna must be shown on the receipt(s).

5) The antenna can be mounted either indoors or outdoors but outdoor antenna automatically get 5 extra points as they will have to stand the weather for the duration of the challenge.

6) The challenge lasts for one month. During this time the antenna must be constructed, mounted and used.

7) You can work as an individual or as a team. However, you cannot pool funds. There is a £5 limit per antenna.

Points will be awarded for the following :-

1) Engineering ingenuity (10)

Have you lashed the antenna together in a manner that a boy scout would be proud of!

2) DXability (10)

10 points will be awarded per band for the longest distance contact established using the poundshop antenna. The contact must be one to one and not done via repeater, satellite, internet etc. You may use the moon or any other celestial object to complete your QSO so EME, EVE, Meteor Scatter, Bouncing Your Signal Off a UFO all count! A QSL card or eQSL confirming the contact would be nice but not essential.

1 point per QSO made using the poundshop antenna.

3) The Cheapskate multipliers

For every penny over £5 that your receipt(s) shows, your final score will be divided by that number (so best that you don't go over!) £5.01 will be counted as £5.02 and your final score will be halved!

For every pound bracket under £4 that your antenna comes in at, you get an extra 10 points. So if you antenna costs between £3 and £3.99 you get 10 points, for £2 - £2.99 you get 20 points, for £1 - 1.99 you get 30 points and for £0.01 to £0.99 you get 40 points extra.

4) Artistic merit

Is your antenna a thing of beauty? The judges will award 10, 7 and 5 points to the first, second and third most amazing and truly amateur looking antennae.

5) Durability

Has your antenna lasted the test of time? For the duration of the challenge, has the antenna lasted?

Special Notes - the judges decision is final and unbendable! The judges are Rob, M0RBY, Andy, M0DCD and David, G3UNA. We will remain impartial, impeneterable and unsomethingable. The rules may change between now and the beginning of the contest but will then not be changed until the end of the contest on the 7th August. We will have a special session at the RSGB SSB Field Day to award prizes and stuff. If the judges take part in the competition, then sadly they can't win it.

Have fun and don't take it all TOO seriously!

73, The RADARS Fun Department