NVARC Lantern Battery Challenge©

Operating Parameters

Call them rules

Entry Form

Activity period

      The Lantern Battery Challenge will run from the close of the October 20th 2011 NVARC meeting till 0001 UTC March 1st 2012.


     All contacts must be made on the normal “contest” bands of 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters.  If there is interest we may include VHF/UHF as a separate category, but this does not include FM.

Modes of operation

    CW, SSB (including AM), digital (digital lumps all modes such as RTTY, PSK-31 and any other of the so called sound card modes) 

     Work any station only once per band, per mode.  For example I can work Stan, KD1LE on CW, SSB, and Digital on 80 meters for three mixed  mode contacts.  Then I can do it again on 40 meters on all three modes for three more contacts, etc. You can work stations in other contests and whatever the contest exchange is for that contest is valid for the Lantern Battery Challenge. This does present a problem in keeping track of states worked.  But an after the contact look up may be used to determine the state. For general operating contacts call, RS(T),  operators name and state are required. For DX contacts just report and name.  The country can be obtained from the prefix.


Operating Classes

          There are six entry classes:

1.    Mixed modes (CW, SSB, and Digital)

2.    CW

3.    SSB

4.    Digital, Note computer and display do not need to run on  the battery for this mode.  Only the radio.

5.    Transmit only. A separate line operated receiver may be used and just the transmitter operated on the battery.

6.    Crystal controlled transmitter.  This is for radios like the Tuna Tin and Rock Mite transmitter.  Pulling the crystal is permitted. This is a battery power transmitter only class


          Only wire antennas and a maximum height limit of 50 feet. Verticals or multi band vertical antennas such as the R7, Hustler Butternut or other antennas are included as long as they are under the 50 foot max height limit.  Wire antennas with gain are not excluded as long as it is under the 50 feet limit. 

      Unlimited mode.

      This mode is intended for those operators that want to see what they can do with their large antenna systems. They will be scored in their own class. The purpose of the rules is not to limit the number of participants, but to encourage more participation.




     Contacts may be made anywhere in the United States.  Fixed, portable or mobile, but the same lantern battery much be used for all contacts.


     Logs must be submitted with a contact summary sheet (form to be supplied later) at the end of the event.  Logs can be readable paper, original or a copy.  Electronic logs must be readable with available software in an easy and convenient form.  If we can’t read it, the entry will be set aside.  Logs must contain date and time of contact, station call, mode, frequency or band and contact information (if in a contest the contest exchanges, otherwise report name and state or country). 



     The simple number of completed contacts will determine the score.  For example ten (10)  CW contacts on 80, fifteen (15) digital contacts on 40, twelve (12)  SSB  contacts and thirteen (13) digital contacts on twenty is a Mixed mode score of fifty (50). But keep track of states and counties as they may be used for additional awards. 


          Awards will be decided by the board upon review of the entries.  We guarantee all the fame you can carry home.  But we may come up with something like cups, books, CDs.  Certainly certificates will be awarded. The idea that everybody that enters is a winner comes to my mind. Awards will be made at or after the April 2012 meeting. 

Entrance fee

          The entrance fee is to cover the cost of the battery provided by the club.  It is $15. This just covers the cost of two and a half lantern batteries.  The Entrance Fee is payable at the September meeting and must be paid by the Oct meeting to receive your battery to be eligible to enter.  [Note, we will hold open for a limited time the entrance fee payment and application form date for those members that could not make the September meeting.]

Event Spirit

          The spirit of the operating event (We are reluctant to call it a contest) is to work as may contacts as possible on the limited amount of energy in the lantern battery.  Working a station with another rig and asking them to stand by and work you with your “QRP” rig is not in the spirit of the event. 


     It should be obvious that trying to run any of the modern transceivers on the battery will be short indeed.  It will require a low power drain radio.  There are of course many of these type of radios available.  But the radios that have complicated receivers and fancy displays will require a lot of current in the receive mode.  Even a radio like the K2 which was designed for low drain and has a low current mode with slightly degraded performance draws 120 to 150 mills in receive.  That is about 50 to 100 hours of intermittent operation in receive.  A radio that draws less current will have more operating time.  Going to transmit where the battery current will increase several times at least will probably be where the battery will fail as it is exhausted of 

energy.  Lower power rigs with simpler receivers may have an advantage.  But that remains to be seen.  A big part of this is experimental. 

     There are those that will say, Well I don’t have a radio and am not going to plunk down the Big Bucks for some fancy low power radio kit or otherwise.  Well that is one reason for the “transmit only” mode.  Low power, low drain, simple transmitters are little more than a weekend project and will get you in on the fun.  There are kits available that could be used also.

    Operation with different equipment is encouraged.  The only thing is any equipment must be powered by the lantern battery supplied.  So you are free to try as many different rigs as you like during the event.  The same is true of antennas, as long as them meet the general antenna rules.  You can have as many antennas as you want as long as they meet the general rules.  So you can experiment with antennas.


     The board may modify or issue new event rules at any date as it feels  necessary  to the conduct of this operating event.    

Main Objective of the Lantern Battery Challenge. 

     Have Fun!

Issued Sep 17th 2009, revised Sep 2nd 2011


"Lantern Battery Challenge" is copyright © 2010 Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club.