Embracing the Spirit of Amateur Radio: My Experience in the ARRL June, 2024 Digital Mode Contest

Embracing the Spirit of Amateur Radio: My Experience in the June Digital Mode Contest

The first full weekend of June marks an exhilarating event for amateur radio enthusiasts worldwide—the Digital Mode Contest. This year, on June 1-2, 2024, I, KH6ML, had the pleasure of participating from my home in Kaneohe, on the beautiful island of Oahu, using my trusty Icom IC-7300 HF Radio.

Contest Objective

The contest's goal is simple yet engaging: make contact and exchange QSO information with other amateurs using any digital mode (excluding RTTY) that supports the 4-digit Grid Square exchange. The contest spans several bands, including 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, 10, and 6 meters. As a Technician, I was limited to the 10 and 6 meter bands, per FCC rules. One of the unique aspects of this contest is that automated operation is not permitted—each contact must involve direct initiation by the operator on both sides. This rule ensures that the spirit of genuine communication and interaction is maintained.

Contest Period

The contest kicked off at 1800 UTC on Saturday and concluded at 2359 UTC on Sunday. This provided ample time for operators across the globe to connect, exchange grid squares, and experience the camaraderie that defines the amateur radio community.

My Experience: I stuck to two modes: FT-8 and FT-4, Max power was less than 100 watts.

Despite the challenges posed by solar weather, I was able to make 130 contacts, reaching a variety of countries, or as we call them in the amateur radio community, DXCC entities. The thrill of making successful QSOs under varying conditions is an experience like no other. Here are the entities I managed to contact:

  • 3D2F - Fiji
  • 9M2 - West Malaysia
  • BY - China
  • DU - Philippines
  • EA - Spain
  • FK - New Caledonia
  • G - England
  • GI - Northern Ireland
  • HI - Dominican Republic
  • HL - South Korea
  • I - Italy
  • JA - Japan
  • KH6 - Hawaii
  • KL7 - Alaska
  • OZ - Denmark
  • PY - Brazil
  • SP - Poland
  • UA - Russia (EU)
  • UA0 - Russia (AS)
  • UR - Ukraine
  • W - USA
  • YB - Indonesia

Contest Details

  • Contest: ARRL-DIGI
  • Call Sign: KH6ML
  • Category: Single Operator, One Radio (SO1R), Low Power
  • Operator: SINGLE-OP -
  • Power: LOW - Created from: Highest power question (Answer: 100W or less)
  • Op Time: 24-HOURS - Created from: Time Category question
  • Location: DX
  • Station Grid: BL11CJ
  • QSOs in Log: 130
  • Raw Score: 1,565 (105 QSOs) - Note: The raw score is an estimate based solely on the individual log contents and is not used during subsequent log checking.

Why I Love Being an ARRL Member

This contest was sponsored by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League), an organization that has been instrumental in promoting and supporting amateur radio for over a century. Being a member of the ARRL has numerous benefits that enhance my amateur radio experience:

  1. Resources and Education: The ARRL provides a wealth of educational materials and resources that help me stay informed about the latest in amateur radio technology and practices. Their publications, such as QST magazine, are invaluable for learning new techniques and keeping up with the community.

  2. Advocacy: The ARRL advocates for the rights and interests of amateur radio operators at the national and international levels. They work tirelessly to protect our frequencies and ensure that amateur radio remains a vital and recognized service.

  3. Community: Being part of the ARRL connects me with a vast network of like-minded individuals who share a passion for amateur radio. This sense of community is essential for exchanging ideas, finding support, and fostering lasting friendships.

  4. Contests and Awards: The ARRL organizes numerous contests and awards programs that provide exciting opportunities to challenge myself and improve my skills. These events are a great way to stay engaged and motivated in the hobby.


Participating in the Digital Mode Contest was a remarkable experience. It allowed me to connect with fellow amateurs from diverse parts of the world, exchange information, and enhance my skills in digital communication. The contest not only tested my abilities as an operator but also reinforced the importance of perseverance and adaptability in the face of changing solar conditions.

Amateur radio is more than just a hobby; it's a way to build bridges across cultures and geographies, fostering a sense of global community. I look forward to future contests and continuing to embrace the spirit of amateur radio. Until next time, 73 from KH6ML!