Portable Derby

The CARS Portable Derby is an event for CARS members and will be during Shack Day on Saturday May 21, 2022 from 9am-1pm (operating time is 11am-1pm).


  1. To encourage and promote self-improvement and group learning through practical exercise of learned skills in the art of radio theory.
  2. Practice through demonstration the ability to operate with limited resources and make contact outside the immediate area for the purpose of obtaining assistants whether for an agency or for self in an emergency situation.
  3. Promote the Amateur Radio Service as a hobby and a valuable community resource.


  1. Bands: All amateur bands except WARC bands such as 30, 17, and 12 meters. Purpose is to communicate not promote any one band or bands.
  2. Modes: Any mode capable of conveying a message in a practical manor to assist or ask for assistants. FT8 and FT4 are examples of modes not allowed. If a participant wishes to use a nonconventional mode they must bring it to the attention of C.A.R.S. prior to the event and be
    willing and able to demonstrate how it can be used in a useful way for emergency communications or a QSO beyond 59 and 73.
  3. Time and Date: Shack Day in May, Participants show up at 09:00 L to receive location assignments and to stage their equipment at the start point. 10:00 L is start time for sitting up the stations. 11:00 L to 13:00 L is operating time. At 13:00 L the scoring part of the event ends but, those wishing to continue operating are welcome to do so providing there is no other event taking place in the park adjacent to the C.A.R.S. Shack.
  4. Scoring:
    • All participants start with 50 points and maintain that 50 points if they only make one trip from the start point to their operating location. (Note: The 50 points will be divided by the number of living air breathing being used to move equipment to the operating site and the points subtracted for additional trips back for more equipment will be multiplied by the number of living air breathing beings used to retrieve more equipment.) For each trip back to retrieve more equipment 10 points will be subtracted from their score to the maximum of 50 points.
    • Each simplex contact counts as 5 points, any phone contact via satellite counts as 10 points limited one contact per satellite pass.
    • Each contact via a repeater counts as 3 points limited to only five contacts per repeater. The call sign of the contact and the repeater used for the contact must be entered in the log for points to be counted. Note: CQ should not be used on a repeater and only repeaters that are open to public are allowed for points. The use of repeaters is subject to change based on permission of the repeater trusty. Participants will be notified the day of the event which repeaters are allowed for the events.
    • All APRS two-way contacts count as 10 points, 15 points for making the list of stations heard via the International Space Station and 20 points for a two-way QSO via the ISS. In the event that the ISS will not make a pass during the event any APRS two-way contact via an APRS satellite is worth 20 points limit one per satellite.(1 ISS, 1 other packet satellite, etc.)
    • For participants able to do Winlink and wish to do so must give C.A.R.S. their Winlink email address prior to the event and they will be notified during the event when C.A.R.S. has sent them a Winlink email and if they are able to answer the email via RF during the event they will be awarded 25 points.
    • All other digital modes outside of APRS and Winlink each contact will count as 6 points.
    • For antenna systems not requiring any support from a tree or building 10 points will be awarded. Antenna system includes all antennas used during the event. Maximum of 10 points allowed.
  5. Power: 20 watts is the maximum power for purpose of limiting QRM.
  6. No cell phones or hotspots allowed in the operating area. Any computers, Notepads, or IPad must have Wi-Fi turned off or in airplane mode during the event.
  7. All logs will be paper hand written. Only exception is the use of a manual typewriter (nonelectric).
  8. Individual call signs will be used and CQ contest, CQ test, or any other phrase signifying it as a contest will not be used in making contacts. Even though this event is a contest among local amateur radio operators the contact on the other end shouldn’t feel pressured to log the contact or give any unusual exchanges during the QSO. Any QSO with a start and stop time having five or more minutes between is times two. Other words a 5 point QSO becomes a 10 point QSO. After making a contact participant is encourage to refer to it as a special club event and let the contact know to QSL via W4CAR and note their call sign on the QSL card if they would like a QSL card from both the club and the individual participant they made contact with.
  9. No motorized vehicle allowed for transporting equipment to operating location unless the participant has a disability to warrant use of such equipment. Motorized includes but not limited to electric motor, internal combustion engine, steam engine, or gas turbine.
  10. This event is design and intended for individuals to test their skills solo but, a station may have a second operator for logging if desired with the forfeit of the original 50 bonus points. Only one transmitter on the air at a time. Multiple radios for the purpose of covering HF, VHF, and UHF are allowed with only one transmitting at any given time. The logger and operator may switch positions but only one call sign will be used during the event and only one person as operator will operate any of the radios at said station.
  11. No contacts with other participants will count for score but, radio checks or short conversation is acceptable providing that it is not causing harmful interference with other participants.
  12. Any questions about the event not covered by the previous said rules will be decided by the director of the event and those decisions are final.

A PDF of the rules can be downloaded here.