Alpe Adria Contest Story

An “historical”  trace of the Alpe Adria Contest

The Alpe Adria contest is an initiative between some neighboring countries of southern Europe, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, located in the area between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, “Alpe Adria” in fact.

Born in 1971 He has nearly forty years and is an important date, a significant milestone in the journey of the idea emerged at that time, by the contribution of some VHF ham’s.

At that time, the VHF was the highest band of amateurs radio operation, the typical station was operating fixed frequency and AM (SSB had not yet arrived here). Everything was experimental and hams tried their hands to work with mostly homemade equipment.

Compared to the HF, there was little activity, few radios ready to operate available on the market, and with the electronic components suitable for these frequencies beginning to become affordable. So there was lot for the experimentation.

The most activity in VHF at that time was concentrated in central Europe, with Germany leading.

This ham band is suitable for short-range QSO, so he found fertile ground in Germany for the first because ham’s were more numerous and neighbors,  the land was mostly flat with absence of obstacles (and this is important for  this frequency), there were more economic opportunities but also great enthusiasm for this world that was opening.

We did not lack enthusiasm, but he felt the need to liven this frequency, this new world.

So it was that some hams, Anton Stipanič YU3BH (now S53BH), Yogoslavian VHF manager, Franco Armenghi I4LCK, Italian VHF managers and  Rainhard Mayer OE8MI Carinthian VHF managers  began to discuss opportunities to increase traffic in the area of Europe, “prevented” a major obstacle to the north by the Alps as a natural

Since they were all very active hams, the first approaches to the “problem” were made in air during contests. Later on there was the need to meet personally to better defining the issue.

The VHF contest was perhaps the first concrete fact of collaboration and was called “Alpe Adria Contest”, organized annually in rotation by the three nations Austria, Italy and Yugoslavia.

The initiative was successful and over the years increased the importance of this event. Other initiatives were joined later in the VHF Contest and was also set up a session and then UHF and SHF.

Surely these contests were also established in Europe as a landmark event. The proof is that both rounds continue to be very popular, even by hams of other European nations. On several occasions during the contest has been made QSO-records in distance on some frequencies.

Furthermore, the choice of dates (in full summer, resulting in good propagation and coinciding with the summer holidays) for the holding of events and incentive portable categories are the reasons for success.

After the contest followed the awards and this was an opportunity to meet all the nations in a meeting. In the early years, the meeting was held in Italy, at Villa Manin close to Udine, in the beautiful eighteenth-century villa,  half a  way between the nations. Then over time this event has become itinerant and is held every year in the nation organizer on duty.

From the overview above written, comes just a final comment:

This initiative remains a unique episode in Europe even now that a united Europe is in an advanced stage of implementation.

Is an example of cooperation between different countries.

There is no news of such initiatives with the exception of Scandinavia where those nations, sisters have some common initiative.

We “now” talk about Europe, but think about forty years ago. The political climate then was completely different and certainly did not encourage joint initiatives like this. Fact that Yugoslavia had played a leading role among international role of the non-aligned countries, a position very different from Italy, and Austria which had a status all its own.

There was not “winds” of United Europe among these nations, yet this initiative resulted from that three people has been sighted very far.

Great idea this.

by Dino Fachin IV3FDO
June 4, 2010