Algonquin ARC “Lantern Battery Competition,” January 1-March 31, 2022

Algonquin ARC logoAlgonquin ARC writes:

The intent of the AARC LBC is to foster camaraderie among members and find out—in a light-hearted fashion—just how many QSOs can be extracted from a stack of batteries before they are depleted beyond the point of usefulness.  We’re continuing to call this the “Lantern” Battery Challenge even though there is no need to actually use expensive lantern batteries.

Activity period

AARC’s LBC will commence at 0000Z on 1 January 2022 and conclude at 2400Z on 31 March 2022.  Participants can join at any time during the challenge period but must finish by the end of the challenge.

Bands, Modes

Consistent with the terms of the participant’s license, operation on any band, using any mode, is permitted.

Energy Source (Batteries)

Batteries must be assembled from the equivalent of “D” cells or smaller.  Any combination of cells stacked in series not exceeding 15 volts is acceptable, provided that no more than two cells are connected in parallel anywhere in the stack.

     (Note that each of the lantern batteries used last year was the equivalent of four 1‑1/2 volt “D” or “F” cells in series, so two lantern batteries stacked in series yielded 12 volts.  Most rigs like 12V or higher and mis-perform at voltages under 10V.  Current drain depletes the cells quickly and reduces their voltage.  This year’s “connected in parallel” rule allows for starting with twice as much energy, increases the available current, and slows voltage depletion.)

Energy Management

At the participant’s option (or maybe to the extent of his or her technical acumen), only the actual transmitter need be powered by the lantern battery stack.  Receivers, logging software, keyers, decoders, etc. need not be on battery.


Any antenna is OK.  Wire works.  So do those “solid state amplifiers” made of aluminum tubing.  There is no scoring penalty for using antennas with gain.


  1. A QSO consists of no less than a two-way exchange of callsigns and signal reports.  Beware that long QSOs use battery energy!
  2.  Score:

  —  One point per standard battery QSO with a non‑AARC member.

  —  Two points per standard battery QSO with an AARC member.  Duplicate QSOs with the same member do not count.

  —  Zero points for repeater QSOs.

  1.  Period.  That’s it.  No other bonuses, penalties, multipliers, or dividers.


Reporting is on the honor system.  Submission of paper or electronic logs is discouraged as not being within the intended spirit of camaraderie and fun.  On the other hand, expect to have a good time regaling the other members with your LBC exploits at the April meeting.  Plus, any participant who posts an LBC-related item on the AARCList during the challenge gets brownie points.


Recognition (maybe even certificates) and certainly bragging rights will be awarded for:

  –  Most QSO points

  –  Most QSOs

  –  Best DX

  –  Most unique rig

  –  Shortest battery life

  –  Longest battery life

  –  … more?  Suggestions accepted.

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