National Contest Journal

National Contest Journal
National Contest Journal

National Contest Journal cover, Nov./Dec., 2000.
Editor Al Dewey K0AD
Categories Amateur radio
Frequency Bimonthly
Circulation 2600[1]
Publisher American Radio Relay League
First issue Jan/Feb, 1973
Country  United States
Language English
ISSN 0899-0131

The National Contest Journal (also referred to by the acronym NCJ) is a bimonthly magazine published by the American Radio Relay League, with an independent volunteer editor. The magazine covers topics related to amateur radio contesting. The magazine is published in English and draws its subscription base primarily from the United States of America and Canada.



The National Contest Journal was founded by Minnesotan contester Tod Olson, K0TO. In his editorial for volume 1, issue 1 (January/February, 1973), Olson described the motivational purpose of the publication: "We believe that a genuine desire exists for more information about Radio Contests. Most of us have an interest in learning about other stations, operators, etc that we find in competition with us."[2] Olson relied upon the National Traffic System to gather claimed scores in order to print tables of likely competition winners months before the official results were published by the contest sponsors. Publication for the first three years was done with typewriters and offset printing. Each issue was 16 pages in 5" x 7.5" format. After printing, issues were assembled at Olson's home and mailed from a local post office.[2]


In 35 years of publication, the National Contest Journal has had 13 different managing editors. The first editor, and founder of the magazine, was Tod Olson, K0TO. Olson was one of two editors to have served multiple times in that capacity for the magazine.[2]

Editor Years
Tod Olson, K0TO 1973-1975
Pete Grillo, W0RTT 1975-1978
Tod Olson, K0TO 1978-1979
Randy Thompson, K5ZD 1979-1980
Tom Taormina, K5RC 1981
John Crovelli, W2GD 1981-1982
Rick Niswander, K7GM 1982-1983
Randy Thompson, K5ZD 1983-1984
Dave Pruett, K8CC 1985-1987
Randy Thompson, K5ZD 1988-1989
Trey Garlough, N5KO 1990-1994
Bruce Draper, AA5B 1994-1996
Dave Patton, NN1N 1997
Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV 1998-2002
Carl Luetzelschwab, K9LA 2002-2007
Al Dewey, K0AD 2008-

Contest sponsorship

The magazine organizes, adjudicates, and publishes the results of two series of annual radio competitions, the North American QSO Party and the North American Sprint. Each of these competitions has three separate events (for CW, voice, and RTTY operations) run twice a year, and are managed by volunteers. The competitions focus on participation from stations in North America. The National Contest Journal publishes the contest rules and results in the magazine and on the magazine's web site.[3]


  1. ^ United States Postal Service (2007). PS Form 3526: Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation. Published in National Contest Journal, Vol. 35, No. 6. November/December, 2007. p. 44.
  2. ^ a b c Luetzelschwab, Carl K9LA, ed. We Hear from Former NCJ Editors". National Contest Journal., vol. 35, no. 5, Sep/Oct, 2007, p.14.
  3. ^ NCJ Contests. National Contest Journal official web site. Retrieved Sep. 26, 2007.

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