I usually operate single-op CW contests and once I decide to do one,
it's always an all-out effort. For those who advocate 48-hour contests
and have never done one, I would like to share my typical 48-hour contest
00-01 Getting warmed up
01-11 Chasing nighttime DX and running - fun!
11-17 Tired after not sleeping all night, but the
adrenalin starts up at sunrise. Running - fun!
17-23 Running and sunset multipliers - fun!
00 I've just a a great time for 24 hours, why do I
have to prove myself all over for another 24 hours???
00-07 TIRED, as the night drags on I eventually decide to
sleep with guilt feelings that I'll miss something.
07-10 Something resembling sleep. Set 3 alarm clocks.
10-11 I wanna die... why do I do this to myself? Drink
lots of coffee and stumble downstairs.
11-17 Running and sending "QSO B4". Feeling VERY TIRED.
Occasional delusions and lapses ("why are all these
people calling and what do they want from me?")
18 Noon time lull. ONLY 6 HOURS TO GO!
19-23 Adrenalin takes over, knowing it'll soon be over.
I usually feel extremely alert and hyper, as I pump
up that rate window.
I grew up with the attitude that contests are competitive events, to
gauge myself against others with similar capabilities and station.
Contests allow you to figure out how to do better next time, how to
improve your station and your operating technique. I don't buy the
argument that 24 hours reduces the opportunity for casual ops to
work DX. There is plenty of DX outside the contest weekends.
Contests are competitions, not DX activity weekends.
Unfortunately there has been a noticeable lack of new calls among
the top 10 participants. It's the same diehards every year. The
number of people putting in full-time efforts is declining. The
usual excuse for not doing an all-band effort is "I can't do 48
hours". Those that can't hack it go to multis or do a single-band
effort so thay can get sleep. The single-op category is dying...
To please everyone, I propose a 24-hour period (12Z Sat to 12Z Sun)
within the existing 48-hour period for a new single-op competitive
class. Let's get sponsors for some nice plaques (or even more
substantial awards?) on an ARRL Division level (so it's not the same
guy collecting plaques every year from that big New England station).
Bring competitive single-op contesting to a local level. Match your-
self against someone of your own size and similar geographic location,
and go for the plaque. Figure out what it takes to win your Division.
Give it a lot of publicity and try it for a year. When I was chairman
of the CAC we tried the pins and mugs for SS and it worked. Activity
jumped and people got excited about SS again. Single-op DX contests
need a shot in the arm too.
-- Rich K1CC