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24 hours for single-ops

Subject: 24 hours for single-ops
From: /R=UTRC/R=MRGATE/U=RJA/FFN=RJA/@mrgate.utc.com (/R=UTRC/R=MRGATE/U=RJA/FFN=RJA/@mrgate.utc.com)
Date: Wed Feb 24 13:45:48 1993
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 
psychological profile:
        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.  
        00     CRASH!!
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

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