I was at the WA2SNA 3A operation. We had about 30 operators and only 3 of
them have ever operated in a "real" contest - I was one of the 3 (N2BCC and
KA2AEV were the others). We ended up with about 1800 qsos -
600cw/1200ssb-fm. Final score is about 5800. All the no-code techs and tech
plus and novice guys had a ball. We put up good antennas - 2 el 40 at 75',
tribander for 20 & 15, and a 4 el beam for 10 novice and a dipole at 70' or
so for 75/80. We also had a 4 el 6 meter yagi and a jr boomer for 2ssb. We
seemed to get out pretty well.
I think that Field Day should stay just the way it is with the bonus points,
Packet through clusters etc etc. The whole idea (unofficial) should be for
the non-contest folks to have an opportunity to operate and have FUN while
doing it. There's nothing wrong with making mistakes in Field Day - after
all it's not "really" a contest. Those of us who "know" what to do should
use FD as training session for possible new contesters. I think many of us
lose perspective on how important the learning experience is for these new
guys. One very obvious problem is lack of CW skills. These guys need
encouragement - not criticism.
Re: wrist rockets
I had an opportunity to use one of the wrist rocket / closed faced spinning
reel rigs while putting up the 80m dipole mentioned above. In a word - WOW!
It is definitely easier than using my venerable fishing pole. One minor
drawback - the darn thing shoots the weight so far over the desired tree it
made it difficult to locate the weight on the first try. There's an
obviously required skill here in how much to pull back on the sling to
achieve the desired distance. I'll admit that I'm convinced.
Re: the 940 on cw
I am an admitted TS940 bigot. That said, I must point out that with cw
filters, all you have to do is match the desired stations tone to the
sidetone and you're dead on. No diddling of controls and RIT is required.
If you are running, you must use the RIT to catch the off frequency callers.
For this, if you have a 940, get the Ekletech remote knob. This thing is
great. Find a frequency with the switch in the VFO position, flip to RIT and
the knob is now the RIT control. Kenwood should have included this as part
of the radio in the first place.