I'm posting this rather long response to the reflector in hopes that it may
be of itnerest to all low power/small antenna ops who have felt as frustrated
as Bob seems to. It's not meant to sound like preaching....if it does, my
apologies in advance!!
To: Bob Werner, KC4URW
On 26 Oct 96 you wrote:
> I don't know anymore. I think entering contests for me is a thing of the
> used to enjoy contest (sic), but anymore it's: Let's see how much power,
> and antenna I can use to beat the other guy..
Bob - THAT is an aspect of contesting that is far from new. Acquiring the
best equipment that money can buy (as in the Daytona 500 or Indy 500, the
America's Cup, etc.) or bringing together the best participants on a team
(just ask George Steinbrenner) in an effort to win at a competitive endeavor
is certainly not unique to Amateur Radio contesting. Those that have (cash
and desire) have often been at the forefront of competition.
> Where's the fun?
The FUN is what you make of it. Of course, if you think that as a single op
entry operating from a modest set-up you're going to knock off the guns that
have invested large quantities of cash and rsources to develop a winning
station, yes - you will be disappointed. On the other hand, by setting less
lofty goals, you can have as much fun as you want!!
> Where's the QRP stations? Why does it seem my signal stops at the end of
The QRP'ers are out there, Bob. Usually making the best use of their
resources that they can. That being...lots and lots of S & P work, lots of
patience, and alot of operating saavy - obtained over years of experience.
> I live in a subdivision that has no antenna restrictions, however, not
> upset my neighbors with a huge antenna array, plus a lack of real money, I
> only a Mosley TA33jr up 32'. I can and will only run 100 watts into this
> Add to that an 80 meter dipole that is only up about 30', and you have my
"antenna > farm".
Sounds like a fine set-up for a low-power entry, Bob. Many have done well
set-ups such as yours. Takes practice and realizing how to get the absolute
most out of your equipment. Lots of times ergonomics and efficiency have to
take over when money runs out!!
> I realize I can't run with the big dogs, so should I just stay on the
Of course not. Which is why most major contests have low-power catagories to
allow you to compete against other stations with similar equipment. And
never forget that even a St. Bernard be rattled by a poodle that can bark
> While wearing my voice out on the CQ WW DX contest this weekend, I thought,
> it really worth it? Can a little pistol survive in a sea of 1500 watters?
Yes and No. Yes - it is worth it. If YOU make it worth it. Again, setting
reasonable goals is the key. And no - you will not survive in a sea of 1500
watters IF you try to go head to head against them. If you try to work the
JW or D2 or other hottly sought after mult going one-on-one with the big
guns, you will wear out your voice (and most likely raise your blood pressure
several points!) Finding the rare DX or needed section or state is only the
first part of the contest. Knowing WHEN and HOW to get them is another - and
one that comes from experience. Wait until after the big dogs have eaten
their fill - - and trust that there will still be food left in the bowl for
> Maybe it's time for a contest for us little guys.
And there are. The North American QSO parties, for one. And again, the
majors have classes of competition for the low power entries.
> PS, look for me in the November Sweeps. Yes, I am a glutten for
If you go into the contest thinking of it as punishment, that's exactly what
you'll get out of it!! Why not just set yourself the goal of beating last
years score - or winning your state in the low-power catagory and work hard
at it. But either way -HAVE FUN!! I'll be looking for you!! And good
And as an added note: Pick up a copy of CQ Contest magazine and look up the
great column done by Paul, WX9E. In it you'll find a "registry" of contest
operators who will go out of their way with advice to help you improve your
station and skills, or invite you to participate with a larger Multi-Multi or
Multi-Single operation. After many years of developing operating skills
working low power/no power, I've been privledged to operate at some fine
contest stations (AA8U, K8CC, KB8TI and the late WB8OHO in Michigan, and here
in the Southwest at K7UP) These guys and many others like them put a great
deal of money, time and effort into putting together winning stations not
only for their own enjoyment, but for the enjoyment of their guest ops as
well. But remember, invites to operate such stations are usually earned. And
there may be a price to pay: Like helping out at antenna work parties, or
bringing along a rig or computer to help fill out a position. And you may
find that at your first few M/M or M/S outings, you could be relegated to
bands and times that are "less demanding" (10 meters from 0400 - 1000 Z was a
step up for me after I did a few stints as a coffee cup filler upper and
all-around gopher at my first few M/S outings, all the while watching,
absorbing and learning!)....but once you've demonstrated the skills and
ability, you may just find yourself running rate on 20 meters on Saturday
afternoon with the big guys, or invited to take a crack at a Single Op effort
from that station you've always dreamed of!!
And whatever you do - DON'T give up the 100 watt station with the TA33 - -
you'll want to go back to it from time to time to brush up on some of the
skills that can only come from being humbled and crushed in a pile-up!! Ask
any of the guys that have decided to operate CQWW or SS in the QRP or
low-power class after years of having been in the operating chair of a big
gun station!! Sometimes having to scrap and fight for every single QSO can
Again to all: Sorry for the bandwidth. But then again, that's why we've got
that wonderful delete key, ain't it??
Mike Bruening AA8FE/5
El Paso, TX
>From email@example.com (Jim Pratt) Mon Oct 28 01:22:07 1996
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Pratt) (Jim Pratt)
Subject: There is hope yet...
I got on the CQWW for the last couple of hours, and was very surprised to
find a 10 meter direct path opening to JA at 23Z. Some signals were 20
to 30 dB over S9, although most were in the noise. Worked about 100
stations in about 45 minutes. So, perhaps things are looking up.
73 and good CONTESTING!
>From email@example.com (Jim Reid) Mon Oct 28 01:26:08 1996
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Reid) (Jim Reid)
Subject: Vanity App Data Base
W6QHS's (Dave's) question re: whether his application is
properly in the application data base awaiting action can
be determined. I have erased the web/ftp site, but the
FCC, somewhere via their web pgs, possts, by postal
zip code, all the vanity amateur license applications on hand
Seems to me all the action perhaps needed by
the FCC, or the ARRL, is to give a little publicity and how-to-
do-it instruction for accessing this data base, and everyone can
rest easy that at least his application was rcv'd and is in the que
and ready for the big lottery of call signs!
No need to further delay
the program while everyone satisfies himself; unless folks want to
review the lists of up to 25 call signs each submitted to ascertain
that the FCC data clerks entered them all correctly! That could
take some time, as they would have to figure out how to get
all the lists now entered into the lottery que out of there, and into
a review check list, that each individual could access for himself,
but not be allowed to review anyone else's list, I suppose.
It is possible to come up with enough checks and fairness tests to
cause the whole thing to be delayed for months. Is that what
73, Jim, AH6NB
>From email@example.com (Larry Tyree) Mon Oct 28 01:25:18 1996
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Tyree) (Larry Tyree)
Subject: QRP stations
I just did a quick check and found 153 QRP stations in my SS CW log
from last year - about 10 percent of my QSOs.
Hope to see even more this year!