Amazing, you can't beat out N2RM and W3LPL, welcome to a very large club,
Bob...a lot of your fellow lil guns are right here on this reflector.
If you were to do a survey of all the big guns in the top ten boxes you would
see that the really good operators ALL started out as station-challenged
ops...the thing is they didn't let that stop them from doing the best they
could with what they had. Most of them were kids with paper routes buying
Heathkits...begging their parents to let them put up a short tower with of
all things...a rotary triband beam!
If you want to think of this as just a contest motivational posting don't
bother reading any further.
Without doubt those guys who had the puny signals HAD TO LEARN HOW TO GET
THROUGH! Like battling with Goliath, they battled not with brawn, but with
what they had - skill...their sense of timing was honed, their reading of the
timing of the other op was learned, his probable anticipating, etc...all were
aquired. Aquired back when like yourself they were new to the game. In its
own way this was a very good thing for them...you see they had to learn the
tricks rather than jumping in and being first through the pileups with their
Mastercards and Alphas (kudos K5RC).
OK lets say that a guy (like yourself?) finds himself at the helm of a really
nice superstation and he has aquired these skills - result: great score.
Lets say a guy who has NOT learned the skills but has a fat wallet trys
it...gosh he doesn't win or even make top ten - seasoned contesters are NOT
surprised. There was one mega-example of this several years ago when a
mamouth DXpedition was formed for the CQ WW contest...its results were NOT
There is an awful lot more to contesting than being loud...if it was just
that contesting's following and excitement would NOT be there. In the words
of N2AA - "Loud Is Good"....but - if you don't know how to use what you got
usually you are nothing more than an iritation to other contesters! If it
was simply a money thing would there be so many guys in it, returning again
Use this opportunity in your ham career to learn as much about operating as
you can, and try and hook up with a club that has contesters willing to share
the excitement. Once your skills have started to develop your peers will
know your interest. Translation: you start beating them out in the pileups
and they start asking who is that guy? Then an invitation to a weekend at a
well equipped station running multi-single or multi-multi will make you feel
like you are surely dreaming - how could anything be this much fun! Talent
when coupled with hdwe can be awesome...not mention a helluva lot of fun.
I have co-developed a contest station with my parents who are hams, but I
live in an apartment (hence the reason I am always on the reflector,
eh?)...believe me, if you want to contest big time you find ways to get the
job done! Please check out the success of our station next wekend by giving
me an SS CW QSO.
Once you have proven yourself, like an addict, you will find ways to either
get a repeat visit to that multi-op or perhaps make other alliances...before
you know it you are wanderring the halls at Dayton swapping pileup stories
with your brethren.
Contesters are a big international fraternity - a really good one in my
opinion...the bulk of the people I have met in my day to day life in no way
compare with the calibre of the majority of contesters I have met once or
mebbe a few times in my life....this is not snobbish, just that most
contesters understand working their way up through the ranks is a thing and
we respect each other for our paying our dues! This is the flip side of your
arguement - its kinda "did it - done that" and yup made those mistakes,
too...we share a common bond.
OK, are we serious about this aspect of the hobby???? Then, who used some of
their vacation time to aide in their contesting this week, or mebbe next week
- hmm? Must be pretty important in their life to do something like that. I'd
say contesting was a major part of a lot of lives I know.
Do not think the band is half closed, Bob...it is half open, and the big guns
have already moved down the MUF - sneak in some QSOs the big boys have passed
by...be sly, use your noggin'...and you will have a blast. If you find
yourself in the Tampa bay area please gimme a call.
As one ham manufacturer says on their literature: Contesting is a contact
sport. Every once in a while the weekend is right and YOU get an opportunity
to put those skills to the test...everything you have learned will be pulled
out of your memory and you will be tested - be it band openings, callsign
recognition, long path opportunities...it will ALL be tested, its what they
call a contest. We all dream of those weekends when we are given the chance
to show what we have learned, and the wait is worth it. (kudos to K4VX, this
Put on your pads. Many of the guys on this reflector are adding to their
amassed contest knowledge for that future weekend...I know I am. End of