<This is a good thread, showing the wide variety of views within
<the contesting community on time/contest committments...
<In sum, this is all about motivation. Making the best score
<while working around scheduling hurdles on any
<given contest weekend. We all have them - whether it is
<sleep, family or work. But let's be frank, you must
<WANT IT. You must WANT to improve.
Too true - serious contesters WANT to improve, and WANT to win, whatever
category they choose to enter - most of us get a rush when the rate gets
better than 120/hour, even old farts like me.
The RSGB category 'restricted' (12 hours out of 24 , but 1 hour gaps) has
great merit in that (a) a contester can organise his/her weekend around
family/work commitments and (b select times to suit propogation, band,
Another option is Single Transmitter/multi Op. This would seem to be the
best choice for the 'Senior' (unlikely to stay awake for even 24 hours) group
who are dedicated contesters, but while they don't have "Super Stations"
they could offer positions to younger operators into contesting.
Contesting is FUN - that's why we do it.
In the process of erecting more antennas on 11 acres (unfortunately, some
of it is in a valley) I'm trying to improve the station to the level where we
be competetive in the M/S category - multi operator, multi antenna, single
transmitter - operating from start to finish for the entire contest.
At NS3T, I have no chance to win a 48 hour DX contest.
I have no chance to win any 24 hour contest within a
48 hour DX contest.
I don't have any beams. I have a vertical, some dipoles and
two inverted vees in my suburban backyard.
But I still get on and work as hard as I can, trying to beat
my best score in Contest XX, beat as many people
as possible on the 3830 postings and work some new DX.
Oh, by the way, I'm talking about CW contests.
SSB may be different.
What have I found?
I beat some guys with beams because I'm more motivated.
I beat others because I find more mults while they are CQ'ing.
I beat a few more because I spent two weeks on my hands and
knees burying radials for my vertical, mainly for 160.
I beat others because I drank four huge glasses of water before
I went to bed in the ARRL SSB, all to force myself to get up two hours
later in the middle of the night to find mults on the low bands.
I beat others because I set up Writelog voice files so I could
go late at night on SSB and not disturb the XYL.
I beat others because I've made more of an effort to go SO2R
and figure out how best to improve my S&P rates.
I beat a couple more because I pore over stats and greylines
and past contest information to figure out when my 100 watt signal
has the best chance for a few mults from this zone or that continent.
I have an entire legal pad of scribblings from the past month right
now, filled with all kinds of ideas about antennas and contest
strategy for the big contests. Even though I CANNOT WIN,
I still try to think how can I get an edge on someone else.
Each year I check the various contest records - is there one
I could beat? The answer is YES! I now have the 3-land
record in CQ WW CW for 40 meter single band, low power.
Anyone with a beam could CRUSH my score. But it's
my record. I did it with two inverted vees.
It's my version of the Secrets of Contesting - self-motivation...
I always try to mentally prepare myself by thinking this way:
You may have better radios and better antennas, but I can
still beat you by working harder than you, both before and
during the contest - no matter how many hours you want to make it.
And all the while, I'm having FUN!!!
73, Ken ZL1AIH
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