Very good points Martin,
Most of us who are hanging onto contesting for 30 -50 years started as SWL,
listening on crappy radios and sloooowly worked our way and matured to the top
score boxes. First started as poor students slapping our stations together and
working our way up, building, learning and honing up our operating skills and
training those ears to hear below the noise level. :Later when professional
careers helped to beef up the war chest and real estate and hardware arsenal,
the dreams of being #1 became more realistic and rewarding, sort of positive
addiction that when done with reasonable approach can benefit professional
career and community.
We have seen some flashes in the pan, when some fresh, "brute" contesters threw
the big money at the station, nailed #1 in M/M for couple of years and then
faded into radio oblivion. (What's the big deal?!)
So those, who look for their own category and quick way to whatever #1, should
think about it. It is not just fast talking and big antennas, there is a lot
more to it.
We are in the hobby/sport where helping competition actually benefits us. More
of us, bigger scores more fun for everyone. I order for sport to flourish, it
needs promotion and publicity. It is sad to see ARRL cutting down on contest
write-ups in QST, but the Internet is now here, with virtually unlimited space
to take up the slack. But for prestige and promotion among the "un-enlightened"
there is a need of reporting and publicity among the general (radio) public to
get their attention. Good example is the "secret" in US soccer (futbol) game,
most popular in the world, but for long time virtually unknown and unpopular in
US. (Go US "socker chicks"!)
I think that some of us old .arts need to try to inoculate the unelightened
about the magic of contesting. Good prospects are the "social" radioclubs,
scouts, computer geeks in 16 - 21 year range. Go to schools and groups and give
a talk about ham radio and its competitive side. Make your station available
for newbies, especially in those less important contests, let the bug bite.
After having experience of growing up from little pistol back in OK-land to
some kind of gun (as VE3BMV), conquering all (but 1) country's (and about 20
world) monoband records in CQ WW and WPX contests with big Bertha and home
brewed Razors from 46x100 ft city lot, the life hit me with 10 year gap due to
health, family and business "obstacles". After long search for place to build
that "dream"station, I finally stumbled on just that opportunity and decided to
build something that we can leave behind for our successors to continue and
promote fun of contesting.
I have started Tesla Radioclub for the purpose of building club and station to
do just that and to promote the memory of the greatest engineering genius and a
first ham - Nikola Tesla. The idea is not to have just "social" ham radio club,
but more of a model of eastern European radioclub that has a station and a
bunch of hams around it, being the grooming place for operators and contesters
(that's how I got hooked).
We managed to acquire perhaps the world's best place for a such radioclub - the
old WOO Ocean Gate AT&T Long Lines Wireless transmitting site. The goal is to
build the "mother" of all M/M stations and a radioclub which would train new
blood to become hams and contesters and promote our activities, contesting and
ham radio. We will promote Tesla Cup contest to give us more fair and modern
contest and means of comparing our skills with the least fo bias.
We have good callsigns, N2EE and NT1E, we have over 200 acres of antennas
sitting on flooded salt water marsh, we have two story building, and already
bunch of guys excited and dedicated to make it a reality. We started cleanup
and restoration of the building and slowly starting to activate the station,
repairing antennas and bringing the life back to this historical site.
So here is the opportunity especially for the old, tired and deed restricted
old champs and new aspiring contesters to join our Tesla Sparks team and build
something that we can all be proud of and leave it behind us for our kids. We
will also have a Pizza & Beer lounge and multi media theater for the OFs where
we can socialize, after our hearing, sight, memory and dexterity deteriorates
us from the top box listings, watch the videos from the good old days of our
glory, while the new hot shots operate upstairs and are creaming our records.
We have to DO things to keep new blood coming in, obviously magazines and some
national organizations do not give a much hoot about us ("too few" of us) even
if our purchasing power is multiples of shack on belt hams.
So this is what we are doing, in the middle of NJ shore and we welcome anyone
interested in helping this worthwhile effort. Please check www.TeslaRadio.org
for the latest status and contact me if interested.
73 Yuri, K3BU
> If we want more contesters and good HF operators we have to get
> into our local clubs, fire interest and then show them - patiently - how its
> There is no magic answer, no silver bullet! Randy is correct on the
> awards etc you have got to learn to love playing the sport! If your
> enjoyment comes only from getting a certificate, plaque etc, it may
> surprise you to know that there are some of us that get quite
> serious at
> times but don't take much interest in results. For me after the
> contest,the contest is over!! The buzz, the thrill comes from
> the operating, the
> openings, the camaraderie - that is what we communicate to the
> new guys
> - if they get a certificate that is great too, but don't just
> rely on that for your fun.
> Martin VK7GN
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