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Re: [CQ-Contest] Improving Concentration

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Improving Concentration
From: "Dale Martin" <kg5u@hal-pc.org>
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2007 10:51:10 -0600
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Comfort is a big deal to me, Pete.  

If I'm not comfortable, I'm cannot focus.  

1.  I turn off the room lights.  I have one of the clamp-on type flex lamps
with a 20w bulb in it for 'ambient' lighting so I can see the keyboard.
Otherwise, the rest of the room is dark.  I don't wear shoes during a
contest.  My shack is carpeted, but my feet still get chilly.  I put down
two or three beach towels for my feet to play with.  My footswitch is large,
made of 1x6"x3' boards, springs, piano hinge and momentary switches.  It's
no problem 'finding' the footswitch and the towels aren't a problem.  

2.  I have a fan running at slow speed in the far corner of the room to
augment air circulation so my little world doesn't get stuffy... I have a
couple of muffin fans blowing across the Omni VI's heat sinks, but at 5w
output, the heatsinks aren't really getting THAT warm.  

3.  The inspiratonal, morale-building, and reminders-why-I'm-doing-this
post-it's referred to in a previous responder's post are also used here.  I
also post my previous scores with 6-hour QSO number breakdowns to gage how
I'm doing.   

73 and HNY,

Dale, kg5u

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com 
> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of Pete Smith
> Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 8:24 PM
> To: cq-contest@contesting.com
> Subject: [CQ-Contest] Improving Concentration
> Wonder of wonders, this message has nothing to do either with 
> contest rules or cut numbers.  Please don't tune out, hi!
> Until recently, I was pretty much of a solitary contester - 
> never had any occasion to operate in multi-op situations, nor 
> to compare my results with top operators.
> Over the last 8-10 years, though, I've built a fairly capable 
> station for the first time in my 53 year ham career.  I've 
> also had a couple of occasions to operate at multi-ops with 
> some top operators, and I'm struck by the fact that I do not 
> seem able to consistently get the sort of results they do, 
> even from the same station.  This is particularly the case in 
> hell-bent contests like the CW Sprints, but I have the same 
> feeling about the first evening in Sweepstakes, and to a 
> lesser extent in the big DX contests.
> To the extent that I can isolate the problem, I think it lies 
> in the inability to keep myself totally focused in the 
> moment.  Even in the midst of a 120-150 hour on CW I find 
> myself not always totally "zoomed in" on the pileup.  
> Watching good ops, they seem to have a really special focus 
> that I find hard to maintain, even for a 4-hour sprint.
> If there's anything to be done about this, I'd like to try, 
> even though at age 65 I am inevitably losing some of my edge. 
>  So I'm wondering what others have done about this, whether 
> there are particular techniques that you use to help stay 
> focused.  I don't know what I'm looking for here, so any 
> suggestions would be welcome.  If you want to send them to me 
> off the reflector, I'll summarize anonymously.
> Thanks! 
> 73, Pete N4ZR
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