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[3830] KQ6ES NA Summer CW Sprint

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Subject: [3830] KQ6ES NA Summer CW Sprint
From: electricshock@worldnet.att.net (John Simmons)
Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 18:07:46 +0100
NA Summer CW Sprint - KQ6ES John CA

20m - 46 Q's / 26 mults
40m - 40 Q's / 2 mults
80m - 8 Q's
Total - 94 Q's and 28 mults for 2632 points

FT-840 and Butternut HF9V-x
100 watts

This was my first CW Sprint.  
After a dismal experience in the 1996 summer ssb Sprint a few months
after being licensed (hand mike and pencil and paper) I avoided the CW
Sprint like the plague.  Can a ham of 2 years have fun in the Sprint
with low power, a vertical antenna, and little chance at finishing even
in the top 100? - You bet!
Armed with helpful advice posted by N6TR I was nervously ready at 00:00.
I expected it to take a while to get into the swing of this contest but
I didn't expect my brain to totally shut down for the first half hour. 
I wasn't able to overcome this mental paralysis until 00:33, then
staggered to a first hour total of FIVE contacts, and just 15 through
the first 90 minutes. I thought I was headed for complete embarrassment
but suddenly it all started making sense.  Copying accurately was
another story at which I may or not have been successful.
I made no attempt at strategy, I just wanted to overcome my
Sprintophobia and add this contest to my calendar. Perhaps I should have
recorded some of the contest for a mental warm up next time.
Since there's no multiplier advantage to operating three bands, and
little danger of my running out of stations to work, next time I'll
probably ignore 80m even though it may cost my fellow SCCC'ers a few
Curiously I found it much easier to manually send rather than use the
memory keyer, although I was struck once again by my recurring inability
to send a "9".  Anyway,  I believe using the paddles was effective in
reinforcing the rhythm of the exchange.
Bottom line - this is a GREAT contest, a BLAST, a good opportunity to
improve my contesting skills and I will be back.
73 de John

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