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Re: [CQ-Contest] SO2R - operating

To: DL8MBS <prickler.schneider@t-online.de>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] SO2R - operating
From: "Alfred Frugoli" <ke1fo@arrl.net>
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 09:57:17 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
Hello Chris,

I'm far from an experienced SO2R operator, however here's a few cents of

In addition to learning to copy 2 audio streams at once, is to learn to
pickup on the rhythm of the stations you are trying to work.  How quickly
does the running station work the guys who call?  Is he always needing
fills?  This information helps you to know when to start paying keen
attention again to that "audio stream" so you pick up on the QRZ message.
Some ops QRZ after a q with a simple "TU" and only send their call
sometimes.  Others end with only their call.  Others say "TU QRZ KE1FO
TEST".  Knowing when to start sending is very important to increasing your
efficiency and therefore rate. Obviously, all the tricks you've learned for
breaking a pileup still apply, but I can't tell you how many times while
working SO2R I've dropped my call in while the running station is still
giving his QRZ message, which besides being ineffective, is annoying to
others listening on frequency (assuming they can even hear me hi hi).

Also, I find it challenging to copy 1 audio stream if there is a lot of
other noise.  Really learning how to use your receiver filtering adjustments
so you can have clean audio on each "audio stream" has been helpful for me.
That way, I'm only filtering between the two signals (left and right ear)
and not filtering out junk in both ears in addition to keeping them both

Learning when to have both ears on one rig is also important.  When I
started out, I thought it would be best to have one rig in each ear, except
when one rig is transmitting, then both ears should be on the receiving
rig.  I found all the switching was just too much for my poor brain (i.e.
which rig am I listening to now?).  I now mainly keep the headphones in
stereo except when I'm having a really hard time hearing somebody, then I
put both ears on the weak signal.  I have the monitor turned off, and only
hear sidetone on CW when I'm sending with the paddles.  When I first started
keeping the phones in stereo, I found the large volume changes between tx
and rx to be disturbing.  I've now learned to use that jolt of volume change
as my cue to know I've stopped transmitting.  When the headphones followed
the receiving rig, the difference between tx and rx was so subtle that I
often missed somebody calling me.

Get real familiar with your logging program too.  There is enough going on
in between your ears that you don't need to be figuring out how to transmit
on the correct rig.  One of my upcoming projects is to install an obvious
light over the rig that has the tx focus so that I know if I hit an fkey, or
the paddle, or hit my ptt switch, I know which rig will go on the air.  This
is another pitfall I've found, is you finally get through the pileup, and
then you send your exchange on the wrong radio, leaving the running station
wondering where you went.

I hope these tips are helpful, I know they are all on my improve list.

73 de Al, KE1FO

On Jan 25, 2008 2:37 AM, DL8MBS <prickler.schneider@t-online.de> wrote:

> May I try to break the techtalk-pileup with an operating question? I´m
> looking for experience and tips about using SO2R for S&P on two bands
> simultaneously (using i.e. qrp or little antennas) - other than the
> standard pattern with CQing on one radio and hunting on the second
> radio. After starting it in two contests it felt challenging and
> interesting, mainly to use the "waiting time" on frequency one to tune
> on another band. Is there something more important to learn than to
> train the  brain decoding two audio streams simultaneously? Thanks in
> advance for any input on this subject which may motivate us small guns
> more than the incredible and disappointing quote "SO1R is the lazy
> person's contesting".
> Best 73, Chris
> (www.dl8mbs.de)
> _______________________________________________
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