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Re: [CQ-Contest] Have SSB Contest become the "most pure" contests?

To: <sawyered@earthlink.net>, <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Have SSB Contest become the "most pure" contests?
From: "Stephen Bloom" <sbloom@acsalaska.net>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2016 07:32:59 -0900
List-post: <cq-contest@contesting.com">mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
He Ed:

Bingo (though I'm always gonna prefer CW!) ...One of the things we all do
...is ....pretty much what we think everyone else is doing at that moment.
I operated Assisted in this one ...but I don't think I had a Single Extra Q
from using the cluster ..I found so few U.S. stations running ...other than
the big guns ..who I'd find no matter what.  The major usefulness for me was
knowing when I was spotted.  It kept me from leaving a frequency I thought I
was dead ending on.  

People who are in less than ideal circumstances (meaning the vast majority
of us who don't live in QTHs ...chosen and designed with competitive
contesting in mind) ..are going to have challenges of one kind or another
..whether it is ...non standard propagation ..low power..compromise antennas
etc.  One way or another ..it means that we won't be able to run for 48
hours with the occasional spot assisted mult pickup.  When that happens
...best thing is ..try doing something different ...a few examples ...

1)  You are working unassisted 15 and 20M are wall to wall ..you've worked
the big guns ..you are twiddling your thumbs ...while reading the latest
celebrity gossip on tmz.com  (ok ..maybe that is what I was doing) ..10M
sounds dead.  But is it?  You can't check the RBN ..but you can check out
the beacons ...it could well be that everyone is doing US-EU on 15 and 20
but you *COULD* run JA on 10 even though no one is right now.  As an example
..I had pretty much nothing on 10M going into the last couple of hours ..and
conditions just flat out sucked everywhere at that point ..(which is what
happens when the KP shoots up in a hurry).  I decided if I was going to be
facing futility at that point ..might as well do it on a band where any Q
might be a mult.  CQ Loop ..dog sitting in lap, hotbabeswholovehams.com on
the non radio pc ..let it roll.  Picked up about 120Qs and 30 or so mults
..almost all pretty weak signals ..almost all from Central and Eastern U.S.
who I'm positive gave no thought whatsoever to trying to run on 10M with
their beams pointed West.  

2)  If you are working assisted ...RBN here ...RBN there ...RBN everywhere.
Unless there is a Solar event happening ...you will be surprised at what you
see.  You are being heard somewhere you wouldn't expect.  Also ..we all take
a look at the prop maps ..which is fine ..but also look to see who is
spotted where.  

3)  Grey line is your friend.  If you are running ..or are doing well S&P
...interrupt for Grey line ..and start a bit earlier than you think.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Steve KL7SB

-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces@contesting.com] On Behalf Of Ed
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2016 3:16 AM
To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Have SSB Contest become the "most pure" contests?

Its ironic, that because of the digital characteristics of the CW
transmission, its been sucked into the processed and distributed world of
the internet and changed the face of contesting.  Skimmer and RBN have
changed the need to tune as certainly someone has picked up the signal and
broadcast it before you've discovered it.  Only the unassisted op is tuning
by and thankfully is competing with others doing the same.  However even
those have benefitted from the efficiency of the process as everyone can
find you now.  The challenge is now, using the system and dealing with the
onslaught when it comes.


However, in SSB, it's a different story.  You are not instantly spotted.
People can and do tune by and discover you, before a crowd has shown up -
just like the old days.  Its fun to see on both ends.  I CQ'd A LOT in last
weekend's contest - about 85% of the time.  And there were sometimes 10 or
15 mins before I was spotted.  What was the rate?  It depends, but at least
half the time it was over 100 an hour.  People were searching on their own
and found a new one - Vermont.  In one case I probably worked 20 - 25
stations before the "spotted" gusher came.  Some of those stations were 5 W
or 100W with very low signals.  Would they have made the Q chasing spots -
not easily - maybe not at all.  


What was the pleasure experienced on both sides of these "natural Qs"?
Wonderful for both sides.  Probably had 300 over the weekend that I could
tell based on the "gusher delay".  Of course there could be many more of
unassisted ops tuning by at any time, but you can't tell then.


The one that I enjoyed most was the JA run on 15M Saturday.  I worked
probably 20 JAs in nice orderly fashion, with only a few competing during
the process.  Then the onslaught came.  Evidenced by familiar Multi Op
callsigns.  Many of those first 20 struggled with English and had 50 or 100W
powers.  I worked probably 75 JAs in that run.  Good for those first 20 for
finding me and getting into the log.


Ed  N1UR

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