[3830] ARRL RR ND0C Non-Rookie QRP

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Sun Aug 15 18:40:33 PDT 2010

                    ARRL Rookie Roundup - SSB

Call: ND0C
Operator(s): ND0C
Station: ND0C

Class: Non-Rookie QRP
Operating Time (hrs): 2.5

 Band  QSOs
   40:   2
   20:  26
Total:  28  Mults = 17  Total Score = 952

Club: Minnesota Wireless Association


I enjoyed the opportunity to give some rookies a contact.  I ran QRP (as
always), but brought the Argonaut out of mothballs for this one to run 3 watts
out.  The rookies are at various points on the learning curve and some are
already doing a great job.  It was especially cool to hear the really young
operators getting the hang of things - and having fun!  

This operating activity is a great concept, but the whole spotting issue needs
to worked out.  There were some obvious self-spots, undoubtedly due to the
operators not reading the rules closely enough.  There was also some apparent
spotting by family members.  I think it really reinforces the need for some
heavy emphasis on what is proper (and legal) in any contest.  Personally I
think there needs to be less empasis on pushing these inexperienced folks to do
some fancy on-line logging and more emphasis on the basic culture of contesting:
proper (ethical) conduct and knowing and complying with the rules.  (My bias: I
don't like spotting in contests and this is only the 3rd time I've ever used it
in a contest - always compliant with my category of entry.  For a QRPer S&Ping
in a big contest it is really counter-productive anyway.)  For the rookies, I
think there is value to learning some basic contesting skills before throwing
in using spots.  I think tuning a band for multipliers without the crutch of
the spotting network has become a lost art.  I worry that we will create
another generation of packet lizards. 

My first contest was the Novice Round-Up in 1969.  Wow - so many things have
changed since then, equipment, logging, spotting, skimmer, and hopefully my
skills!  I may still not be a top contester, even within the QRP ranks, but I'd
like to think that after 40 years I've learned a few things.  The point is we
all have to start somewhere and learn from there - nobody was born knowing
these things.  The fortunate rookies are those that are being actively mentored
by an "ol' hand".  Thanks to all those that hosted rookies!  The others (like I
did) are kind of learning by trial and error, and mimicking what they hear
others do.  So in that respect we are all mentors at a distance.  - Another
sobering reminder to be on our best behavior as we contest!

Pop-gun station: Ten Tec Argonaut 509 (3w output), 3 el. tribander Yagi at 48'
and dipole at 40'

Randy, ND0C

You don't have to be crazy to contest using QRP ... but it helps.

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