[3830] ARRLDX CW W4VIC SO Unlimited HP

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Sun Feb 21 18:40:39 EST 2016

ARRL DX Contest, CW

Call: W4VIC
Operator(s): W4VIC
Station: W4VIC

Class: SO Unlimited HP
Operating Time (hrs): 9.3

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    0     0
   80:   20    18
   40:    0     0
   20:  185    77
   15:  202    82
   10:    0     0
Total:  407   177  Total Score = 216,117

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club


My Big Dog amp (2000A) went out Friday afternoon as I was preping for the main
event.  I plugged in the back-up 1000-A to cover the contest.  Health issues,
both myself and my XYL, kept activity at low intensity for much of the weekend.

For the time I operated I thought conditions were excellent.  I didn't want to
do battle on the noisy low bands, Although I put in an appearance on 80M I did
nothing significant there.  I avoided 40M altogether.  And I missed the big
opening reported on 10M -- just didn't go there.  But there was plenty of
action on 15M and 20M, enough to wear me out.

The most fun I had was, with skimmer spots feeding through VE7CC, trying to tap
the seemingly never ending flood of JA's during the late afternoons on both 15M
and 20M.  Wow, there are so many of them!  And they all behave!  If there is a
plaque for Good Behavior, for sportsmanship in contesting, I nominate each one
of them!

And what wonderful tools we have to work with these days -- skimmer, telnet,
N1MM+ -- and it all works so well!  But the operator is still the most critical
aspect of the whole process.  Contesting used to be real work!  Now days a
contester is free from the druge work of logging, cross-checking, and keeping
track of page after page of scribbled contacts. Today's contester is free to
think about strategies and to crank all the esoteric knowledge about
propagation and operating habits in different areas of the world.  Today's
contester is a true technician, finessing his way to scores rather than
depending on strength and stamina.
It seems the fur-ball pile-ups are coming earlier in the afternoon of closing
day in the contests lately.  I suppose bullying your way into Qs is how you get
the big scores, but that kind of tactic just plain turns me off -- it brings out
the worst in me; I made a nuisance of myself a couple of times when pressed past
my tolerance level, just as so many others were doing, calling incessantly in
order to be the last in the 'string' of calls, and all the calling covering up
the 'prize.'  I'm not proud of that.  I resigned early to avoid falling into
more of that kind of thing.  I am deeply puzzled at what the material benefit
is to those who make a business of that kind of contest behavior.  Yes, I know
it is supposed to be a contest, but that doesn't mean to take on ugly and
combative tactics, throwing aside civility and cooperative strategy.  That
brutish kind of operating is more characteristic of hockey games than of our
more civilized contest behavior.  A few more mults won't mean a thing in the
grand scheme of things after the scores are reported.  To me, winning a few
more mults in that manner would ruin the 'King for a Day' feeling you get when
you beat your own objective with courteous competition.

There are some very fine contest operators out there -- I hope you are one of
them.  Thank you for the Qs.  Vy 73,  Vic, W4VIC

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