Sprint CW

0015017 at msgate.emis.hac.com 0015017 at msgate.emis.hac.com
Mon Sep 13 12:43:22 EDT 1993

From: Balmforth, Kevin D
Date: Mon, Sep 13, 1993 11:36 AM
Subject: Sprint CW
de NC6U:

Finished with 230 x 42.  20 petered out earlier than usual, 40 was average and 
80 was velly good -- shades of things to come.  Also, the 2K-2 power supply 
blew at about 0230Z.  I was down for 10 minutes ejecting the Henry and 
throwing another amplifier into the breech.

I video-taped the contest for the first time in an attempt to figure out why 
I'm having such a hard time cracking the 240 QSO barrier on CW.   Here are 
some observations:

1.  I CQ'ed more than I thought I did - about 40% of the Q's.  Things went a 
lot faster when a double QSO could be had on the same frequency.

2.  I spent too much time acquiring "phase lock" on the next QSO.  I tuned too 
slowly and spent too much time trying to figure out if the QSO in progress was 
just starting, in the middle, or ending.  Sometimes I spent 20 - 30 seconds 
staring at the radio in a kind of brain dead funk, listening to some RBG 
cranking at 45 wpm.  I can usually copy a contest Q at that speed, but when 
I'm tired, it sounds like RTTY.

3.  I took too long from sending someone's call to punching the little 
itty-bitty memory button side-mounted on the Bencher paddle.  After a couple 
of hours, I finally figured this out and began to use the buttons on the keyer 
with my left hand, but this required alot of unnecessary motion (I also tune 
with the left hand).  Need to replace the little itty-bitty buttons with big 
fat buttons in a better place - pure ergonomics.

4.  Next time, I'll put the wattmeter in front where I can see it without 
moving.  I was having a problem working people for 5 - 6 minutes before I 
noticed that the wattmeter (sitting on the amp to my left) was barely wiggling 
(blown amp, see above).  Bonehead mistake, never again...

Overall, the contest was great.  Nice to work so many smooth ops (or was it 
the NA software?) - the Sprints really bring out the pros.  I made my XYL and 
kids watch the video, but they got bored after, oh, 4 seconds.  My wife then 
boiled contesting down to its essence: a bunch of guys sitting around saying 
"Hello, can ya' hear me?"  See you this weekend - 73, Kevin NC6U

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