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joelth at joelth at
Sat Nov 11 12:41:37 EST 1995

set nomail

>From Chris & Bill Shell <shell at>  Sat Nov 11 18:00:22 1995
From: Chris & Bill Shell <shell at> (Chris & Bill Shell)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 10:00:22 -0800
Subject: Contest College
Message-ID: <01BAB01C.B29B3940 at>

Hello All,

I have been reading the messages about training of contest operators, =
and I thought I would throw in my two cents. =20

For the past six years, I have been inviting the students from Cal Poly, =
San Luis Obispo campus, to join us in the major DX and WPX contests.  It =
gives the younger operators an opportunity to see contesting, operate =
the station, and enjoy some of the social interaction with the other =
more experience contesters.  There are always the stories of the last =
contest, and what we are going try for the next, to keep the over =
abundance of high energy operators busy.  Hi Hi. =20

There are no prerequisites, other than a valid ham license (hopefully =
extra class).  No previous experience is necessary.  All they need is =
the willingness to be ready to operate when to main operator turns to =
them and says, "Relieve me, I'm taking a break!".  You can always tell =
when that happens, the Alt-F9 function is exercised several times, and =
the you hear the not so familiar sound of sub-20 wpm code coming out of =
the monitor speaker.

The rather modest station here (940, single tower, tri-bander, 2 el 40) =
gives everyone plenty of experience struggling in the pileups, and being =
on the left coast the intensity of the Asian and Pacific runs are =

I can't say that we always approach the contests knowing we have a =
chance to win or place, but hopefully we will acquaint the newer =
operators with the lighter side of contesting.  And, if they like it, =
they will continue contesting after they graduate from Cal Poly and move =
away from the area.

We have graduated some fairly good contest operators from the WA6IET =
Contest College campus.  The efforts of the faculty W2KVA, W6KFV, W6TKF, =
N6MB, JA7RHJ, & N6GC have provided good experiences and training for =
many younger potential contesters.

Like all educational institutions we are experiencing budget cuts, so if =
there are any open or uncommitted grants that anyone knows of please =
steer the contributors this way. (Just kidding)=20

I encourage others to invite the hams from their local colleges to =
participate in M/S or M/M contest efforts.  There is a tremendous =
resource of good operators, and it familiarizes the students with =
contesting.  I have seen several students that had never participated in =
contests encouraged by the peers to participate in contests.  By the =
way, their hearing is a lot better than mine, and they don't lose their =
voices as fast. =20

There are some real disadvantages to having a lot of guest operators.  =
When I find the time to get on the air to have a casual QSO, I find that =
many times I am in other hams logs, but they usually have my name as =
Tom, Javier, or Jon.  Oh well.

73, Bill
shell at

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