[CQ-Contest] Sweepstakes legends

David L. Thompson thompson at mindspring.com
Tue Jul 8 23:04:05 EDT 1997

At 01:20 PM 7/8/97 -0600, K7BG Matt Trott <aa7bg at 3rivers.net> wrote:
>I was reading an old NCJ yesterday with an article by W9IOP that was
>originally published in 1960. The article was titled, "How to beat the
>winners" and was full of useful tips for operating SS. As I understand it,
>W9IOP and W4KFC were the kingpins of SS in those days and into the early 70's.

On CW in the early 1960's they were major competition.  Dave W5WZQ (W5UN
now) was often the high scorer.  On phone (AM even at times) K6EVR and I
(K5MDX then)fought it out for several years.  There were a good number of
top ops some of which are still around today (W7RM, K4BAI, W3LPL, K4VX, K1ZM
(WA2CLQ), W9SZR (K3ZO) et al). 
>I began to ponder the psyche of these operators and I, with some amazement,
>realized that (at least as far as said article goes) there was no mention
of >"two radio" operating. I'm quite sure that they both had at least two
radios >(stations) so that wasn't the limiting factor. Of course, computers
were >essentially non-existent, but I don't really think that would be a
limiting >factor cuz some of us that dabble with 2 radios today aren't
interfaced and >it definitely would have been a competitive advantage then
as now.

Everything was paper logs..with many re-writing the logs to make them
presentable.  The real art was dup checking.  Several of us put together dup
sheets with 1-5 on one side and 6 to 0 on the other.  We kept trying to
figure where to put DX and VE's usually putting DX on the 6 to 0 side and
VE's as just another column (we even had a VE0 to work one year). My dup
sheet was on a flip table so I could flip it over with a finger or even the
foot! There was no computers except the W9IOP second op (a paper wheel).

Regarding two radio operating, some had a 2 meter and a HF rig.  many of the
stations with multi op set ups had a rig on each band and switched from rig
to rig, but there almost no two radio.  Some started using two radios later
in the 60's when Drake/Collins became popular.  I used two receivers one
transmitter that let me work a mult and then slide back to the "run"
frequency.  This was very limited two radio operation. 
>With memory keyers/tapes and such they coulda CQ'd with one radio while
>searching for new meat on a different band. 
Only if you had more than one set up then.  Most was on the same band.

>So what was it, why wasn't this operating technique used before computers
by >the top ops? (maybe it was, but if it wasn't was it because):
>>(1) Never thought of it?
Yes it was though of.............
>(2) Competition didn't require it (could win w/o it)?
The competition could not do it either....

>(3) Bordered on "ethics violation" (spirit of the contest?)?

Naw...just not really possible.........

>(4) Too hard to check for all those dupes on paper ( I doubt it, the rate
>got REALLY         slow late in the test even for those guys)?

In the SS we often had to catch up dup sheets at breaks.  I marked my log
where my last dup entry was and started from that point.  Often we had a dup
that we had to note later...

>(5) Style of operating was more S&P than running? 

Running has been it since the stone age........I think we did 75% run 25% S&P.
>(6) It was just too gooda secret to share with the general populace? (no way)

No secret just not possible without totally separate stations until
transceivers came along (really until dual VFO transceivers).
>What say? Was there any discusion of this phenomenon (2 radioing) in the
>good old days?

Very little..........

Hey..one thing I sure don't want to go back to those days...it was real work!

Dave K4JRB

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