[CQ-Contest] Sweepstakes Legends

bogus at does.not.exist.com bogus at does.not.exist.com
Thu Jul 10 16:07:40 EDT 1997

In a message dated 97-07-10 02:33:10 EDT, you write:

<< As I recall, the first full-capability two-radio efforts
 that gained wide-spread recognition in SS were done by WB6OLD in
 the early-to-mid 1970's from the QTH of Ted Gillette, W6HX.
How did this get up work?  Check the top-ten box for 1974,
printed in QST, May 1975, p. 60.  

For whatever this is worth, WB6OLD's (now KR6X) SS activities in recent years
from my QTH, some top 10...some not (never enough hardware), with the first
year being an exception...all other efforts have been with one radio and two
amplifiers. Leigh is in the process of buying a home and moving his new
family, otherwise I would try to get his comments on one vs two radios. I do
think he feels he is close to being as competitive with one as with two
radios from discussions we have had.

Terry - W6TG (ex N6UR)


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>From wallace offutt <woffutt at davinci.netaxis.com>  Thu Jul 10 22:51:17 1997
From: wallace offutt <woffutt at davinci.netaxis.com> (wallace offutt)
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 17:51:17 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Re:  Sweepstakes Legends

Hello Everybody,

I am enjoying this thread.  In fact, it caused me to stick my nose in some
old QSTs to refresh my memory about SS in the old days.  Here are some
interesting bits of information, some related to the present discussion
and a few which go beyond it.

RE two-radio operating, the rules for the 1958 SS state "The operation of
two or more transmitters simultaneously is not permitted."  I wonder what
the background to this is.  It probably wouldn't be in the rules unless
someone had tried it once or maybe more than once.  I seem to remember
hearing about someone who used to call CQ at the same time on two bands. 
Does anyone remember anything about this?  Perhaps what we had was not
two-radio usage in the modern sense but two transmitter use where the
point was to maximize answers to CQs by calling on two bands.  The front
ends of many receivers back then might not have handled the interference
generated by a transmitter on another band, making two-radio usage like we
do today impractical.  I know my HQ-100C certainly wouldn't have. 

In addition to the W9IOP article, I remember a great article by KH6IJ
about contesting that appeared in QST around 1960.  One of his hints was
to learn to send with a pencil in your hand so you wouldn't have to pick
up and put down the pencil several hundred times during the contest.  My,
how times have changed. 

Some other interesting things about SS 40 years ago:

Sample exchange:  Nr 1 W1AW 589 Conn 2301 Nov 10

Yes, the date and time was part of the exchange.  It took about twice as
long to send as today's exchange!  As I recall, most people sent the "Nr",
"RST" and "BK" at the end.  And pretty much everyone sent DE during their
CQs.  One of the greatest advances in contesting over the years has been
the elimination of unnecessary information.  I don't think I would have
the patience to work a 1957 SS today.

Most people on this reflector remember that SS was two consecutive
weekends.  But do you remember the contest hours?  It began at 2300 Z on
Saturday and ended at 0801 Z on Monday.  You could work a max of 40 hours
spread out over the two weekends.  1956 CW SS winner W4KVX's 1246 Q total
gave him a whopping rate of 31 per (compared with 59.6 for N6TR in 1996).
Talk about the Sunday afternoon doldrums. 

Something else I had forgotten: Phone and CW ran simultaneously.  It was
impossible to operate a full effort in both modes since total operating
time was only 66 hours.  So I suppose that the most important result of
moving from the two weekend format to single weekends for each mode was to
allow dyed-in-the-wool contesters to work both contests. 

And do you remember the power multiplier?  150 watts and below got you an
extra 25% added to your score, and there were no separate power classes.
Like Field Day scoring today.  The result was that very few stations and
virtually none of the winners operated high power in CW SS. 

The thing that really stands out from going through the old results was
the terrific participation in CW SS.  For the 1956 SS, 1435 logs were
submitted (the other year I spot checked, 1961, had 1,525).  The
comparable figure forty years later was 1265.  121 stations from Ohio
submitted logs in 1961; in 1996 it was 57.  Based on a rough calculation
from my 1958 callbook, there were about 160,000 licensed amateurs back
then, so 0.9% of all amateurs submitted SS CW logs.  The comparable figure
today is around 0.2%.  So CW SS participation today has fallen to
one-quarter of its level of 40 years ago.  (The phone figures would show a
different trend.)  Interesting food for thought in these numbers.  Any
guesses as to the causes? 

Well, gotta get back to work.  See you all in the IARU.


Hal Offutt W1NN (formerly K8HVT)  

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