[CQ-Contest] Re:SO2R

Dick Green dick.green at valley.net
Wed Jun 7 02:53:28 EDT 2000

> But one radio vs two makes a HUGE difference.  The two radio (or more)
> operator has a tremendous TIME advantage over the course of a contest,
> literally HOURS more spent receiving than the one radio guy.  That is
> the part of the playing field that needs leveling.
> Bill, W7TI

No, no, no and no. First, the time advantage isn't as great as you think. I
do not use the second radio all the time. I mostly use it when the run rate
is low enough (say, under 70/hour) for me to concentrate on doing two things
at once. Second, you have to subtract the time lost due to being confused by
trying to concentrate on two radios at the same time. I make more mistakes
when using two radios than when I use one. Third, at higher run rates you
have to subtract the QSO time lost on the first radio when making a QSO on
the second radio. The rate definitely slows down for virtually everyone
except W4AN. Like I said, the very best two radio ops get about 10% score
improvement from the second radio (the rest of us get less.)

Finally, there are a lot of hardware configurations that give ops a HUGE
advantage in both time and score:

1. Monobanders versus tribanders.
2. 2-stacks, 3-stacks, and 4-stacks versus no stacks.
3. 100', 120', 150', 200' and 300' (KC1XX) towers versus 70' and 50' towers.
4. 40M and 80M beams / 80M and 160M 4-squares versus low wire antennas.
5. Late model rigs versus older rigs.
6. Good IF filters versus poor or no IF filters.
7. Autotune amps versus manually tuned amps.
8. Memory and voice keyers versus manual operation.
9. Heil HC-4 mic elements versus stock elements.
10. Rigs with SSB compression versus rigs with no compression.
11. Computer logging programs versus manual logging.

These are just a few examples of the many station upgrades that save time
and improve scores. If you don't think big antennas save time, try CQing on
a dipole on 20M in CQWW. Talk about HOURS of time! A top-of-the-line rig
with great IF filters and dozens of operating features will save you many
hours versus more modest rigs. If you do a lot of S&P or run assisted, an
autotune amp like the 87A or ACOM, or an amp with presets can save a ton of
time. Automatic keyers are a big time saver, too. Using a punchy element
with compression can save a lot of time versus using a stock mic element
with no compression (Why? Because a lot of time is lost when your signal
doesn't get through the QRM and you have to call again!)

Should we set up different categories for these harsware advantages?

By far, my favorite time-saver is computerized logging. There is no doubt
that this technical improvement gives a HUGE time advantage to the ops that
can 1) afford it, 2) are able to implement it, and 3) are able to train
themselves to use it. This advantage makes the SO2R advantage pale by
comparison. There are still ops who do not use computers and they are at a
severe disadvantage. Should we set up another category for them?

All of these improvements require money, time and practice. Same as two
radios. So what's the difference? As many have pointed out, the key is that
one person does all of the operating.

73, Dick WC1M

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