[CQ-Contest] multi-single

Jim White, K4OJ k4oj at tampabay.rr.com
Sat Feb 3 17:19:13 EST 2001

How to multi-single....well, here are my thoughts having done a few:

First off this is the ARRL Contest coming up so CAREFULLY read ARRL's =
rules regarding multi-single, they are WAY WAY WAY different than =
CQ's....just because you hear a new mult on another band does not mean =
you can work it and then go back to running on your first =
band-station...READ THE RULES, ARRL has time limitations in M-S...here's =
an extract from the ARRL web page:

2.3.1. Multioperator, Single Transmitter: Stations are allowed only one 
transmitted signal at any given time.

                      In those contests that do not have 
Single Operator Assisted class, this category
                               includes those single operators that use any 
form of spotting assistance such as from
                               nets or packet.

                      Includes those that receive 
assistance with logging or relief operators, etc.

                      Limited to 6 band changes (maximum) 
in any clock hour.

                                The clock hour is from 
zero through 59 minutes.

                                Band changes are 
defined so that, for example, a change from
                                         20 meters to 40 meters and then 
back to 20 meters constitutes two band

                      Violation of the 6 band changes 
rule or improper logging will result in an entry
                               reclassification to the Multi-operator 
Multitransmitter class.

...ok!  You have been warned.

NOW as far as making sure you are only transmitting one signal at a time =
you will need to lock out the other transmitter, to prevent multiple =
simultaneously transmitted signals.

The easiest way to do this is to have an open in the keying/mike line =
occur while the other rig is key down.  By scabbing from the linear =
relay line you can achieve this, if it is shorted then the keying/mike =
line for the other rig should be open - this can be done with a simple =
relay that will run "in parallel" with your linears' relays.

REMEMBER though that if you pick up that multiplier on another band, you =
are stuck on it for 10 minutes!  Because the ARRL contest works this way =
you may not need the relays...if one of the operators is about to "seize =
control" for ten minutes the other op better know it first! In CQWW a =
random new mult here and there is allowed without a time constraint on =
sticking to that new band, ARRL DX is a whole nother ball game.

SINCE you have decided to sacrifice ten minutes make sure it is worth it =
- by this I mean plan to make the most of those ten minutes by lining up =
multipliers on the new band, a minimum of ten minutes worth if =
possible...I know I will pre-load mults into the transceiver's memories =
and then jump from one memory to another as they are worked - so during =
that ten minutes very little time is spent "tuning" the new band...

CONVERSELY, the station that has been "dethroned" from x-mit status =
should line up mults on his running band in his memories so that once =
ten minutes/or as many minutes are needed to work all the prearranged =
mults on the 'new' band' are worked he can do similar prior to getting =
back to running.  This is what the main station should do while the =
other station is hunting for mults.  When the mult station relinquishes =
transmitting back to the run station the run station can "run the =
memories" and work all those DXpeditions to the Caribbean who would =
never call him on "20 meters" or whatever...also, the run station will =
hopefully have found a nice place to re-establish the run.

Almost ALL of the contesting software has a useful option which will be =
of use in determining when to gobble up some mults on an alternate =
band...there is a "QSOs per Mult" ratio which tells you how many QSOs =
you can forsake at this time to get one more mult...so...if you enter =
into a pileup on a mult and can get out in less than the amount of time =
the run station would take to make that number of QSOs you are ahead of =
the game.

Multi-single is a great opportunity for "bonding" with another =
op/ops...weighing whether or not to make the jump is perhaps the oldest =
debate in contesting....

"When should I S&P and when should I run?"  Hopefully you can do both - =
like your job at work - make sure you are well grounded in your decision =
to give up those precious ten minutes of run window, don't say we should =
QSY just because you as the mult op wanna make some QSOs!  Contesting is =
NOT DXing - it is a marriage of QSOs and multipliers, the winner will =
usually max out both - multi-single is an excellent test for your =
station as to how quick you can get in and out of the DX pileups, if you =
got the muscle the main question is picking your run frequency!

Have fun - that is the secret!

Jim, K4OJ

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