Fw: [CQ-Contest] call sign in contests

Allan and Bridget dxcc at dbtech.net
Sun Feb 11 08:50:52 EST 2001

Hi, Rick,
With your only upgrade choices being General and Extra (since Advanced =
is out of the picture) I would definitely upgrade to Extra (I encourage =
all the candidates who come to our test sessions and upgrade to General =
to go "all the way").  As to the callsign issue, there are hard-core =
contesters that will tell you that you need a shorter call to be =
successful in contesting.  Actually, however, you would be better off =
becoming the best contester you can and not worrying about the "cosmetic =
issues" (to borrow from another's analogy).  My husband (KV4T) always =
likes to point out some examples of people who do well in contesting =
that have long calls:  VE7ZZZ, WB1GQR, and WA6FGV are some of these men =
who have long calls and do well, both in CW and SSB contests (send some =
of these calls to yourself in CW and see how long they can be...).  A =
2x2 is nice, but you are right in thinking that this is not the answer =
to callsign woes.  My husband kept KB4FAI for years and didn't have any =
major problems with it.  While he now has a 2x1, I kept my FCC allocated =
2x2 (I did NOT like my former call so ditched it) and while it is not =
the best callsign in the world, I plan on keeping it.  Keep your call if =
you like it.  If you want to have another call for contesting, you will =
have to hoke up a contest club with a trustee who is an Extra (if you =
can find a 2x1/1x2 that suits you and is available) as well as have at =
least four people agree to have their names listed on a club roster.  =
Anyone you work under the club call would not be useful for your =
personal goals...would you rather have an entity make four contacts or =
make two contacts using your own call?  Don't tie up a call that another =
might enjoy more, just for the sake having a shorter call.  Of course, =
that issue opens up a new can of worms for all who are closely involved =
in the race for the best Vanity callsign. =20

As to your choice of SSB over CW, there is a lot of pressure (especially =
with the restructuring) to become a CW guru.  I enjoy CW but have not =
become as good as I would like, but also know (as someone who does weak =
signal DX on VHF and DXing on 160m) that it is necessary when conditions =
don't lend themselves for voice, less stressful than a phone  contest, =
and can give a person a hefty sense of accomplishment once all has been =
said and done.  I would encourage you to continue to improve your =
skills, but know that there are ops who do only CW or phone (or only the =
digital modes).  That's the wonderful thing about this hobby...there's =
room for people who enjoy several different aspects of radio. I wish you =
the best as you "grow" in the hobby and hope that we can all encourage =
each other...I believe that was one of the reasons that this list was =
begun, so that those with a love of contesting could get together and =
exchange ideas, techniques, and yes, air frustrations.  Look forward to =
hearing you in the lower part of the bands!
Bridget, KS4YT


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