[CQ-Contest] Fwd: Checklist!

Dale L Martin kg5u at hal-pc.org
Thu May 31 00:22:49 EDT 2001

> 1) Use UTC on your shack PC if at all possible
> 2) Have a check list - it's always way too hectic at/near the
> start of a contest to remember everything.
> Hey, number 2) might make a good thread...what's on yours?

Dave/K6LL came up with a great list I found a few years ago (Thanks again,
Dave!).  I've used it ever since.  I'm too lazy to change it, but where the
line items apply, I use them.

dale, kg5u


K6LL Contest Secrets

Here are some contest "secrets," originally prepared for a pre-SS training
session for the Southern California Contest Club two years ago. Some of the
"secrets" are for West Coast stations in the SS, but most of them have
general application. Hope you find them interesting.


•Make a checklist like this one, customized to the needs of your individual
•Set Computer to exact UTC time.
•Set up computer files, cw/voice memories, keyboard overlay.
•Simulate a few qso's on the computer, with rig interfaced, then erase log
•Get prop forecast and make Miniprop runs.
•Review past contest logs and magazine results.
•Simultaneously update amp tuning chart, tuner memories, and check for rfi
at 1500w, all bands, computer interfaced.
•Contest eyeglasses handy. (Non-bifocal)
•Lozenges handy for phone. Coffee cup heater in place.
•Make sure computer boots clean, with no unnecessary TSR's.
•Verify attenuator, AIP, notch, noise blanker, split frequency all off.
•Air Conditioner vents max open in radio room.
•Telephone, high pass filters ready for handout to neighbors.
•Brief xyl.
•Trim palm tree near sloper.
•Change vox delay.
•Have contest rules handy.
•Prepare sheet with suggested frequencies.
•Prepare off-time sheet.
•Do receiver noise survey with computer on.
•Does turning ant slightly help?
•Establish a difficult, but achievable, goal for the contest.
•Look at last year's rate sheet to fine-tune strategy for band changes.
•Domestic contests - max antenna height 10m-50', 15m-75', 20m-100'.(6db down
in E. Texas.)


•Ignore other peoples' numbers. Some play games and off-times are
unknown. •Very short pause between cq's, so nobody can tune past while freq
is silent. •Need VE8? Point antenna at 045 while running.
•BAD - Who was the Yankee Zulu? GOOD - Yankee Zulu 253 B K6LL 59
AZ. •Maintain accuracy.
•Scores converge. Every qso is important.
•No alcohol, except nightcap Sun a.m. and victory celebration Sunday
night. •Population density - Western states advantage - Call CQ. Use the
highest band open, to avoid 9's working 1's, with the 9's aimed East.
•Don't worry about mults until Sunday, unless you stumble across a good
one. •Know who is running above and below you.
•Keep centered, but not too far away so somebody can sneak in.
•Use automated cw and voicekeyer (BRAVO, K6LL, 59 ARIZONA.)
•Motivation - Visualize pinned S-meters on the East coast.
•Motivation - Remember your commitment to the SCCC. Operate full time.
•Don't start on 40 Sunday morning. 20, then 15 asap.


•Start at high speed (32-35), then slow down as the rate falls (26.)
•Adjust speed so ONE station is tail-ending.
•If a pileup grows, increase speed (40+) until it becomes manageable.
•AGC off. Ride the RF gain control.
•Tune RIT +/- 400 Hz after CQ.
•Go high in the band (050) and send slow (25wpm) cq's once in a while.
•In S&P mode, use LSB (cw reverse), tune from high to low to maximize


•Attract noncontesters with plaintive cq's.
•Make them say the full exchange.
•Fast AGC, only to protect your ears. Ride the rf gain control to avoid
•Prolong 10 meter novice operation beyond maximum rate. These are unique
contacts, and it will improve your nightime rate, when you work the "real"

Dave, K6LL 74752.115 at compuserve.com

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list