[CQ-Contest] New Ops?

Jim Idelson k1ir at designet.com
Thu Nov 1 21:54:27 EST 2001


You have asked the most important question! Getting younger ops into contsting 
is THE long-term answer to keeping our sport alive. See my comments below.

>Hello Friends, i have some questions to make to everybody have an answer.

>What is the way to promote Contests through novice Hams?

K1IR: Get them involved. Let them experience the challenge. Don't overwhelm 
them with a station that is too complex. Don't put on too much pressure.

>Do you have any novice ham in the team during a Contest?

K1IR: I have made my station available to my son and his friend for the ARRL 
Sweepstakes Contest. They are completely in charge of the operation. I am only 
there as the control operator. They make the decisions about strategy. They 
find the difficult multipliers. They do the work to get the exchange absolutely 

>IF YES. What is his role in the team? Do you think that is the way to will be 
a good op?

K1IR: A new, young op thirsts for the excitement of a run, the thrill of 
working a tough mult in a big pileup, etc. If he doesn't get the opportunity to 
experience these things early, then he'll lose interest. If these ops are going 
to hang around, you have to give them some time in the chair doing real 
operating. The new op also needs to be able to make some mistakes and learn 
from them.

I don't really think that being on a serious multi-op team is the best way to 
get started. You don't really get to understand the total contesting picture in 
such a complicated environment. And, frequently everybody is too busy to pay 
much attention to the new guy. Doing a small single-op effort is much more 
instructive. I think there is a great analogy to yachting. When you compete 
individually in a small sailboat, you get a real "feel" for the boat [station], 
the water and weather [operating conditions] and the other boats in the race 
[your competitors]. When you race a large yacht as part of a team, you don't 
get the same "feel". Professionally competitive sailors universally start as 
"single-ops" and move into team competition. In contesting the same ideas hold 

In the Yankee Clipper Contest Club, we have several multi-op station owners who 
specialize in getting new ops on the air. Many thanks to those special people. 
I think they are doing a great service for the club and for our little part of 
Amateur Radio.

>IF NO. Why? 

>What do you think is necessary to do, for a novice contest Op, to be a good Op 
in the MS or MM team?

K1IR: Make sure everyone on the team understands that part of the goal of the 
operation is to train new ops. Assign mentors to the new guys. Let the new guys 
take over. Expect errors. Be willing to achieve a lower score in exchange for a 
future expert op! This means choosing some contests that you don't have to win!

It is also a good idea to get these ops infront of radios as single-ops. 
Operating a small station is the best way, by far, to tune your multiplier 
searching and pileup skills. Even generating runs at a small station is good 
practice for doing it at a big one.

See my article related to this subject in QST February 2001.

>Please answer on the news-group Thank you in advance for your attention. 73 
See you in Contest! Pietro - IK4MTF (IU4T) @ IR4T - CQWW SSB 2001 

73 and get lots of new ops on the air in the next contest!

Jim K1IR

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