[CQ-Contest] Nonstop 48 hours for SO in CQWW

John Laney k4bai at worldnet.att.net
Mon Sep 10 10:56:39 EDT 2001

The last time I did 48-hours straight was last CQWW CW at age 58.  The
next time I will try it will be this CQ WW CW at age 59 (both at 8P9Z).  

I doubt that age has much to do with it.  The first time I did 48 hours
straight was in 1987 at age 45.  It was suggested at a forum at the ARRL
National Convention in Houston by Dick, N6AA.  I had not seriously
considered it before.  The most I had prviously done was in CQ WW CW in
1980 from PJ2CC which was about 46 hours.  In 1985, I did CQ WW CW from
4V2C (Haiti) and slept only 20 minutes.  Since that year, every year I
have been in the Caribbean single op, I have done the whole 48 hours
without sleep.  

I find it almost impossible to sleep the daytime preceding the contest. 
The contest starts at 8 PM, so I am actually up about 60 hours
straight.  I do REST on the afternoon before the contest, but can't seem
to relax enought to actually sleep.

Actually, older age may be a positive factor rather than negative, as
long as one is in good health.  We seem to require less sleep as we get
older and we are able to condition ourselves (or practice makes
perfect).  I used to have  hallucinations similar to those described by
others, but they have not been noticed in recent years.

Actually, I think a 2 hour nap during the wee hours of the second night
would probably be beneficial to most operators, including myself.  But,
I am generally at a place totally alone, with only an alarm clock to
wake me.  My concern is that I might lie down for a quick nap and wake
up 6 hours later as others have described doing (W2GD?).

This is not to say that I operate the 48 hours without a break except
for a dash to the refrigerator and bathroom.  I nearly always take a hot
shower and some years shave during the wee hours of the second night. 
Last year, I had a rig failure just before that planned shower break and
decided to skip it after taking too much time to get the backup
equipment on line, but was almost out on my feet and actually took the
shower break during the Caribbean morning Europe opening.  After that
break, I was good to go for the rest of the contest.

By the way, I have actually gone to sleep standing up operating CW with
the headphones on.  I fell onto the floor and woke up then.  But that
was at TG0AA in 1967, when I was 25 years old, hi.

So, what I am saying in a round about way is not to let age discourage
you if you are in good health.  And experience will probably lead to
more success each year.


John, K4BAI/8P9HT.

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