[CQ-Contest] Sprint Notes: Attitude and Details

PaulKB8N at aol.com PaulKB8N at aol.com
Mon Feb 11 09:39:55 EST 2002

This Sprint was a personal best for me both for Qs and Mults (and, of course, 
total score), but it also was the most frustrating Sprint ever.  I felt like 
I was beating my head against the wall, making three or four calls for every 
response.  I rarely looked at my score on TR.  I do remember noting, however, 
that my score after two hours would have put me in the top ten box for low 
power just a few years ago.

Its kind of amazing how I just kept pounding my way into the pileups instead 
of really using the two radios at my disposal.  I've often used a band edge 
strategy with one radio on each end of the band activity and bouncing between 
them.  This works great for us low power guys with multiband antenna 
capabilities.  I think in the heat of battle I forgot this strategy.

It wasn't until the last 20 minutes of the contest that I realized I was 
doing really well!  80M was rocking and was almost QRN-free here in South 
Texas, but I was plagued by RFI into my keyboard that essentially froze it 
and kept me from doing any edits while transmitting.  I lost several Qs 
because I'd have to do the final editing of the previous Q before I could 
respond to anyone else.  After the contest, I found that my snap-on RFI choke 
had come unsnapped and the wire I had wrapped around it had come unraveled.  
As soon as I rewrapped the wire, the keyboard worked perfectly.  In a contest 
as fast-paced as the Sprint, details like that make all the difference in the 

If you look at the low power scores, you'll find only a few hundred points 
separate the top four.  Attitude and attention to detail really make the 
difference in this contest.  

Paul Schaffenberger, K5AF

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