[CQ-Contest] SS CW thoughts

Tree tree at kkn.net
Wed Oct 30 12:44:51 EST 2002

The ARRL SS CW contest is coming up this weekend.  Hope everyone can 
make it on.

I have had a few thoughts about some of the recent threads and how they 
apply to the SS.  Here they are for anyone to flame at:

1. Use of packet.  Packet continues to be one of those double edged swords.
It can be abused, but it can also help encourage activity.  Lots of people 
get caught up in trying to complete their cleansweep and use packet as an 
aid.  Obviously, if you use this aid, make sure you chose the right category
when sending in your log.  Also, if you are spotting stations, make sure you
are an "equal opportunity spotter".  It wouldn't be right if one station ends
up with some kind of advantage because he was spotted ten times as many times
as the competition.  I am sure they wouldn't want to win because of that 

2. Working of friends...  it is great to get on and help out one or two
of your friends.  However, they will appreciate it if you work enough other
people so that your callsign shows up in the databases for the contest and
isn't flagged as a unique callsign.  Being a unique isn't a problem by itself,
but if a station has a high percetange of unique contacts, it might be an 
indication of some kind of cheating.  Please don't use your club callsigns
to give your friend additional QSOs.  This isn't fair since you are not making
these QSOs available to others.  Unless you move to a different location like
K8MR does, please stick to one callsign for the contest.

If you are worried about helping out your friend's competition to much, you
can be clever and only work guys who are in a different category.  :-)

3. In the SS, most stations will send their callsign after every QSO and 
during the exchange.  I think the problem of not signing callsigns isn't an
issue for the SS.  

4. "Cross frequency QSOs".  Some of the NILs I find during the log checking 
appear to be cases where two stations are next to each other and both log a
station who came back to one of them.  This happens more when the station
calling is off frequency.  The typical spacing of stations in the CW SS
is about 400 Hz.  If someone calls off as much as 200 Hz, both stations 
might feel confident that they are being worked.  Two things can be done
here:  make sure you are calling stations on the right frequency.  Ask a
friend to help you with this or check with a 2nd receiver.  Also, it might
be a good idea when you think this might be happening to send the callsign
of the station you are working.  Some people might thing this is slowing 
things down too much, but I generally appreciate hearing my callsigns at
the start of the exchange, because I am then certain the station is working

5. If you aren't sure - ask for a repeat.  The log checking for this contest
has developed to the point that if you copy an exchange wrong, there is a
99.7 percent chance that it will be caught.  If you aren't sure of an exchange,
ask for a repeat.  The top notch stations end up with error rates around 1 
percent.  However, there are still may stations with double digit error rates.
A little extra attention would greatly improve their scores.

6. If you can't get on for a full effort - everyone will love you for getting
on for an hour or two on Sunday and handing out some QSOs.  You should be able
to establish a good rate for an hour or two as everyone is thirsty for QSOs.
If your are burned out after working the CQ WW, then maybe this is the plan
for you.

7. Remember the Running of the QRP Bulls event - a contest within a contest.
http://personal.palouse.net/rfoltz/arci/bulls.htm has the rules.

8. Speaking of QRP stations - there will be lots of them on.  Give them a 
QSO or two to make their day.

9. Send those Cabrillo logs to sscw at arrl.org.  Our friendly log processing
robot will QSL your submission and let you know if anything needs attention.
If you have a problem, just keep resubmitting your log until it is fixed.

See you in the SS CW!!

73 Tree N6TR
tree at kkn.net

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