[CQ-Contest] Advantages...

Chris Hurlbut c_hurlbut at adelphia.net
Fri Jan 24 19:35:41 EST 2003

It's interesting what most people consider an advantage.

The argument is usually, "xxxx was closer to Europe, so he could run more
guys than me."  Which is mostly valid, most of the time.

But the QTH advantage is not always the same in every contest.  When
conditions are exceptionally bad, the W1/2/3 guys usually can't beat the
W4's in CQWW.  At least that has been my experience so far.  Maybe it's
different at a different part of the cycle.  My East coast operating has
been pretty limited, but boy have I learned a lot already.  I can think of
about 100 "advantages" my competitors had in WPX SSB when I operated from
W4AN. (First time operating east of Idaho.)  Probably those same 100 apply
the handful of times I've operated from out east.

I agree with Tree, in that a HUGE advantage is knowing your station, and
learning how to "be one" with the setup.  A really good example is last
IARU, when I operated at KL7Y.  Having done the majority of my contesting in
Alaska, I had a good feeling for what conditions were supposed to be like.
I knew that at about midnight local time, I could hit 10 meters and work
some JA and pacific on Sporadic E.  That's something you just have to learn.
I also knew what the station "felt" like.  Everything was familiar, although
SO2R was new to me.  (BTW... SO2R rulz.)  When conditions turned out to be
MUCH better than they should have been, it was easy to adjust my operating
strategy.  The only way to do that is by having experience.  Two radios
helped too... sometimes I had more QSO's on the 2nd radio than on the "run"
radio.  If 20 was open to Europe, and 15 open to states, I would need the
mults on 20.  But it turned out I couldn't "run" real well on either band,
running slightly better to EU.  So CQing to EU at about 50/hr working needed
mults, or working 2-3 countries total at 60-70/hr on the 2nd radio was
amazing.  For some reason it's always been hard to work stateside on 15m in
July.  Usually KL7 is not the best place for a DX Contest of any kind.  This
happened to be one of those "one in a hundred" contests where conditions
were outstanding and the aurora stayed away.  It also didn't hurt having
most of "the boyz" at WRTC.  :)  That was also the last contest at the KL7Y

I'm still trying to find an advantage here in Idaho at W7UQ.  Maybe there is
one, maybe not. :)  But knowing the station is helping a lot.  I can QSY a
lot faster (mult moving) with 1 radio using both VFO's, and tuning up the
wire on the low bands.  (SO2R went out the window when the power supply
stopped working, but that should be fixed soon.)  I still don't have
conditions figured out very well (missing both NAQP's didn't help) but I'm
slowly learning how to squeeze everything out of this TH7 and wire.  :)

If I was worried about the other guy having a bigger advantage, I'd never
get on.
I know that K9PG will always get spotted.
I know that N6MJ will always beat me.
I know that I can't beat the SO2R guys with stacks.  Or Tree.
I know that K7RI will never hear me on 10 meters, so I better find another
WA mult on backscatter.
But I also know that DXing is boring, and contesting is FUN!  :)
Advantages make this game fun... when you overcome your disadvantages and
beat those with "advantages", then you can smile nice and wide.  (At least
that's what I think... I don't know for sure..hehe)

I'll continue to keep getting my butt handed to me in the Sprints (SPRINT!!!
tm) and entering the "weird" categories like T/S LP in WPX.
As far as fun goes, M/M rulz.

73, GL in the SPRINTS!!!
-Chris KL9A

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list