[CQ-Contest] How to call CQ in a contest [WA2GO's secret technique revealed]

John W xnewyorka at hotmail.com
Fri Feb 27 14:01:03 EST 2004

OK guys, I'm going to give away my secret for how to call CQ correctly in a 
contest. Don't say I never gave ya nothin'..........


n.b.: The "right" way to call CQ may change many times throughout the 
contest, because the rate will change many times throughout the contest. So 
the operator must be dynamic and flexible to take into account the changes 
affecting what is the best way to call CQ at any given moment.

In order to answer the question correctly, there are many parameters that 
you must take into account:

How open is the band?
What are the conditions like?
In which direction are you beaming, and what kind of ops are you most likely 
to find on the band from that area at this time of day?
Who is on the band at the moment (what is the blend between contesters and 
casual ops?)
How long have you been on the band?
How long have you been on the frequency?
How close are the nearby stations and how much QRM are they causing to the 
guys you want to work?
Have you been spotted?
How loud are you?
How clean is your keying or audio?
How fast are you sending?
What is your current rate?
What kind of rate will the band support at the moment (as given by the rates 
of other competing stations in your area who have a good clear frequency and 
approximately the same score as you)?
How rare are you?
Are you fresh meat on this band?
Are you likely to be a desirable mult for lots of people?
How long is your call sign?

And NOW for the MOST IMPORTANT parameter.....   <drum roll please>

What kind of CQ is needed in order to catch the attention of the op who is 
JUST ABOUT to tune across your CQ frequency?

Rhetorical question??   Not really.  You need to try ALL the methods and 
decide what works best for YOU based on YOUR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE.

There - - now that I've given away the secret, there is nothing more to say 
on this topic.

Oh - except one thing:  Please don't send a "K" after your CQ in a contest.  
That would work only if EVERYBODY did it, and most people won't do it.  
Otherwise, it's ambiguous whether or not the K is part of the call.

Happy CQ'ing,


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