[CQ-Contest] Question for Experienced SO2R Ops
K4RO Kirk Pickering
k4ro at darkstar.k4ro.net
Fri Jun 4 13:32:23 EDT 2004
> On 29 May 2004 Pete Smith wrote:
> Under what circumstances do you swap the roles of your two radios --
Most often when I'm about to transition CQing from one band to
another. If I'm on top of things, I'll S&P my way to a new run
frequency on the new band while CQing on the "dying" band. The
S&P radio becomes a run radio on the new frequency with the first
The best SO2R setups are "symmetrical" meaning equal antennas,
power, and receivers on either side. The best SO2R operators
don't seem to distinguish between a RUN radio and S&P radio.
They treat both radios "as one" and work all of the bands in
a more or less continuous fashion.
Most beginner and some seasoned SO2R setups are not symnmetrical.
My station is a good example. While I have identical radios on
each side (IC-765) I do not have identical amplifiers. One side
has a legal-limit AL-1200, but the other side has a 3-tube AL-811
which is limited to 500 watts output on CW. There's a very big
difference in DX contests between 500W and 1500w, more than the
dB numbers may suggest. I also have slightly different antenna
choices between the two positions, although I have been adding
more antenna switches and relays to eliminate this deficiency.
As a result of one side being louder than the other, I usually
want to be CQing on the loud side, and S&Ping with the small amp
and more limited antenna selection. When it's time to swap roles
for a band change, I'll use the "weak" side to CQ only temporarily
until I can get the "loud" side lined up on the frequency. TR-Log
recently introduced a useful feature called SWAPRADIOS which lets
me do this much more easily than in the past. As my antenna switching
and bandpass filtering is all automated with relays, all I have to do
is tune the amps and hit the SWAP button. It's not perfect, but it
doesn't take too much energy or thought with a little practice.
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