[CQ-Contest] Time off strategy - NAQP CW

Tree tree at kkn.net
Thu Aug 4 15:20:21 EDT 2005

Was looking at the 3830 posts form last year's event - and remembering
what the bands sounded like from South Dakota last year - in an attempt
to form some kind of off time strategy for the NAQP on Saturday.

Here is a summary of what I see:

1. Due to the very limited time of darkness here (sunset is 0330z), 
most, if not all, of my break time should be taken during the daylight

2. It will be tough to make more than 60 QSOs in the last hour, but 
probably 1/3rd of those will be multipliers on 80 and 160.  Since
multipliers are worth about 6 QSOs each, that makes the effective
rate around 160 QSOs.  This makes it even more clear that using up the
break time during the day makes the most sense.

3. If ten meters is open, it might require a lot of RF to get people to
answer you.  This will be an advantage for us two radio guys, who can
throw occasional CQs up there without impacting our rate on the other 
band -- or do some serious CQing up there when we are S&Ping.  For single
radio guys - see if you can put a receiver up there with a wire to make
sure you don't miss an opening.  

4. 20 meters can be really hard during the middle of the afternoon with
high absorbtion.  Even after you have found 40 to be open, it will be 
worth keeping an eye on 20 as signals will likely be a lot stronger in
the early evening than they were in the middle of the afternoon.  For 
offtime, this might mean using up most of it in the few hours after the
initial rush of QSOs near the start.

5. Never take a whole hour off at a time if you can avoid it.  Instead,
spread out the 30 minute breaks and operate at least 20 minutes between

6. Make sure to take 30 minutes off time - not 28 or 29 minutes.  One
station from January had a significant impact to his score because of 
this.  To be safe, I define each minute as either on time or off time, 
and take 30 consecutive minutes off.  This means that if you have QSOs
at 0030 and 0100 in your log, there is only 29 minutes off time between
them.  Add an extra minute to make sure (QSOs at 0030 and 0101).

Final note - don't be afraid to ask people to QSY back up to a band
where you still need their mult.  When I was in Wyoming last year, I 
worked N6RT on 20 meters and we were able to quickly QSY up to 15 and
10 meters for additional QSOs (where those bands were pretty much empty
at that point).

73 Tree N6TR
tree at kkn.net

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