[CQ-Contest] SECRETS OF CONTESTING, CHAPTER 15
n6tj at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jan 19 00:16:17 EST 2005
Obviously the topic of "how frequent should we ID" is one of great interest, and its been fun reading and contemplating everyone's opinions.
And that my skills, or lack thereof, would sometimes be mentioned is at least interesting for me, and for those who think I've maybe "done it right" sometimes in my 50 years of contesting - thank you.
But believe me, I'm strictly an AMATEUR. I kind of adopted the use your call at the end of a QSO from one of our best, Katashi Nose KH6IJ. As I started contesting from W 7 land in the mid-1950's, Nose's style was one we all marveled to hear.
So when I first started contesting from DX in 1967, it made sense to try and sound like Nose. Fat chance, but what a standard to try and emulate, huh?
What I call the Nose Rule: just sending your call says three things: (1) I QSL your report, (2) I am XXXXX, and (3) QRZ. A lot said, in very short order. How efficient is that??
Keep in mind, that for most of us, pre-1970 there were NO MEMORY KEYERS, NO COMPUTERS, and everything was sent long hand.
Now, certain principles still apply, I believe, and for those who want to continue reading, follows my Secrets of Contesting, Ch. 15. I take no exclusivity on any of this; many will perhaps disagree, but that's OK too.
1... A major secret to life (and contesting) is to AVOID THE EXTREMES. Simply stated, there's no one size that fits all. And for most of us lying well within the extremities, whatever we feel comfortable doing, is probably the right thing. Sign your call whenever you wish; you won't please everybody anyway, so what the heck................
2. How can anyone take exception with the way Jose CT1BOH is doing it? Numbers that truly boggle the mind.
Yes, sometimes I beat Jose - usually now he beats me. His analysis, for the most part, is right on, I believe. Incidently when Jose started contesting in the late 80's, he always told me I IDed too often, and he could've generated bigger scores than I from D44BC. Maybe he was right; I certainly have learned from him.
3. Whereas I have a 'reputation' of signing after every QSO; I must confess I don't always today. Sorry.
4. Obviously the appeal to sign your call every Q is greatly diminished, as VR2BG suggested, if your call is a basket case. I've been very fortunate to have the ZD8Z call since 1968, and I suppose it is easily recognized. Each character ends with 2 dits, and a few hundred thousand QSO's later - well I'm sometimes astonished when it ends up BUSTED on packet. Oh well. Now if my call was XQ9ABY, I doubt that this EXTREME call would motivate me to send it after every Q.
5. As N6AA and others have observed, the frequency that you sign is pretty well dictated by the pileup. And I have noticed that when I sign every Q, my pileup definitely grows, leading me to believe that when I don't sign, many are patiently waiting for the call. Truly interesting dynamics.
6. For me, I have evolved into (1) signing after every QSO when the pileup is not robust, and (2) signing after every two to three Q's when the pileup is big and the rates are good. At a minimum, one should never go longer than a minute without IDing, in my opinion
7. The gentleman that I am trying to learn from is my good friend Al 4L5A. And with his D4B call, what a GOLD STANDARD he is setting for the rest of us. Can you imagine eleven straight 200+ hours this past CQ WW CW? With best hours exceeding 260 Q's? Not even CT1BOH has done that!
Anyway, enough of this. Strive to feel comfortable in what you're doing. Realize that others might be listening and set a good standard for non-contesters and beginners. Do what Don Wallace W6AM used to call "friendly CQing". Play the game fair. Cheaters know who they are, and they're not the only ones who know............
Winning is important, but it's not everything. As Ville OH2MM shared with me in Brazil two years ago, after awhile, only YOU remember your No. 1's.
And if any of us strive to be remembered one-half as fondly as KH6IJ, then that's a nice legacy with which to depart.
Jim Neiger N6TJ ZD8Z (this March) TO4A (last November - fun call, but what's your country?) ZF2TJ (next
month - ARRL DX CW, and NO the opr is not
'still crazy after all these years'
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