[CQ-Contest] Maximum Time Limit for S/O

Charles Fulp k3ww at fast.net
Wed Feb 21 22:52:38 EST 2007

I enjoy going 45 to 48 hours 4 times a year, I prepare for them, I 
concentrate on what is needed to do it and live to send in the score. 
I had always heard that OLD people do not need as much sleep, and often 
have trouble sleeping.  Now that I am an OLD person, I must agree, it is 
a little easier than it used to be to do the full 48 hours.
There is no doubt that individual variables make it easier for some 
folks to remain semi conscious for 48 hours of contesting, but then some 
of you can actually HEAR stuff above 3000 Hz..so life just is not fair 
and neither is contesting.

I do not  know of  anyone that has died from blood clots shortly after, 
or during a contest, although it is a definite risk.  I know of people 
who have died or suffered blood clots after long flights.  I know of 
lots of folks that have been killed or injured traveling.  I know of 
people killed or injured working on towers.  I know of professional and 
amateur athletes that have been killed or injured in their sports.  I 
don't fly, I don't swim in salt water, I don't golf, and no longer bass 
fish when thunderstorms are in the neighborhood.  I don't operate my 
radio during thunderstorms.  But I am willing to live dangerously 4 
times a year doing 48 hours or so.  It would be neat if our software 
would automatically submit our logs for us at the end of the contest, 
unless we specifically respond to a prompt to delay submission...just in 
case.  I wouldn't mind leaving this life during a contest, if the log 
got in.  Preferably after finishing another  3 cycles.

KQ2M and others assure me that my crummy results on Sunday are the 
result of exhaustion, and they are probably right.  I have used the lack 
of sunspots as cover for experimenting with rest periods of up to 3 
hours, with no conclusive improvement of my Sunday performance.  
Analysis of my UBNs over the year show I screw up as much the first hour 
as the 48th.  I know I may only make 4 or 5 Qs /hour during the wee 
hours the second morning, except when the bands are great, but really 
LOVE to experience the WHOLE contest.  I suspect being a low tribander 
type station owner has more to do with the slow 2nd day (all the big 
guys are worked out), than exhaustion. 

Time limited contests require certain tactical decisions, for sure.  
Operating the proper number of hours when there is no limit requires 
equal skill, since you must balance operating effectiveness against 
maxim time available. 

Aiming for 46 hours in ARRL DX SSB

73 Chas K3WW

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