[CQ-Contest] How do you get better?

Ernesto Martin Grueneberg ernesto.martin.grueneberg at googlemail.com
Fri Oct 31 08:37:09 EDT 2008

I´d add: use a CW simulator software. It´s not the same, but it helps

Ernesto LU5CW/DL

2008/10/31 Randy Thompson K5ZD <k5zd at charter.net>

> "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" the guy asked his cab driver.  The
> reply,
> "Practice. Practice. Practice."
> I think we all can acknowledge that practice is an important part of
> learning and improving any skill.  Sports players practice, sometimes for
> years.  Kids learning musical instruments practice.  Very few people are a
> "natural" who can just pick something up and be instantly good at it.
> Why does no one ever talk about practice with regard to radio contests?
> I find the SS CW contest is the best single thing I can do to be ready for
> WW CW.  Why?  Because it lets me practice my SO2R techniques.  After doing
> SS CW, I find I can sit down in WW CW and immediately go into SO2R mode
> without much thought or effort.
> Other ways to practice in radio contests:
> - Start at the bottom of the band and see how fast you can search and
> pounce
> your way to the top.  Then go back to the bottom and do it again.  The
> first
> time is about knowing how to acquire the next signal and dump in your call
> (or decide to keep tuning).  The second pass is the valuable one.  It helps
> you practice call sign recognition, duping skills, and how to dig between
> the fast loud guys.
> - Work a QSO party or smaller DX contest that is focused on one area.  See
> if you can work every station you hear from that area. Again, this helps
> you
> practice recognizing signals from a target area and duping skills.
> - Work Field Day running high power.  No better simulation for practicing
> running skills.  :)
> - Work RTTY contests to learn SO2R skills.  In RTTY, the computer is doing
> the brain work and the QSOs have a fairly consistent timing and pattern.
> This frees you to practice the keyboarding skills of jumping between the
> two
> logging windows.  For even higher level of practice, try running on two
> bands at the same time (while never transmitting on two bands at once).
>  The
> goal is to do it so smoothly that no one listening can tell what you are
> doing!
> - Search and pounce in a contest using low power.  Almost everything I
> learned about busting pileups came from my early years in ham radio with
> 100
> watts and wires in trees.  You take a different approach when you are not
> the loudest guy in the pileup.  Learn that different approach and then be
> amazed when you apply it while running a KW!
> - W4AN used to do work in his shack with two radios turned on listening to
> two different stations.  He would practice copying both.  You probably
> won't
> be able to copy solid on both, but you will learn how to quickly shift
> focus
> back and forth.  The goal is to get this skill happening without thinking.
> - Get on the air between contests and make some QSOs.  Nothing helps your
> CW
> sending more than having to think and send at the same time.  :)
> Most of all, have fun!
> Randy, K5ZD
> _______________________________________________
> CQ-Contest mailing list
> CQ-Contest at contesting.com
> http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest

Ernesto Grueneberg

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list