[CQ-Contest] Spots and Success in the WRTC - a little data for discussion

David Gilbert xdavid at cis-broadband.com
Mon Jul 19 10:26:37 PDT 2010

That sort of revisits a notion that K1TTT raised a few days ago .... 
could there be competitive strategies in the arsenal of today's 
contesters that would result in them being spotted more often and more 
effectively?  I think it's a valid concept, and these are some of the 
influences I've previously considered (although never explored):

1.  Skimmer and most clusters have a timer to avoid repetitive spots, so 
changing my run frequency more often probably allows more spots to get 
through the system.  Whether that offsets the potential losses of doing 
so is debatable, although it might during slow periods.

2.  Changing frequency might cause someone who thought I was notable 
enough to be spotted the first time to spot me again as an update.

3.  Sending my callsign more often should potentially result in more 
spots since casual spotters are less likely to wait around for someone 
to ID.

4.  On CW, sending my callsign slowly enough for more people to try to 
copy it seems prudent, at least during quiet stretches.  The more people 
who can figure out who I am, the more of them are likely to spot me.

5.  Are people more likely to spot my signal if I am weak or if I am 
strong?  I'm not sure on this one.  Some people may tend to spot weak 
stations under the assumption that they are helping others find me.  
Other people may tend to spot loud stations under the assumption that I 
should be easy to work.  Skimmers and the RBN are going to lean toward 
the stronger stations, of course.

6.  Some of the well-known multi-op stations regularly have their 
loggers set to "log all S&P contacts", so a minor point might be to 
never call them ... let them call me on their second VFO/radio.

7.  Skimmers only spot callsigns that are accompanied by certain 
keywords, such as CQ, TEST, etc.  If I send TU AB7E at the end of a 
contact in a run (as I usually do) I probably won't trigger a Skimmer 
reaction.  There may be other distinctions that have an influence.  For 
example, while CQ'ing I wonder if "TEST AB7E" or "AB7E TEST" is more 
likely to work.

Of course, if anyone ever gets really good at this there will probably 
be those who will claim he is in effect violating the spirit of the 
rules.against self spotting.  ;)

Dave   AB7E

On 7/19/2010 6:13 AM, Steve London wrote:
> A question that I have is...what were R32K, R31X, R36O, R34D, R37P, R39A and
> R39R doing differently that caused them to be infrequently picked up by a skimmer ?
> On the suggestion of my teammate, N6TV, our CQ was "TEST R39M R39M". All
> characters were sent at the same speed - usually at 36 or 38 WPM. That seems to
> have resulted in the 6th highest skimmer capture rate.
> 73,
> Steve, N2IC

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