[CQ-Contest] XEs in contest

Ramon Santoyo V. xe1kk at xe1kk.net
Thu Jan 13 08:00:31 PST 2011

Some comments about the participation, history and situation of XE stations in contest.

During the last ARRL 10 meter contest, as you all know, we were multipliers for the first time.  FMRE and Grupo DXXE worked for months promoting the event and we estimate that nearly 100 Mexican stations participate from almost all the states, an unseen number in the history of Amateur Radio in Mexico (http://www.dxxe.org/arrl10m/xes-arrl-10-1.pdf).  There was even an expedition to the hard to get state of Tlaxcala east of Mexico City. All of this to work on band with dubious conditions. 

Needless to say everyone down here was exited. For some it was probably their first contest and only made a few calls.  Others clearly only S&P and never call CQ. But we all have fun and we're waiting for December to do it again.

There is no collective long time contest tradition in Mexico as in the US.  With few exceptions Mexico's famous old timers are/were, first of all DXers: XE1AE, XE1CI,  XE1OE, XE1ZLW, XE1J, XE1ILI and many more of our honor rolls.  They got/get into contest to work DX.   For the DXer there is no DX value in working the US all over again in a contest. As you can imagine from here you MOSTLY work stations from the US in any contest.

Serious contest operations from the past decades were mostly americans operating here, legally or some say illegally.  You can see some of the actual records and 6D2X is still on top.

Few years ago things started to change.  Radio Club Satelite with XE1VIC leading started a CQ 160m SSB Multi Op contest station that eventually won the world.  Later Grupo DXXE was created and people start to exchange information and techniques among them, something unseen in Mexico.  People started to compete amicably between other XEs and your previous year scores.  XE2S and some XE + AZ hams have been making multi efforts from the north.  But there were almost no locals teaching contest, you either read (in English, a foreign language for us) something about it or have the chance to operate and/or learn with US contesters as XE2K, XE2AC, XE1AY, XE2MX or XE1KK did (Gracias Señor Trey!).  

It is also important to consider that XEs usually don't have the perception to being valuable in a contest.  Any US station is expected to work an XE on most contest.  The same apply to VE, LU or PY but this in no true for the rest of the world.  During WRTC in Finland and old timer, with a modest station, told me that the last time he has work Zone 6 in a contest was in 1959.  I was ashamed! 

If the XEs feel that they are "valuable" and understand the mechanics of a contest (and why working the same guys over and over again every year is really fun) there will be more XEs active.

The NAQP is a great contest to do this. The exchange is better than most contest, it is a shorter contest so you don't get too tired, your multipliers are workable with a modest station, the big guns need to use 100 watts as you do, you don't need to wait a year and you can participate with your favorite mode, and you have propagation 24 hours to where your multipliers are. I hope the rules commission evaluate this possibility.


Ramon, XE1KK


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