[CQ-Contest] Run rates back in the day

David Thompson thompson at mindspring.com
Sat Feb 25 22:02:21 PST 2012

I was fortunate to operate the ARRL SS from a rare state (MS).  I got to run 
from the start.

1958   821 QSOs  40 hours  20.5 Q/Hr (My first contest  3rd High Nationally.

1959   980 QSOs  40 hours   24.5 Q/HR.  High Phone score

1962   1301 QSOs  40 hours  32.5 Q/HR  SSB helped and 2nd Nationally 3rd 
Overall (CW and Phone).

1963  1006 QSOs in limited 26 hour operating. 38.6 Q/HR.  90% SSB.  This did 
prove that 1000 QSOs were possible in a 24 hour period.

Our Club won 3A on Field Day 3 times between 1959 and 1970.  I recall we had 
several runs of 50 per hour and set the goal of a minimum od 20 per hour 
when the band was open.

DX Contests was mainly S&P until about 1967.  I sent K1AR QSOs made by me as 
USA winner and 5A1TW (now N2AA) for the 1962 Cq WW.
seldom did either hit 20 Q/HR.  John reported this in his CQ Contest Column. 
I do remember my first real run of JA's in 1967.  I was working them right 
over the top of the W6RW Multi on 15.  One hour was 140 and the second hit 
170 and would have been higher if the band had not started closing.

As late as 1971 I made 1350 QSOs in 73 hours in the ARRL DX.  This averages 
18.5 with a couple of runs at 70 per hour.

There was a lot less activity for Dx Contests until the 1980's.  Even the 
East Coast Multi's had numerous low hours especially in the 1960's.  Dave 
K2GM (SK) told me that at K2GL he could have several hours on 10 of less 
than 10 QSOs per hour.  Even with the dominate signal on a band from the USA 
you often had to scratch for QSOs.

73 Dave K4JRB   Ex K5MDX

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