[CQ-Contest] NAQP Time-Off Strategy

Steve London n2icarrl at gmail.com
Mon Aug 3 14:24:22 EDT 2015


There is no one-size-fits-all "best practice". August and January NAQP 
are very different. And east vs. central vs. west makes a difference. 
Every contest presents new ionospheric challenges and opportunities.

I can only speak from my New Mexico/Colorado experience.

Yes, taking 30 or 60 minutes between 23Z and 02Z is good in August for 
the reason you state. In January, it's probably a little narrower, like 
23Z-00Z. I would typically wait for 20 to close, then take off-time, 
even though 40 was open. After all, you have to take that off-time 
sometime ! If 10 and 15 are poor at the start of the contest, taking 30 
minutes off after the first hour, and another 30 minutes in the first 3 
hours is a good strategy. However, last weekend 10 and 15 were excellent 
for the first 2 hours, and taking off-time then would have been unwise.

I don't think activity slacks off as early as you observed - you need 
those 80 and 160 QSO's and mults. But quitting the contest and using 
your last time-off at 0530Z is a good idea.

My exact off-times last weekend were:


In retrospect, I should have skipped the 2350Z off-time and taken 
0530Z-0600Z off.

Steve, N2IC

On 08/03/2015 10:12 AM, John Reilly wrote:
> Once again this weekend, I was faced with determining if/when to take
> breaks. Personally, I took a break around 23z when activity on 20m was
> beginning to slack off, and 40m wasn't active, yet. On the other hand,
> it also appears to me that activity really begins to decrease after the
> 10 hour point.
> Is there a "best practice"? What is your time-off strategy?
>    - 73, John, N0TA
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