[CQ-Contest] Sweepstakes pointers

Jim Stahl jimk8mr at aol.com
Tue Nov 15 09:54:51 EST 2016

A good list from Art, though I think for the levels of a total neophyte the ones about running are irrelevant - you have to be comfortable walking before you start running.

A couple of additions:

1. If you aren’t getting guys to come back to your calls, stop and listen for a minute. Are they working other people, and if so, where? You may not have good propagation to these guys, and others are a lot louder at his end. So don’t let it get you down.  

2.  Try bands that aren’t the most crowded - 20 meters at the start of SS is not a good place for the uninitiated. From Ohio, consider 40 or even 75.

3.  Operate in lots of small time periods. You’ll benefit from shifting propagation and new people showing up on the bands.

4. The big contests are fun, but for learning contesting the small ones are better. There are a lot more of them, and they are less crowded and less intimidating. But keep in mind that some of these are geographic specific, and in those if you show up at a time where there is no propagation or where everybody else in those specific areas are operating somewhere else, you may not find much.

5. Do send in a log, even if you don’t have an impressive score. If nothing else, you’ll feel good seeing your call in the results!

73   -  Jim   K8MR

> On Nov 14, 2016, at 11:29 PM, Art Boyars <artboyars at gmail.com> wrote:
> W8TAH poses:
> "So, heres the question:  what tips, suggestions, etc, would you pass on to
> us?"
> This question has been discussed several times here over the years -- so
> much so that the answers might be hard to find (too many hits).  Without
> enough time for a thoroughly thoughtful reply, here are some suggestions.
> I'm sure you will get many more, from several viewpoints.
> K3KU's Prime Rule for Contesting:
> 1.  Have fun.  Understand yourself; know what motivates you and what you
> expect to get out of operating the contest.  Do what gives you the most
> satisfaction.  (Try not to harm others.  But if you do harms others, they
> will soon drive you out.)
> "All the rest is commentary. Go and learn"
> General Approach (not well ordered):
> 2. For real tyros, listen to some of the big guns running people -- not to
> learn how the big guns operate, but to learn how to be a good pouncer.
> Learn how to keep the rhythm going, how not to waste words and time.
> Practice (w/o actually transmitting) calling the runner and saying your
> report -- like the on-deck batter swinging at the pitch.
> 3.  Know your abilities.  Don't try to stretch them too far too fast. Don't
> try to work a CQer who is running faster than you can copy.  Don't try to
> run before you can copy a weak callers' reports efficiently through QRM.
> 4. Know your station's capabilities.  Don't try to run in Kilowatt Alley if
> you don't have a big signal.  Don't waste time and add to the QRM in an
> unruly pileup if you have no chance of getting through.  (Don't rely on
> miracles.)  Know when your station can have openings to the target areas
> 5.  Know how to operate your station -- antenna switching, logging
> software, ...
> 6. If your objective is to maximize your score, know the rules so you can
> figure out whether to run or to S&P, which band to use (high volume, or
> missing multipliers), whether to stay in the chair or take a break.
> SS-specific, for 100W and a dipole:
> 7. "Fresh meat" effect is powerful in SS.  If you are inactive until late
> in the contest, you will have lot's of response to CQs, and you will have
> little competition when answering CQs.
> 8.  Call any CQer you can copy.  You can listen to a CQer run a QSO or two
> to copy his info before you call.  The big guns will be the most efficient
> responders.  They hear better, they send their report smoothly, and they
> will stay calm when asking you for any repeats they need.
> 9.  If you have trouble copying CQers in the mid-band QRM, look at the
> edges of the band.
> 10.  You can, in fact, have some success CQing (see especially #6).  Stay
> out of the mid-band QRM; look for open spots (fat chance!) high and low in
> the band.  If you find an open spot, quickly ask "is this freq in use" or
> dump in your call once or twice, or send a quick "TEST K3KU" once or
> twice.  If that doesn't generate a "K3KU QRL QSY!!!" then you can start
> regular CQs.
> And a million things more.
> 73 and CU SS.  Remember Rule 1.
> Art K3KU
> Tune for MaximumFun

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