[CQ-Contest] Why I like contesting more and DXing less

Eric Gruff egruff at cox.net
Tue Nov 22 12:01:58 EST 2016

I am not a psychologist, but engage in both contesting and DXing fairly
seriously at times. I have often tried to explain to family and friends why
both activities are something that I love to do, including the money, effort
and time to build a station and operate (usually without any success in
convincing them I'm not crazy).


I liken serious (and maybe not-so-serious) contesting to video games. You
engage in repetitive behavior that provides a reward (QSOs and mults) for an
extended period of time. There's the addictive nature of the
activity-reward-repeat cycle. It's somewhat like gambling as well - I  don't
usually gamble, but on the occasional trips to Las Vegas, it's hard to break
away from slots, blackjack, etc. once I get started. Then, when I'm home and
away from the excitement, I have little to no urge to gamble.


DXing is a bit different - a long period of activity for an infrequent
reward, albeit a more desirable one (ATNO is much more valuable to most hams
than a new mult in a contest). It's more of a chess game, where the strategy
and tactics are key to the reward, but it's not a rapid process (well, for
most of us that don't have superstations). Before anyone jumps on me, I'm
not implying that contesting doesn't require strategy and tactics, just that
DXing usually requires it to even be slightly successful.


I'm not saying one activity is better than the other, because that's the
"Ford vs Chevy" argument. Some of us love contesting, some love DXing, many
love both. They're both great aspects of amateur radio, and deserve the
discussion we're having. 


73 and Happy Thanksgiving to all.


Eric NC6K

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