[SECC] NAQP CW strategy Jan 2015

Kevan Nason knason00 at gmail.com
Fri Jan 9 09:03:44 EST 2015


I don't think I've received such a thorough and precise answer so quickly
in many, many years! Why don't you go into politics? We could use you! I
know you've talked on this subject before and perhaps you grabbed and
updated an old email, but even so that is great advice modified for today's
conditions whipped out on short notice. If not, and that was all on the tip
of your tongue... again, WOW! Thanks John.

Figure I'll go home and summarize this tonight into hourly and bullet point
style and post it at the station for reference during the contest.

Any input or comments from anyone else? I'm sure people do things a bit
differently than John. I undoubtedly will too as I digest his answer and
figure out how to apply his advice to my stations strengths/weaknesses.


On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 8:36 AM, John Laney <k4bai at att.net> wrote:

> Good advice that you have included in your message Kevan.
> Here is my general band plan for SO1R operating in NAQP CW.  Start on 10M
> if there are any signals there.  After that for the afternoon do a sweep of
> 10 on the hour and 15 on the half hour as long as there are signals on
> those bands.  Try to run during these sweeps.  I generally find running on
> 15 and 10 unproductive from here, but sometimes we will get short skip to
> the northeast and I can do so very well.  If you don't CQ, you cannot work
> some participants who are S&P only.  Most of us have a tendancy these days
> to start at the bottom of a band and work up.  If you hear someone you'd
> like to work (like a new mult doing S&P), try CQing up the band a few kHz
> from where you last heard him.
> When you are S&P, one frustrating thing is to keep being beat out by the
> same station each time you call someone.  If that happens, you might want
> to switch to the other SSB on CW and go down the band rather than up.  Some
> people, K1TO and the late W4AN included) always go down the band for that
> very reason.  I guess I like to go up the band as a result of being a
> General Class licensee so long that I wanted to start at the 025 kHz marker
> and move up without having to worry about slipping across the 025 marker
> without realizing it if I was moving the other way.
> In between forays to 10 and 15M on the hour and half hour, you need to be
> running on 20M. That is not to say don't call someone else, but you need to
> be CQing on 20M to get those S&P ops who will start the contest and drop
> out soon.  Most of the stations running will continue running for a while
> and you can call those who haven't already called you later.
> It's a pretty good idea to start making quick runs across 40M beginning
> about 2100 or 2130Z.  You can pick up the more local 4th district mults and
> maybe DE and WV while the skip isn't long.  We have been experiencing long
> skip on 40M in recent weeks and if you are late getting to 40M, you might
> miss some of the more local mults.
> On 80 and 160, you certainly want to be on 160M at 0330Z and 0430Z.  Those
> used to be target times for 160M when not too many of us were active on
> that band.  After starting to run on 40M, I think of checking back on 20M
> every half hour.  I don't ever leave a frequency when anyone is calling
> (unless I have promised a quick QSY for a mult).  In other words, when I am
> talking about checking other bands on the hour and half hour, those times
> are flexible and I'll never leave a run frequency until I have called CQ a
> few times with no answers.
> After going to 40, you have to decide when to start checking 80M. As a
> rule, it is a waste of time for us this far south to try 80M much before
> 0000Z and then you don't want to stay there too long. But you do want to
> make a few passes across 80M before most 80M operators start going QRT.  If
> you wait too late, you will miss a lot of them and maybe some otherwise
> easy mults.
> When to take your off times could be a complete topic for a long essay.
> W4AN always believed it was best to take them a half hour at a time in the
> afternoon.  I usually take one half hour off for supper with my XYL
> whenever she calls me, but that is for peace in the family and probably
> doesn't maximize the rate, as it always seems to me that 40M is going great
> guns and 20M needs a final check when I take that time off.  One very
> important consideration is to be sure that you take a full 30 minutes off.
> Nowadays, that means if your last QSO is at 0015Z, don't make your next QSO
> before 0046Z.  If you make it at 0045Z, you have taken off only 29 minutes
> and the whole off time will count as on time.  You can make your off time
> as long as you want, but it must be 30 minutes at a minimum (unless it is
> the time before your first QSO, which can be any time).  In other words, it
> doesn't matter when you start, your ten hours starts then.  I take my other
> off times at or near the end of the contest period.  If you quit too early,
> you will miss mults on both 80 and 160.  If you take all your off times
> earlier, it seems to me that the rate always drops during the last 90
> minutes because so many people on the east coast have quit and gone to
> bed.  So, its a difficult problem.  Should you take off more time and lose
> rate time in favor of better chances at mults?  If getting sleep isn't a
> big consideration, it is probably better to take all your off time and come
> back on for the last 45 minutes to maximize your chances for west coast
> mults on 80 and 160M.  I don't usually take this last advice seriously.
> I'll probably take the last hour or 90 minutes as off times and go to bed
> early.  (This has absolutely nothing to do with my advanced age, of course.)
> We still could use some more team members for NAQP CW and SSB.  I will
> register the teams late tonight and send out a confirmation to everyone.  I
> will try to check e-mail at 1630Z Saturday for any last minute changes or
> additions.  I can re-register teams up to the start of the contest at
> 1800Z, but will be eating lunch with my son and can't be sure of being able
> to check e-mails after about 1630Z.
> Good luck and 73 to all,   John, K4BAI.
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