[UK-CONTEST] QRS and cw contesting

Stewart Rolfe gw0etf at btinternet.com
Thu Apr 22 01:22:16 PDT 2010

"I was approached by one of the members at are Radio club the other night who has just started to go into the Club Championship contests. He has never been in Amateur Radio contests before so was not sure of the QSO format. He also is learning Morse Code and was keen to try it out in the contest."


Not wishing for one moment to discourage your fellow member and appreciating that he wanted to help the club effort, I just wonder if he may be being a little over ambitious.

I 'learnt' cw *before* I tried contesting (well, to at least 12wpm, the old test requirement) and then spent a lot of time listening to various contests to improve copying calls and numbers and getting the overall feel. I'm concerned that people can get put off if you try to run before you can walk as they say. There are plenty of contests to get your practice on and a few hours on the receiver will make a huge difference in reading ability and confidence. Morserunner and RufzXP are also excellent tutoring tools now.

I also feel the 80m cc contests are not that good for someone to get a first taste despite the so-called QRS corale; a 90 minute contest is bound to be a fairly hectic affair and I rarely hear anyone calling cq below 20wpm. I wet my feet on Sunday evenings at the fag end of various 48 hour contests after spending sometime during the weekend just listening; there will always be stations at that time desperate for new calls to work and will be only too willing to slow down. I always reckon BERU is a great 'beginner' contest.....sensible speeds and exotic calls in your log to boot.

Try to persuade him not to be put off but suggest a bit of 'structure' to his approach will smooth the ride....


Stewart, GW0ETF

More information about the UK-Contest mailing list