[VHFcontesting] How to Make FM Contesting Succeed

Tom Holmes tholmes at woh.rr.com
Tue Dec 18 12:48:24 EST 2012


Well said!

Tom Holmes, N8ZM
Tipp City, OH

> -----Original Message-----
> From: VHFcontesting [mailto:vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com] On
> Of Les Rayburn
> Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:17 PM
> To: vhfcontesting at contesting.com
> Subject: [VHFcontesting] How to Make FM Contesting Succeed
> As the previous Section Emergency Coordinator for Alabama, I understood
> FM Simplex capability translated into a greater level of capability during
> emergency. Amateurs who improved their stations on simplex, also benefited
> being able to reach more distant repeaters which is a huge advantage
> severe weather.
> Some "lessons learned" from cross-promoting FM activity during VHF
> were:
> 1.) Tailor your message to your audience. I didn't try to pitch it as a
"contest" as
> much as an exercise--when talking to ARES, Skywarn, and CERT groups. We
> encouraged them to test their ability to communicate without the aid of a
> as they might have to do in an emergency.
> We also encouraged field day type operations from high locations.
> 2.) Concentrating activity in a three to five hour period is going to be
> successful than just putting out the dates/ times for a two-day long
> Nothing worse than "dead air" to a non-contester.
> 3.) It's vital that weak signal operators monitor the FM Frequencies, and
> participate in those concentrated activity periods. I tried to utilize the
> hours on Saturday, when conditions are poorest---so that operators didn't
miss out
> on a lot of contacts on SSB and CW.
> But that doesn't work well in June when six meters is liable to be open.
> The point is that weak signal operators often turn their nose up at
FM---and this
> hurts the efforts. If you give a new operator a taste of DX, they may
> hooked for life. Best way to accomplish this is to get those "monster
> active on FM. If your local big-gun doesn't support FM contesting, then
try to
> change their mind on the topic.
> You should hear some of the reactions you get from newcomers when they
> discover they can communicate 75-100 miles or more on their FM rig without
> repeater. Easily possible with a high performance weak signal station.
> 4.) Talk up the event on your local FM nets, club meetings, etc. Tailor
> message to the crowd. A DX club isn't going to respond to the same "pitch"
> your local ARES team.
> 5.) Poll your club and see who has 222 FM capability. I always make it a
point to
> schedule contacts with those operators on 223.5.
> 6.) In the last few days before the contest, make a lot of calls on
> 146.52 and talk to operators there about the contest. They understand the
> concept of simplex, and use it often. They're your best candidates for
> in the contest.
> Nothing in the rules forbids promoting the contest on 146.52 prior to the
> 7.) Don't get discouraged by the naysayers. The FM Only category is a
great idea,
> but it needs the active support of the weak signal community to work!
> --
> 73,
> *Les Rayburn, N1LF*
> EM63nf
> 121 Mayfair Park Maylene, AL 35114
> 6M VUCC #1712
> Grid Pirates #222
> Life Member Central States VHF
> WPC4LF Popular Communications Monitor ID
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