[VHFcontesting] Contest Confusion

Chet S chetsubaccount at snet.net
Mon Sep 16 18:09:22 EDT 2013

In addition to your suggestions, let me add a few other ideas to increase
the enjoyment of VHF contesting.

Someone mentioned that the probability of two 10 degree beamwidth long yagis
being pointed at each other was low. Exactly! Those are great antennas for
DXING when you know where to point, but for CONTESTING perhaps a different
antenna choice would be better than a rule change. Here on 6 and 2 meters,
my yagis have only 3 elements, and their beamwidth is around 50-60 degrees.
How's that for increasing the probability of a contact? To get more gain,
stack 2 or more of them. And don't worry about having the best F/B ratio, a
little RF in the off direction is good during a contest.  How about putting
up more than one antenna on 6 or 2 and pointing them in different directions
and feed them both at once while CQing? By building a switching system you
can then pick which to listen on when getting an answer. That is easy to do
on 6, not as easy the higher you go. For me, half or more of the fun of VHF
contesting is thinking about how to overcome the constraints of  a given
situation or rule, building it, and then trying it out in the next contest. 

Have you learned WSJT? During a contest, skeds are not required in order to
make contacts on that mode. Yes, even with 100 watts. Moon bounce? OK now
that is getting a lot harder to get running.... 

When you do work someone on 6 or 2, ask them to try the other band and above
with you. Many many times the reply I get is "my rig or antenna is not too
good there so you probably would not hear me." But you say lets try it
anyway and 95% of the time you do hear each other, and everyone goes away

Here, I make a band plan for the contest- note which hours are likely to
have 6M E-skip, when and where the big stations or rovers have posted when
they will be in a particular grid or mode. Before the contest some ops post
here wanting to make skeds. Why not make a few and enter the time on your
band plan. Look at the Hepburn prediction maps for what direction tropo is
likely and mark that in.  Things never go per the band plan but it makes it
all that more interesting and fun. 

73 all

Chet, N8RA in FN31 

-----Original Message-----
From: VHFcontesting [mailto:vhfcontesting-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf
Of George Fremin III
Sent: Monday, September 16, 2013 11:16 AM
To: Mike (KA5CVH) Urich
Cc: VHF Contesting
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] Contest Confusion

On Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 08:53:44AM -0500, Mike (KA5CVH) Urich wrote:
> I would too however, all we need to do is have more people go turn the 
> radios on and .... "get on the air".

It seems to me that the above issue is not something that will not likely be
solved by allowing any number of outside assistance.

If you want to get people on the radio (or in the chat room etc) for a
contest you have to promote the contest.  You need to talk it up.  You need
to sell it.  This has been done in the Dallas Texas area for the UHF contest
and it had a huge impact on activity.

It is a lot of work.

But it can be done and it can pay off. 

The other thing that I find helps contest scores is to make noise.

You need to call a lot of CQs. You need to move your antennas around.
If you just listen and others just listen you will not make many (any)
contacts.  As a rover or mobile station the thing that I always did was call
a lot of CQs while I was driving.  Either with a memory keyer that I would
punch the CQ button every so often or with my voice on SSB.

The two big secrets to making better contest scores are:

- Call CQ
- Stay in the chair

George Fremin III - K5TR
geoiii at kkn.net

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