[VHFcontesting] Some recent contest TX counts - So how much noise on the bands did YOU make?

Duane - N9DG n9dg at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 26 20:33:29 EDT 2013

For the June ARRL, CQ WW VHF, and the September ARRL I had a TX (PTT) counters on both 6 & 2M. While the counter doesn't distinguish between CQs or making Q's. It does represent making noise on the bands. And these counts do include both SSB and CW. Some snippets from what I posted to a regional VHF list summarizing my recent contest activity, these snippets focusing on TX counts on both 6 & 2M and the resulting Q / Mult counts for then bottom 4 bands. 

June ARRL (and nothing special for conditions on 2M or above):

I had some left over relay contacts on my 6 & 2M sequencers that I put to use as an inputs to some counters. So every time I stomped on the 6 or 2M footswitches they were counted. I decided PTT counts would be an interesting thing to look at, especially for 2M. So over the entire contest weekend I TX'd around 2800 times on the bottom two bands. 

The PTT counts: 
6M - 1380 
2M – 1430 

By the time you add in 222 and 432 I probably TX'd somewhere around 3000 times this weekend.  Subtracting the time that I was away from the shack or sleeping I was operating a total of about 26 hours. So I was TX'ing approximately: 
115 times per hour active counting all 4 bands. 
53 times times per hour active on 6M. 
55 times times per hour active on 2M. 

So in total I had hit a PTT close to 2X a minute for every minute that I was operating. In between CQ's I would normally either be clicking on the spikes and streaks I saw across all the bands and/or using the second RX within the same band that I was CQ'ing on to hear who it was that was generating the various spikes and streaks on the SDR display of the band that I was CQ'ing on. So I could pretty well CQ steadily and still also look around all of the bands during the RX times between my CQs. And/or move the rotator to a new direction. 

Unfortunately I did not have a way to count my CQ PTTs separately, it certainly would have been interesting to know just how many times that I did call CQ. And for what it's worth it looks like I made one Q for roughly every 8 times I keyed the transmitters, whatever that figure may mean. 

The numbers ( Q / Mult): 
50 - 159 / 77 
144 - 96 / 28 
222 - 36 / 19 
432 – 56 / 22

The numbers from CQ WW VHF:

The PTT counts:
6M - 1094
2M – 822

Though I did call CQ quite a lot, I wasn't quite as aggressive with calling CQ as I was for the ARRL June VHF though.

The numbers ( Q / Mult):
6M 162 / 82
2M 45  / 19

And from September (conditions which were downright poor here):

Overall I was also able to do a pretty good job of making full 360 degree antenna sweeps close to once an hour like I planned to. I'd call CQ 5-15 kHz away from .200, mostly above, as much as I could while going around the compass. And if I saw or heard nothing I'd drop to .200, though probably called more away from there.

The Numbers:

TX key counts:
50 ~485 (sure can tell there was no E openings this time)
144 ~1530 (which was about 150 more than I did in June)

The numbers ( Q / Mult):
50 – 50 / 23
144 – 79 / 30
222- 29 / 17
432 - 39 / 19

It does pay to CQ a lot or otherwise make a lot of noise on the bands. It also pays to have gear that lets you see activity up and down the bands and to click on it. No spotting or Internet needed..

So for those who want spotting will YOU call be calling CQ more, and do you think others will call CQ MORE or LESS overall??? OR will there be more waiting and watching the spotting pages in general and THEN deciding to call CQ only after something is spotted??



More information about the VHFcontesting mailing list