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A Pre-Contest Checklist

from Tim EI8IC on October 25, 2001
View comments about this article!

With CQWW SSB fast approaching, I thought some might be interested in my own Pre-Contest Checklist :

Pre-Contest Checklist:

Set the computer clock to the correct date and exact GMT time.

Caps Lock and Num Lock set as required.

Configure Logging Progam for this contest.

Load the CW or Voice Memories, and listen to them through the rig.

Prepare the Keyboard Overlay sheet.

Simulate five qsos on computer, then erase log file.

Check computer is on same band and mode as transceiver.

Print out full Contest Rules, and re-read them.

Print out latest Propagation Forecast for the bands needed.

Print out Contest Bandplans from EI8IC's pages.

Print out Announced Operations from NG3K's pages.

Print out your Logging Program command-set.

Prepare Floppy Disc or SmartDrive for log dumps.

Visual check of all antennas and cabling.

Check rotators are calibrated and functioning.

Test station on all bands, noting for any RFI.

Check the position of all knobs and switches, especially:
# Attenuator
# Noise Blanker
# Vox Delay
# Split Frequency
# Upper/Lower Sideband

Tape card behind linear amplifier and ATU controls, and mark all tuning positions in coloured text.

Un-plug the shack telephone, and turn on answering machine.

Gather together all contest necessities:
# Notepad and pencils
# Spare headphones and microphone
# Eyeglasses
# Throat Lozenges
# Damp cloth and towel for accidents
# Food and Drink
# Clean clothes for mid-contest shower
# Torch and spare operating-light bulbs
# Box of fuses and test-meter

Check location of all backup-equipment and cables.

Review past contest logs and magazine results.

Plan strategy, and prepare band change and off-time plan.

Feed the cat.


Post-Contest Checklist:

Make a backup of the log on floppy disc.

Make a backup copy of the log on another computer.

Don't try to edit the log whilst you are tired.

Unplug all power and antenna plugs.

Respond to answering-machine messages.

Feed the cat.

** Please visit the EI8IC Contesting Website. **
Recently re-written, with over 50 new pages of information
for all HF Contesters, including Budget Contesting, Beginner's
FAQs, Graphical Bandplans, and Big Gun Contest Stories.
All this and more at

Member Comments: Add A Comment
A Pre-Contest Checklist Reply
by dl1mgb on October 29, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
No matter how well you're prepared, if you have a cold at the test weekend, you can have a look at your station and drink tea. So happened at the CQWW SSB 2001....

A Pre-Contest Checklist Reply
by K5KG on November 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Add to the contest checklist:

Review prior years' scores and set band by band goals for this year. Post these goals at the operating position.

Plan off times and get agreement (as necessary) with your xyl (or someone's xyl!) about break and eating times.

I am sure I could come up with more pre and post contest ideas if I gave it more thought. Maybe I will!

73, George, k5kg
RE: A Pre-Contest Checklist Reply
by n8ik on November 30, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Both pre- and post- contest: Take XYL out to dinner. But don't tell her she's "5 and 9, QSL?"

RE: A Pre-Contest Checklist Reply
by N2MG on December 5, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I would never tell her "5 and 9"

More like "5 9 9"

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