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Fifty Two Contests in 2001!

Charles D. Fulp Jr. (K3WW) on April 1, 2002
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Fifty Two Contests in 2001


Charles Fulp K3WW

2001 ended with my pal, K1AR, responding 'you're sick!', when I mentioned during our Stu Perry contest QSO that this was contest number 52 for the year. The story actually began with Y2K, when I set up a spreadsheet to see how many contest QSOs I would make in the new year. I usually forget to keep track, and often wonder how many QSOs I make. I know there are over 250,000 QSOs in my computer logbook; however, I never broke them down by contests or casual operating. Y2K seemed to be about the peak of the cycle, so it seemed like a nice time to keep a running total. The year ended with 32,852 QSOs, and participation in 37 different contests.

It seemed only logical to track the next year, as the cycle was supposed to be going down. Being somewhat competitive, I could not help trying to keep up or a little ahead of the previous year. I passed the 32,852 QSO level and kept adjusting my target as the year came to an end.

The final total was 40,597 QSOs in 52 different contests. I kept specific contest logs for 2 separate events on 10 weekends, and must have been working in the garden on 9 weekends. Perhaps I will find a contest to work mobile on the way home from Dayton this year. My best weekend was the ARRL DX CW with 4,458 QSOs and by smallest event was the AGB party where I made 8 QSOs. It is possible that I handed out a few QSOS in events other than the one I was keeping a specific log for.

There is no question that I participated in quite a few events, just to keep the numers rolling last year. However, most of my contest operating has been purposeful over the years.

Since I was in dental school, my life has revolved around 4 major contest weekends. For me that is the CQ-WW DX Contest CW and SSB, and the ARRL DX Contest CW and SSB. I also usually operate Field Day fairly intensely, as I have since I was taken along as a newcomer in 1960. I participate in SweepStakes every year, usually going for the Sweep part. Even for me, four flat out full time events between the end of October and November is pushing it a little.

I have participated in the WAE for many years. One of my thoughts on contesting is that we should pay back the guys that work us in our favorite events. For those of us on the East Coast, Europe is where our big scores come from. I also always liked the CQM contest, with so many great CW operators going flat out. I now participate to some extent in most of the European contests.

Except for the 1970's when I had a hill top multi op station, Asia has been my tough direction. I am attracted to the AA contest, as it gives me a chance to work quite a few stations that are usually fairly difficult for me.

Early in the year I purchased a K2 QRP radio. It inspired me to work some QRP contests and I ended up entering the WPX in the QRP class, both modes. Most of my non contest QSOs last year were QRP. I felt guilty for buying a prebuilt K2, so ended up building a K1 which I used while operating from my deck in a few QRP contests. Maybe the construction weekends were among the 9 non Dayton down times!

There are many good reasons to participate in contests. At least 4 or 5 times a year I am trying to make the most points and do the very best I can. The rest of the time I am trying to do something I consider worthwhile. I find contest operating fun and relaxing, especially if I am not trying to make every last point possible. In many events I am operating during the best hours I have available, in order to make a lot of contacts, give points to those who sound serious, or to say hi to my friends. Ten hours of contesting on a casual weekend represents less time than a decent fishing trip, and not much more than a serious golf outing.

Much of my part time contesting goes beyond recreation. Over the past decade I have spent a lot of time practicing. On any given weekend, depending on the contests available and conditions, I might practice running, observe propagation or try different modes of operation. This past year I spent some time, almost every weekend practicing listening on two radios simultaneously. I have used two radios for years; however, I had not managed to run well while listening with just one ear. I feel the practice has paid off quite well. My Single Op Assisted efforts, especially on CW are more SO2R with a minimal input from packet, so as not to slow down my rate.

CW is by far my favorite mode; however, in mixed mode events I will almost always choose the mixed category. This forces me to practice my SSB and occasionally my RTTY. It also lets me give out QSOs to a higher percentage of the serious participants in each event.

I feel supporting contesting in general, and especially contests popular with the folks I work in my favorites, is time well spent. I also like to spend some time in events that are attractive to new or potential contesters. Many of these events have a fairly low impact on the bands, and do not require fighting for a spot to CQ. In general I avoid congested bands or modes when not going for my very best score in one of my most favorite events.

On any given weekend the odds of saying Hi to K4BAI, N4BP, K5ZD, K1DG, AA3B, N2ED, or K1AR are surprisingly good. There are lots more east coast guys that I hear all the time; however, these pop into my head the quickest. I guess they are like me and feel they can use the practice. I'm sure there are lots of guys out west that are hyper-active; however, my station doesn't hear so well in that direction.

I may put up a few more antennas to help with domestic contesting, if I can find some help on Wednesdays, my day off. I am usually too busy on the weekends.

Member Comments: Add A Comment
Re: Fifty Two Contests in 2001! Reply
by AD1C on April 2, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Hey if you get on RTTY, there are a whole bunch of other ones you could enter. You could hit 60 in a year easy!

73 - Jim AD1C
Fifty Two Contests in 2001! Reply
by k9gy on April 4, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Wow that is a lot of contests.

I think my wife would leave me if I
contested that much, hah!

CQ Contest!

Fifty Two Contests in 2001! Reply
by oe5oho on April 23, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
CONGRATS. And indeed K3WW is heard often during contests. Another story is that I always wait for a "P" to be sent after the two "W" - as John K3WWP often supplies points to me with his QRP-station. Hope youŽll be doing many more tests.
73 de Oliver
Fifty Two Contests in 2001! Reply
by OE5CWL on September 27, 2002 Mail this to a friend!
Nice results ! Worked K3WW 13-times during 2001!

73 and cul next contest

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