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CW contests? I don't need no CW contests

Mike Gilmer (N2MG) on June 18, 2000
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CW Contests? I don't need no CW Contests

A tongue-in-cheek look at Phone Contests

Over the years (yeah, way too many) I've figured out that I really DO like phone contests more than CW contests. The challenges on phone are greater because one generally gets to operate side-by-side with non-contesters. Imagine how differently Mario Andretti would drive if he had to share the track with old people driving Chevy Chevettes. Here are some other reasons I like phone so much:

I like taking up as much room on the band AND sounding as ugly as I can. On phone I get to crank up both the drive to the amp AND the processor gain. I get no similar pleasure on CW.

I like fighting with the net operators and ragchewers. They come from all over to tell you that you're interfering with them. Once again, CW offers no such fun.

In the SSB Sprints, you can pounce on these same nets and ragchewers and then leave in a flash. Hell, they might foolishly think they scared you off. Ha!

On CW, so many operators are better than I am. It's humiliating. I like feeling superior to the rest of the operators. On phone I can achieve this noble goal.

I think it's really friendly of the stateside guys who call me during a good European run in CQWW just to tell me how loud I am and to give me a few points.

Forty meters is a really good DX band on CW and a nasty one on phone. I like nasty.

On CW, my family gets to sleep while I'm up all night operating. On phone, they get to hear how hard I'm working and maybe suffer along with me. Why should I be alone?

After a contest, not only am I tired come Monday morning, but I'm likely to be hoarse, too. I think this is great - my co-workers get to share my pain!

Some bands are HUGE. There's no finer technique to learn than how to tune up an amplifier at 21.400 MHz when the SWR is >3:1

Ten-meter phone has all those really great free-bander signals from South America - they let me know the band is open to the south. Taxi!!

I love making fun of all the accents in DX contests. Why can't all these guys learn proper English? I did, and I was only a kid at the time.

On phone there's always someone high up on 15 meters near the band edge calling CQ. I like getting cards, even from OOs.

Forty meters...did I mention Forty meters?

When I first started contesting, CW operators were far too good at their job, and that bugged me. I mean, how was I ever going to catch up with guys sending 40WPM? With SSB contesting I could hit the ground running - after all, I knew how to speak. Now if I could just understand propagation and learn how to stay awake for 48 hours and how to handle runs and find DX at the same time and...

Member Comments: Add A Comment
N2MG's article on fone contesting Reply
by k2ua on June 19, 2000 Mail this to a friend!

How did you enunciate all that clearly with your tongue stuck so far into your cheek? :-)

--73, Rus, K2UA
CW - isn't that DEAD? Reply
by K2AXX on June 19, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
Are you SURE this was written Tongue-in-CHEEK?

(Funny stuff. Esp. from a man I look to as my mentor, my guide and my inspiration .. .but not in that order - or using those words. . )
CW dead??? When did that happen? Reply
by kb2vgh on June 19, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
Funny stuff Mike. Don't forget the recognition of your roger beep.


73, Jeff KB2VGH
CW Dead ? Reply
by W2GO on June 20, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
...I respectfully disagree,
I started contesting in 1992 doing SSB only -on the XE land, everything went fine until the propagation either went down or died on the higher bands, by mid 90s...

Then I decided to start trying with my limited CW speed, about 7 WPM. Yes, initially was slow, but It was amazing how you could improve the speed over a contest.

I was so pleased, that I even went furher and took the CW test for the highest license in XE (12WPM), with no problems whatsoever.

When I was on CW contests, rarely found a station that did not want to slow down to get QSO.(unless you find a furious pile-up).

There are two excellent programs that can help you in enhancing the CW skills : "RUFZ" and "PED"

Luis W2GO, XE2AC, (ex: XE2AF, XE2ADJ)

CW Contests...... Reply
by WA4CNG on July 23, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
I couldn't have said it better, have I told you about 75 meters........
RE: CW Contests...... Reply
by N2MG on July 28, 2000 Mail this to a friend!

I think you missed my attempt at humor. I much prefer CW contesting to phone. This story was an attempt to make fun of some aspects of phone contesting.

"Hey, that guy, he's a phone contester... not that there's anything WRONG with that." :)
RE: CW Contests...... Reply
by G4iFB on August 13, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
Some more really nice things about SSB 'tests:
- not having to catch an hour's sleep with that ringing sound in your ears
- not waking up with a start because you heard your callsign (in your dreams) and couldn't reply...
- footswitches! What a laugh, eh? Why won't they stay where you put them?? Hours of fun under the desk.
- no need to worry about QSK relays
- saving money on narrow filters

73, G4iFB
CW Contesting Reply
by AH8I on August 16, 2000 Mail this to a friend!
Of course we love CW contesting! The only disturbing part is listening to signal reports at 35 WPM every time I flush the toilet for 24 hours after the contest is over.
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