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Contesting Online Forums : Tips : When & where to run/h&p? Forums Help

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When & where to run/h&p? Reply
by KE2WY on December 12, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
In a big contest [CQWW], there seems to be a flow and sequence to when and where stations are running versus hunting & pouncing. Has anyone ever thought this through and come up with a corresponding plan for one's operation during the contest? Thanks.

RE: When & where to run/h&p? Reply
by AD6WL on December 13, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
In general if you are a “Big Gun” you will want to run a frequency as much as possible and you will only S&P later on to look for mults or when the run rate drops. Big Guns also will run lower in the band which is prime real estate during contest. If you do run in this portion of the band be prepared for QRM as other station try to squeeze in between two signals.

Now, if you’re a “Little Pistol” you would S&P most of the contest but later on when things calm down you will want to switch to running a freq. You will want to move up high in the bands because you will not want to battle it out with the Big Guns. Even if you’re a little “Pea Shooter” you will want to run a frequency at some point.

73, Jim
RE: When & where to run/h&p? Reply
by N2MG on December 15, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think anyone could rightfully come up with a plan detailed enough to list running times versus search-pounce times. A lot of those decisions are made during the heat of the battle and must adapt with the conditions.

Band-to-band decisions are generally more stable, changing slowly with sunspots, but even these can be volatile - although experience will generate some rules of thumb - such as when to look for VK/ZL or JA or deep Asia on the various bands from your area.

That said, there are some times at which operators will be found S&Ping more often... At the top of the hour, while it's open, 160 is said to be visited a lot by single ops. And as the contest progresses (as mentioned in a previous post) the serious operators tend to S&P more and more as their running frequencies dry up.

Contesters learn that there are a lot of stations (many of them multipliers) who will only call into those who are running, and are otherwise unworkable. So S&Ping for them is fruitless. These are generally under-powered, under-antenna'ed (is that a word?!) or otherwise unwilling or unable to run/control a pileup so calling CQ to them is not an option. Bottom line, you have to be CQing to work them.
RE: When & where to run/h&p? Reply
by KE2WY on December 15, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Good comments, all...
I've noticed that non-USA stations tend to run in the upper portion of a band, big USA stations in the bottom, and smaller USA stations middle to upper portions. If everybody ran, then there would be no one to H&P and visa-versa. If I work down a band 1-2x H&P'ing, and the yield drops, seems like a time to run. But, what if there's no response to my run [not surprising /:-)], or at least no more than dragging the bottom H&P'ing? My typical response has been to switch bands [assuming propagation allows] and start the process over. Is there something to be said for a medium station like mine to start running at the beginning, switching to H&P'ing later, perhaps the second day? Granted all this depends on a lot of unpredictable variables. I note that the yield from H&P'ing steadily drops over a two day contest, suggesting that new running stations don't startup later in a contest. If running a small/medium station, do I want to set up in the middle of an active portion of the band, or get way up and clear? Do a cluster of running stations tend to do better than ones that are isolated? Enjoying the comments. Many thanks.
RE: When & where to run/h&p? Reply
by N4SL on January 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If you have a good signal you should be running, but when it slows or you are missing mults, you must go S&P to pick 'em up.

In contests without band change rules, you MUST be operating SO2R for the maximum score. You are running on one band while S&P'ing on another band simultaneously.

No set rules, of running is working, RUN. If not, S&P. Often times you'll find a better frequency to run when you are done picking up mults.

Knowing when to change bands is the biggest thing and you only get it by doing it and then evaluating the statistics of it after the contest.

Here in the Pacific NW part of the USA (near Seattle, WA), 40m will open up early but nobody can hear you because the rest of the USA is blasting away and propagation just isn't there for the west coast yet. You can fight it, or you can realize to stay higher in frequency until the lower bands get better. I learned this by analyzing the logs later.

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