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Contesting Online Speak Out

Speak Out: Getting ready...

Operating a contest seriously requires no small amount of preparation. Other than real "improvements" to the station (like installing new antennas) what steps do you take to get ready for a full effort? Do you have a checklist? What's on it? Do you try to get some extra sleep ahead of time? What else?

19 opinions on this subject. Enter your opinion at the bottom of this page.
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Onlinefront on 2020-12-10
Very nice and informative blog, thanks for
providing such unique information.

Anonymous on 2007-05-10
30Min power napps every 8 hour's
work's great try it.

Anonymous on 2003-11-10
Cycling and contesting are the sports where your competition are your allies. With that said, knowing the limits of your station will go a long way. Have the changing band conditions work in your favor instead of bringing you to your knees.

Anonymous on 2003-11-04
Oh, the Alpha is warmed up alright, you big crybaby.

Anonymous on 2003-10-31
I make sure the Alpha is warmed up and ready, because just as soon as the contest starts, contesters will be "CQ contest ...your 5/9ing" right over my ongoing QSO.

Anonymous on 2003-10-31
I make sure the Alpha is warmed up and ready, because just as soon as the contest starts, contesters will be "CQ contest ...your 5/9ing" right over my ongoing QSO.

N5FPW on 2003-10-23
Anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks out I check equipment especially antennas. I run a checklist of items like, C/L tuner settings, don't forget to reset the time zone setting on Sunday of the CQ WW Phone so that my times will be correct in the logs, keep the micro processor reset instruction on my rig handy just in case, etc.

About a wekk out I work up detailed prop info for all CQ 40 zones and any new countries I need to work. This is then synthesized into a 5 page by half hour op plan which is further reduced to a one sheet time vs continent cheat sheet I have under plastic by the rig. I also keep all my notes that I have worked up in a notebook next to one of the two notebook computers I use in the shack (I hate computers failures). I also have pen and logbooks at the ready.

My best suggest is to get and have handy your transceiver's microprocessor reset instructions close at hand. You will be surprised how many quirky bugs and problems that manages to fix.

73 all and good luck in the CQ WW DX weekend. Hope to work a few of you.

Larry Van Horn, N5FPW
Assistant Editor
Monitoring Times magazine
Brasstown, NC

Anonymous on 2003-10-22
Remember that Amateur Radio contesting is the only competitive exercise where your competitors are your allies. Be courteous.

73 & CU in CWSS. N8CPA

K9AY on 2003-10-15
The best choice is to keep your station operational at all times. Some of my best contest efforts have been "last minute" entries -- when time unexpectedly became available, or when a casual beginning was so much fun that it turned into a competitive effort.

For my "planned" efforts, nearly all special prep work is on antennas -- a temporary Beverage for RX, an extra low dipole for a domestic contest, etc.

VK1AA on 2003-10-03
The real improvement would be a keen pit-bull terrier to chase away rats and snakes in my uncle's garage. Advantage: I never feel sleepy during hours of darkness!
Nick VK1AA/4 in sugar cane fields of Central Queensland

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