Friday, October 12, 2007

Rate is the name of the game, QSO Rate in ARRL SS

here is a vital excerpt from the MAD River Contest Club SS handbook.........

High power SS is almost 100% a rate contest. You need to call CQ constantly to finish well.
Maintaining a run frequency is an art unto itself, but here are a few tips:

• Adjust your CQ to your current audience. If signals are loud and the rate is good, you can
shorten up your CQs. If conditions are poor (perhaps on the low bands with QRN) or the rate is
slow, you may need to slow down and lengthen your CQ to draw attention to your signal.

• The best way to hold a frequency is to be making QSOs quickly.
While this might seem obvious,
there are things you can do to make this happen.
Keep your exchange short, and don’t repeat anything unless asked.
Again, tailor your technique to the audience you think is there.

• If a frequency dries up, but you don’t want to change bands,
try a different place in the band.
Vary your CQing spot in the band by trying down low, up high, or somewhere in the middle.
With one radio, if you’re S&Ping then you’re at best holding your own and at worst losing the
contest. With two radios you can CQ on one radio and S&P on the second.

With high power, if you are doing a good job of making yourself available to QSO, most of the
section multipliers will come to you. Don’t start to worry about multipliers until the second half of the contest.

Usually, you’ll end the first day with a section count in the mid-seventies, which leaves
only a few to worry about.

However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel a little kick if a
difficult section calls in early or on an unexpected band. (In the 1996 CW SS, VY1JA called K8CC
on 3518 the first night!)

In reality, none of the sections are difficult to work as long as there is
reasonable activity from that section. These days there are permanent and rental contest stations in PR and VI, which typically makes them easy to work.

Often, there will be one or more Canadian sections (never including Ontario) which proves elusive, particularly on CW.
If you hear any of these, work ‘em now - you might not hear them later. 􀀀

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