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Advice regarding Phone Sweepstakes

Nov 15th 2011, 18:57

jgortney

Joined: Jun 24th 2011, 20:50
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I am a new General Class ham. I have only been active on HF for the past 8 days. I was thinking about participating in the Phone Sweepstakes this weekend but it has been a long time since I have done any contesting. The last I did was Field Day 10 years ago.

What advice can you offer me? I do not want to come across as a noob on the air this weekend!!

Thanks for all your help!
Nov 16th 2011, 20:26

N0NB

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
First off, welcome to the fray!

The easiest way to get started is to listen for a bit and get a feel for the calling and exchange sequences.

Normal practice is for the running station (the station calling CQ or holding the frequency) to transmit the callsign of the station that answers his CQ and give his part of the exchange. The S&P (search and pounce) station will then acknowledge or ask for fills and once he is satisfied that it has been copied correctly, give his exchange to the runner. The runner will acknowledge or ask for fills and then call for other stations.

That is the basic flow to most contests. Read through the information at http://www.arrl.org/Sweepstakes for all the gritty details.

Don't be shy! :)

Don't over drive your TX audio.

Do be confident and learn to copy directly into your computer logging program rather than writing things down and transcribing it.

Don't pressure yourself. If it's not fun, take a break. SS is a contest that requires a lot of attention. Make it a goal to work 100 Qs or a bit more this year to qualify for a PINS. In a couple of years you can get serious and chase a sweep.

Have fun and good luck!

73, de Nate >>
N0NB.us
Nov 25th 2011, 04:39

jgortney

Joined: Jun 24th 2011, 20:50
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Thanks for the advice. I worked a few hours on the Sweepstakes, I only logged 30 contacts but I am now up to 34 states for WAS. Talk about a fun weekend. I got two Canada stations Washington Oregan, anc California just to name a few. I am in Ohio using an old Icom IC-761 100w and a G5RV antenna so I was very impressed with the performance of my station.

I know I didn't work that many stations but it was fun anyway!!
Dec 14th 2011, 02:01

k4hx

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
"...but it was fun anyway!!"

As it should be!
Dec 17th 2011, 00:19

gw0nvn

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I've been doing ssb sweepstakes for a few years and find it an enjoyable contest. Each year I try to do a bit better. It is good to work stations of varying sophistication. From the 5W station with a short length of wire as an antenna to the 1.5 KW station with 200 foot towers. It is great for observing and using hf propagation.

As you had fun in the Sweepstakes. Put something in the soapbox on the contest website.

My only issue is what is the time of the contact. Is it the beginning or the end? What happens if your contact takes more than a minute? Unfortunately I have to use paper logging due to qrm from the netbook psu and the speed and accuracy of data entry.

Look forward to working you next year

N1XIH/7 UT

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