Insight Into Contesting

The Scandinavian Activity Contest is one of my favourites (especially when there’s propagation which hasn’t been the case on the bands for the last few months).

To work the SAC from North America you do need a beam for 20-15-10 and a reasonably good 40 meter antenna (full size dipole at least 33 feet up in the clear with the broadside oriented towards the north-north east).CCO-1-37

The Russian DX Contest is very much the same and these medium-sized contests offer great opportunities for new contesters to get their feet wet in time-limited, fairly friendly competitive environments.

Best of all this year the SAC committee has put out a rather nice PDF summary of contest results along with stories from participants. There’s a story from a guy in Japan who runs the 50-watt Japanese mobile power limit (Bet you didn’t know that there was a power limit on mobile operation. I sure didn’t.). And another story was about a guy who ran QRP completely exceeding his expectations and then there are stories from guys who ran serious contest stations.

This rather wonderful report is an insight into contesting in all its forms. With contesting season wrapping up in the next few weeks it’s time to use the nice weather to fix antennas and add radials to the vertical and checking he grounding connections.

I’ve already started my list for small parts from my annual trip to Dayton (two runs of coax, some inside station connectors, more crimp-on connectors, maybe another QRP rig….)

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

One thought on “Insight Into Contesting

  1. I have a fondness for the SAC and the Russian DX contests. There is a challange in working these sorts of contests from North America but you don’t need lots of power or big antennas. I have always worked the SAC using QRP and while out operating portable for day, usually on 15m and 20m using simple verticals or dipoles and still manage several dozen contacts over the course of three of four hours while being outdoors and enjoying the typical nice Septemeber weather.

    In fact, since the SAC organizers put together a survey and asked for suggestions, I made the suggestion that a limited hour portable class might attract some participants that might not otherwise do so.

    cheers, Graham ve3gtc

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