CQ worldwide WPX CW contest

Thoughts about the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest

This past weekend many of us participated in the CQ World Wide WPX CW contest.

Just for fun I thought I would share some of my contest observations on this blog. First and foremost let me say I love this contest. Participated in many of them in the old days.

Issue no. 1:  It baffles me why this contest is scheduled over a major U.S. three-day holiday weekend, Memorial Day. There certainly would be many more entrants if the contest wasn’t on a holiday weekend.

Issue no. 2:  I did tune around and monitor some of the big gun multi-multi stations working stations as fast as they could. However, I listened to many instances of big guns simply calling CQ contest over and over again — with no replies — and they kept doing that for extended periods of time. You’re not making points if your CQs go unanswered. Why not tune around and FIND QSOs?

In my opinion the owners of some of these stations need to have a strategy session with his operators before the contest begins. Goals need to be set. Operator performance needs to be monitored. Techniques need to be modified in real time to achieve higher QSO rates.

Issue no. 3:  Some of the big guns were sending at 50+ WPM. Sending too fast actually slows down your QSO rate. The stations you are trying to work can’t easily determine that your just replied to them so they call again and you must confirm again, etc. — slows you down.

My op-ed conclusions:
Common sense tells me that if I keep calling CQ with no takers, I should try something else. And back down sending to circa 25-30 WPM. However, I heard a lot of contest activity that simply lacked common sense. What on earth were these guys thinking? I simply don’t know.