Contest Operating Tips from the experience of W5WZ

TIP #1:  Sometimes you may wish to operate in a contest, but find there isn’t much activity on the air for that specific contest, yet the bands are full of participants in other contests.  No problem!  Learn what they need for their exchange and give it to them, and get them to give you what you need for your contest exchange.  You log what you need and submit your log for the contest that you want to enter.  As a courtesy, also submit your log to the other contest(s) as a check-log.

TIP #2:  Remember when Mama told you “sit up straight”?  Well, she was right!  You’ll be able to focus better and have more energy when operating.  In fact, studies suggest that sitting or standing up straight and tall can give you an added boost of confidence.  If that equates to 5 more QSOs per hour in the log, then it’s worth it!

TIP # 3:  Logging software:  Regardless of which software you prefer, make it your goal to become an expert at using it!  Learn to squeeze every bit of performance out of it.  Learn to leverage all the specific operating aids to the biggest advantage.  When you become expert, then the layer of software doesn’t intimidate you, or isolate you from the radio; rather it melds with you to the radio.

TIP # 4:  Last, when mentioning software logging programs, think about the way you type.  Are you a “hunt and peck” typist?  Do you have to watch your fingers as you type?  If you answer yes to either of those questions, you’ve got room to improve your contest score!  Learn to touch type.  It will free your eyes and your mind to do other score-building tasks during the contest.

73, W5WZ