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Author Topic: CW WPX brought out the best  (Read 1510 times)
N3QE
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Posts: 2087




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« on: May 31, 2011, 06:36:51 AM »

I'm by no means a big gun, but as a little gun participating in the CW WPX over the past weekend I was impressed.

Extended poor propagation (maybe even worse in Europe than here) seems to have encouraged polite and efficient behavior on all parts.

I contrast this with past years when propagation was good (or at least not as bad) and rate, rate, rate was all anyone was worrying about.

All the stations were ID'ing consistently and often. The big guns were obviously working hard to hear the little guns (especially my little gun!). Almost nobody was trying to run the contest entirely at 50-60 WPM and I often heard the big guns slowing down to make sure that calls and exchange were being correctly copied in both directions. A couple of big guns still had defective keying (e.g. leading dits being cut off by poor amp sequencing) and/or horrible 100Hz hum but it seemed less prevalant than in past years.

So while scores might not have been very high I was quite impressed with the resurgence in efficient operation and good copy, as opposed to rate-rate-rate.
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N4OGW
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 06:46:10 AM »

I think a lot of this has to do with the rules in WPX: if you don't get the serial number right you lose the qso. That means you really have to work hard to work the weak stations. You can often guess a callsign partially from a callsign database (master.dta), but not a serial number.

Tor
N4OGW
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N3QE
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 06:55:57 AM »

I think a lot of this has to do with the rules in WPX: if you don't get the serial number right you lose the qso. That means you really have to work hard to work the weak stations. You can often guess a callsign partially from a callsign database (master.dta), but not a serial number.

That rule has existed the whole time (and far all contests AFAIK, maybe some "QSO parties" excepted) but for a long time in the 90's and 2000's few of the big guns especially in WPX ever seemed to concentrate on correct exchanges both way to the point they might let their rate drop by a few QSO's an hour.

One of my favorite parts of the ARRL Sweepstakes writeups, is they single out and congratulate stations that had a busted call/busted exchange rate of less than 1%. And the sweepstakes exchange is one of the most detailed there is. At least one of the big scorers in the SS last year had an error rate of 0.1%. That is extremely impressive. I personally can imagine getting into the 1% club someday, but 0.1%? Wow! That's a good op! I'm guessing extensive traffic handling experience.
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K9NW
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 05:59:26 AM »

Quote
few of the big guns especially in WPX ever seemed to concentrate on correct exchanges both way to the point they might let their rate drop by a few QSO's an hour.

The guys making the high scores achieve that by getting the exchange right.  Someone not concerned with getting the exchange right isn't a "big gun."
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