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Author Topic: Contesting equipment  (Read 633 times)
KB1HJW
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Posts: 70




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« on: February 08, 2002, 11:20:11 AM »

What are the recommendations for good quality boom mikes and foot switches for contesting, that won't break the bank. We have all the goodies at the club shack for major contests, but I tried a minor contest from home and it seems that I don't have enough hands to use the keyboard, note paper and key the mike all at the same time!
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N2MG
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2002, 05:28:36 PM »

Lots of guys use a Heil headset with the HC-4 DXer element. The newer Heil design (the Proset) is far more comfortable (IMO) than the older HC-10.  They also surround the ear - better to keep out unwanted shack noise (fans, etc.)  You are gonna wear that thing for HOURS - it's worth the investment.

For CW (the better contest mode anyway, hi) a simple pair of cover-the-ear stereo headphones are the best sounding and most comfortable.

Mike N2MG
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20614




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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2002, 05:45:28 PM »

If you're serious about contesting, even casual contesting from a non-competitive home station:

Get rid of the note paper.  Apparently, you've got a computer in there.  With proper contesting software, you surely don't need a pencil or paper anywhere near you...the contesting programs provide "scratch paper" utility, via the keyboard.  

For CW contesting, the contesting software also sends your entire exchange (and keys your rig to do it), so you don't need a key anywhere nearby.  It will also call CQ for you, send sequential serial numbers, several "canned" (memory) messages (QRZ?  QRZ test? etc.), so CW contesting is pretty automated already.

For phone, use a decent headset and VOX.  The Gregoire headset for $44.95 is a good deal and sounds good on the air.

But by all means: If you have a computer in the shack and are using it for logging, learn to use it for everything else, too.  When I operate a contest, I have a headset and a keyboard, that's it.  Nothing else required (except maybe a monitor for the PC, contesting software, rigblaster interface, rig, amplifier, rotor control box, huge stacked antenna systems on tall towers, WX0B StackMatches, Dunestar filters...)  Seriously, anything within "reach" other than your rig and keyboard will be distracting and definitely slow down the operation.

73 de Steve, WB2WIK/6
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N4GI
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Posts: 56


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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2003, 08:31:07 AM »

I would recommend communication headphones, heil or other.  I've found that full range "CD" headphones pass too wide of a frequency range which causes fatigue/headaches during long periods in the chair.

If you really must do phone, a footswitch for PTT is a great way to go.

Blake N4GI


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