The County Hunter Web Forum

The place to discuss issues affecting county hunting, or to just ask questions

Subject: A trick from my newfound contesting jones

Message: When I moved to Flawdah, I found a really good club - Platinum Coast ARS or PCARS - and got talked into running contests from W4MLB (our "station in a trailer") which has big amps and lots of aluminum up in the air, including a rotatable 40-meter beam. I specialized in the "all nighter" slot and got lots of practice on both phone and cw. Last year, I was invited to join the PJ2T Contest Team in Curacao for the ARRL International DX SSB contest. Because I had been primarily a CW contester and CHr (a Bencher paddle in the truck and two in the shack), it was a real challenge, especially being around a whole team of guys who were better ops... really better ops. Anyway, I remembered a trick from my CHr mobile days (B.A.T. - Before Aluminum Truck and a new wife who is tolerant of radio but not so much in the same vehicle... hi hi). Partial calls... just the suffix to be precise. One of the rarest occurrences in contesting is to hear two of almost the same call except the prefix... i.e. K8ZZ and N1ZZ calling at the same time. Same for operating mobile. In addition, although I may have trouble with someone else's callsign, I usually can hear and recognize even a part of mine... especially "VV". So in a really bad contest pileup, I just respond with a caller's suffix to whittle the pile (as long as I repeat the full call after other callers drop out and log it correctly and completely). So for running counties mobile, the technique works even better, especially with CW. If I am running a county and I hear a bunch of callers and one is "K8ZZ" all I have to do is send "Z Z 559" and Ed will recognize his call and respond while others hopefully wait their turn. I don't have to recall OR SEND the full call because it is not a contest and there are relatively few calls to eventually log from the tape, This might work for Ron and others who struggle a bit with CW, especially when mobile and moving... I know it helped me. I thought of it again on one of the few occasions when I actually heard Ron through the noise and QSB... I listened for the "VV" which came through even when the KE3 was a bit fumble-fingered or covered up by other late callers. Also fewer hammers on the key to stress the hand ligaments. Worth a try. Works for me anyway. Hope this makes sense and helps. If so, maybe the County Lion can dress this up a bit for a Roadrunner article... he hasn't written one of those in a while. 73.

Call: KE3VV 2/12/2021

Email direct response to

Return to the FORUM
Return to top of the FORUM
Return to County Hunter Web